What is it like to be Commissioner of Education & Career?

Welcome to my board Interview. My name is Adnaan Willson and I am the Commissioner of Education & Career of the 35th board of B&R Beurs. Three years ago, I joined B&R Beurs to expand my knowledge about investing and to do some extracurricular activities next to my study. Over the years, I made countless friends here and I wanted to give something back to the society. In this interview, you can read more about what it is like to be the Commissioner of Education & Career at B&R Beurs.

Why did you choose to apply for a board year at B&R Beurs?
I wanted to get some experience leading a team and having a genuine impact in helping other students. I always loved the idea of educating and helping other people, especially in those areas at which the university is lacking. B&R Beurs is unique as there is no association that is, in any way, similar in terms of education, career and social opportunities within finance. The ‘B&R heart’, as we speak of it, is strong within our members and that makes this job extremely rewarding. It is by far the best year I have had at university so far. Yes, you delay your study by one year, but the value from this experience puts you multiple years ahead of your peers.

What are your main tasks as Commissioner of Education & Career?
On the educational side, you will be responsible for the B&R Investment Guide, the Investor Certificate (including all the academies), the Bloomberg Cycle and our AI Bootcamp with Turing called Bletchley. From the career perspective, you are here to help our members get internships and give them career advice. If you find that there are certain areas our members are interested in, but we do not have enough partners in that area, you go looking for new partners. That is how we ended up starting the Commodity Finance and Trading Days. The entire goal of the Career Commissioner is to help our members start their careers.

What skills should a good Commissioner of Education & Career possess, in your opinion?
I think it is important to have a good understanding of the financial world, but not necessarily finance itself. You have to know what specific industries do, who to talk to and how to behave. Otherwise, you will never be able to help members get internships or jobs. We have wonderful teams for the education part of B&R Beurs. You simply need to make sure that everything works in a logical and organized way. Important is to be organized and to have good time management, because you need to manage a lot of strings. Next to this, you need a real get-it-done mentality. The job is quite busy and if you postpone tasks, you will simply not manage. For example, every week you will have an academy and an Academy Article. That is just one third of your educational duties, and the career duties are added to that as well. In the beginning it is stressful, but at the end it is most rewarding to see how much people have learned and what internships/job they got because of you.

During a board year, you will have to face some challenges. Can you name a few and tell us how you coped with them?
There are many challenges, but they boil down to two things: time management and expectations management. A good example of a challenge regarding time management were the academies. I made the early mistake of making new materials that were hardly beneficial to the existing materials, making my work redundant. A perfect example of expectations management is the Recruitment Database. When a first-year student comes to you looking for a summer internship at a prestigious Investment Bank, you will need to explain how everything works.

Want to hear the full story or learn more about the Education & Career position, contact me at career@bnrbeurs.nl.