Interview

A Day in the Life of a Mercurius Board Member

Mercurius is hiring and they are looking for YOU! In this interview with treasurer Quinta, she tells you the ins and outs of being a board member of Mercurius. What are the perks and what are the challenges? Find out and you’ll find yourself applying for a job in no time!

A board year at Mercurius

Since it is my second year as a board member of Mercurius, I wasn’t sure how this year would turn out. A board year brings a lot of chances, opportunities and challenges. When I decided to do a second board year, I wasn’t sure how I would experience all the things that were new to me last year. I thought it would be a lot of the same, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

This year has brought me a lot. I experienced things that I hadn’t had the chance to experience last year . This group of board members has taught me a lot about myself and about working in a group. So, I don’t regret doing a second board year at all.

The treasurer

Within the board I fulfil the position of treasurer. The main responsibility as a treasurer is keeping the books of the association, this means that I am in charge of the accounts. I pay all the parties that Mercurius owes money to and I send invoices to everyone that owes Mercurius money. I make the yearly budget, draw up realisations and help the committees with these tasks as well. 

As treasurer, you have a great responsibility within the association, since you are closely involved in the finances of every committee and you can co-decide on each issue. Another task of the treasurer is the book sale that occurs every semester, the book sale is a great opportunity to get to know the (new) members but also the treasurers of the other associations connected to the different courses within our faculty.

I see the position of treasurer as a sometimes underappreciated position. As a treasurer you do a lot of work that people on the outside do not necessarily see. The work I do is mostly behind the scenes. It means a lot to hear from people that they appreciate your help or the work that you did.

What does a typical board member’s day look like?

I usually come in around 11 in the morning, even when I don’t have to be in the boardroom. I have a chat with the present board member(s) and start the day with checking my emails. Then, I see if I have any new transactions to import to the bookkeeping system. After that, it depends on the planning what I have to do, it differs per day. 

Some days I have class, meetings or other stuff to keep up with. Depending on the composition of your board, the treasurer could coordinate some committees. This year I didn’t have any committees, but last year I had a few. If you have committees, this could mean that you have some committee meetings and that you could have to work on events that you might be organizing. 

During the day you have a lot of time for yourself as well, I usually take some time in between meetings and tasks to hang out with other board members or to have coffee or lunch with some friends.

Meeting new people

Some of the most fun parts of being a board member is probably all the new people that you meet and all the events that you get to attend. You do not just get in touch with new people within your board, but for example during the introduction period and the book sale you meet a lot of the new students. 

“It is amazing to see that other people enjoy the activities that you helped organize”

It is great to see so many students connect to others through the events that you organize together with your board. During all the events throughout the year you get to know new people and you make the most amazing memories. It is amazing to see that other people enjoy the activities that you helped organize.

Keeping the balance

I think the most challenging part of being a board member is finding a balance between your Mercurius work, school work and your social life. Since I moved to Amsterdam at the beginning of my board year, I experienced that my social life and my Mercurius work overlapped a lot and that made it a lot easier. I chose to do less courses during my board year, so I could manage my time better.

Becoming a board member

Have you always (or since reading this article) dreamed of filling your year with lots of fun, forming new friendships and co-deciding on important issues for the study association? Apply for one of the vacancies for the academic year of 2020/2021 and become a board member for Mercurius. And while you’re typing your application, here’s a message from Quinta for the future board members:

‘Enjoy every minute of it! A year seems long, but it flies by faster than you think. Before you know it, it’s March and you’re already looking for a new board. During a board year, you organize so many events: borrels, networking events, trips, etc. During all that organizing, don’t forget to enjoy it and to see others enjoy it!’

Apply here before the 14th of April! 

Cover: Aleksandra Muther

From left to right: Aakansha Gupta, Quinta van Vlaanderen, Sorina Muresan, Joanna Zmarzlińska, Ellie Groom

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Jade van Laar
22-Year-old cat-lover and Instagram addict Jade is in her third year of Communication Science. She lives in Lelystad, but would love to move to Scotland, Peru, Botswana... anywhere actually. Having travelled a lot, her dream job would be someplace she can write and travel at the same time.

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