Study Associations: Risk!
Study association? Why on earth would you join one of those? That was my first thought when I first came across flyers promoting active membership positions in committees. I really didn’t understand why people were interested in joining committees or choosing to make the little amount of free time they had even less. Until one day when I decided to join an activity for Freshmen.
The activity I joined was the Risk Cocktail evening, it wasn’t my first Freshmen activity by a Study association but it was by far one of the ones that I enjoyed. The night started with dinner at a nice restaurant, where we got to socialise in small tables, this made it easier to meet new people and converse. After the dinner we were divided into even smaller groups and competed on what group could make the best cocktails, we of course got to drink the cocktails as well. (win-win aimirite)
During the course of the night I met a lot of different people, among those I also met members of the Risk board and committee, who told me about their experience, how much they enjoyed making activities for their fellow students and what active membership meant. Risk is the study association for financially interested students at the University of Groningen’s Faculty of Economics and Business, with around 1300 members, Risk hosts both formal and informal events for its members with the aim of bridging the gap between theory and practice in the fields of Finance, Accountancy and Controlling. Active membership didn’t just mean doing work, it also meant doing something for your fellow students that oriented around your studies. As an added bonus, Risk active members are given training in different useful aspects such as marketing, how to dress for meetings, business formalities and how formalities worked in different cultures. Having a talk with the board really changed my perspective on what active membership meant.
Being in a committee also included, meeting a whole lot of people and potentially new friends. In case you didn’t know, Mondays are known as “commissie avond”, or simply put “Committee night” in Groningen. A night where you and your committee can get to know each other better by eating together and grabbing a few drinks. Making it easier for you to work together since you are already used to seeing each other in informal settings.
I applied to be an active member of Risk after that event, and luckily I managed to get in. In order to meet all the other active members we were required to go to an Active members weekend, this was a weekend away with the Study association where we got to meet everyone and socialise. Naturally, I was a bit nervous as I didn’t know anyone and was worried about how it would go. But everything went smoothly from the get go, we had a pleasant weekend filled with loads of activities which got us to know each other a little better. This was a good thing as active members are almost always present during the various parties thrown by the Study association throughout the year, so you’ll always (almost) have someone to go to a party with you.
Socialising and networking aside, my time in committee could actually be put on my CV and bring me in contact with my future employer. Committee work usually involves coming in contact with different companies and organising events that revolve around them or around their sponsorship. Employers are likely to remember you if you have attended their event before have been in contact with you. And this for me was the cherry on the cake.
An opportunity to broaden your horizons, that will actually look good on your CV, not dampen your social skills, help with your personal development, give you an orientation of what kind of future job you would like. If that isn’t the jackpot then I don’t know what is! If you read all this without stopping halfway to open your Study association webpage and look at when the next rounds of applications for committees begin, then I suggest you do it now. After all, you might just be the next jackpot winner!