A board year at the MAA is the perfect experience to start your career. You have the chance to develop yourself on a professional level and you will meet lots of interesting people. In order to give an impression of what a board year at the MAA looks like, we will introduce you to some previous board members. This week, we spoke with ex Vice-Chairmen Rick van Wieringen, Bart Grouls and Robert Schavemaker. Currently, Rick is working as a junior business consultant at Ordina, Bart is working as Sales Support Coordinator at Peugeot and Robert is working as Country Manager Benelux at Channable.

What is your best memory of your MAA Board year?

Rick: To get to know ambitious students. As a secretary, you have at least once been in contact with every student and it’s great to see that they are more sure about their next step thanks to the MAA. Next to that, it was exciting to see when an event had great success. Bart: Also the energy you get from the ideal combination of working hard and having several social activities. Every day, I was looking forward to work for the MAA and finish the day with some drinks. Robert: It was just an awesome year with my board members.

Have you learned anything specific during your board year of which you still benefit from?

Rick: Organizing, networking and most important of all, working in a team. For a whole year, you work together with a group on all sorts of projects quite intensively. Sure, there are ups and downs, but you just learn from the downs and you enjoy the ups. Bart: During the job interviews after my board year I noticed the valuable experiences I gained, which I can subsequently explain during an interview. These experiences makes you able to explain what you’ve learned and what your strengths are. Once you start working, you will notice that you have an advantage in terms of working with many different people and communicating at all levels compared to starters who come straight from University. Robert: I’ve also learned to take responsibilities and to dear to make important decisions.

In what way did your board year affect your current position?

Rick: It may sound straightforward, but you really get to know yourself, which makes it easier to draw your next steps. The network you’ve developed is meaningful during your whole future career. Bart: It taught me how to present myself in the best possible way, in what environments I do and I do not prefer to work and in which aspects I can distinguish myself. Partly because of this board year, I now have a job that fits me very well and in which I am truly at my best. Robert: Thereby, you will gain experiences in many different situations, in which you could also end up later on. This is very meaningful for your future.

For what reason(s) do you recommend others to do a board year at the MAA?

Rick: I think it’s the ideal step to get yourself ready for your career in a meaningful and informative way. Bart: At first, because it’s so much fun and thereby it will be very helpful. Robert: It is the perfect variaton between gaining work experience and having a fun time with the people you get to know in your area of interest.