My board experience – Tim Bakkeren

Dear reader,

I hope you are safe and doing well in these turbulent and unprecedented times.
You are probably at home being bored. I hope that this article about my experience as External Affairs of B&R Beurs will give you a better understanding of what a board year is like and help against the boredom!
If you have any questions after reading this article, please do not hesitate to contact me at 
+ 31 6 46 05 82 33 or at

Why did you apply for a board year at B&R Beurs?

I asked myself the questions at the end of my Bachelor’s degree: What is next, where and how can I personally develop myself the best and what do I want to do after my studies? 
These three questions were crucial in my decision-making process. 
After some long and deep thoughts, I knew that I wanted to work on my soft skills; in particular sales and leadership. Next to that, I was still uncertain if I really wanted to work in the financial industry. I believed that a board year would help me navigate through the dense and wide-ranging landscape of the financial industry and would help me get a comprehensive understanding of the different career opportunities the industry has to give. Furthermore, I felt that after having already been part of the Investment Conference Committee and the Introduction Period Committee, I had a good understanding of what B&R Beurs entails.

What are your main responsibilities as Commissioner of External Affairs?

The main task is to add value for members and for partners at the same time by making sure a wide variety of high-quality career events and opportunities are organized and displayed, such as In-house days, Company dinners, the Investment Week & Symposium and our vacancy database. All aimed at ensuring a perfect fit for our partners with regard to recruitment and the best possible career start for our members. 
To accomplish this, it is important to visit as many companies within the financial industry as possible and explain to them how B&R Beurs can add value with regard to their recruitment. This means calling, e-mailing and researching companies. 
Next to adding value for partners and members, these events also generate cash for B&R Beurs. With these funds, B&R Beurs is able to fund and organize other events.

As the commissioner of External Affairs, I have been in closest contact with the Commissioner of Education & Career. Together you are working on organizing the previously mentioned events, but also the Professional Academies and the placement of members at companies.

Lastly, I am in charge of the Investment Conference Committee, the Alumni Committee, and the Project Management Committee. All of which unfortunately have other outcomes than hoped and prepared for due to the coronavirus lockdown. Nonetheless, it is a lot of fun to be a part of these committees, given that they are quite serious and different from each other.

What skills should a good Commissioner of External Affairs possess?

I believe listening, confidence and hunger to sell are the three main skills you should have for this position. 
Listening is, of course, crucial in understanding what a partner wants and needs. 
Next to that confidence is always important when pitching your product, why would someone collaborate with you when you do not believe in it yourself? Lastly, being hungry to sell means not leaving a stone unturned and chasing and creating every opportunity possible. There are of course more skills which are very useful for this position and you will further develop all of these skills during a board year.

What have you learned during the past year?

It goes without saying that I have improved on a lot of skills and traits such as pitching, leadership, and communication. Next to that I now also have a very good understanding of the financial industry. But the most important thing that I have learned during this board year is that I now know what type of job I would like to do after my studies and have a better understanding of where my strengths and weaknesses lie.

What has been the most memorable experience for you so far?

To be honest, I do not really have one moment or experience that is the most memorable. For me, the entire board year has been a memorable experience and an unforgettable journey that you start off with 6 individuals. I also really appreciate the little things, like having a fun activity with my fellow board members or the exciting feeling I get when I hear that a partner wants to collaborate with us.

Interested in more stories and more information regarding a board year, including how to apply? Click here!