Board year in times of crisis?

Always wanted to know what a board year is like during times of crisis? In this blog Julie, Michelle and Elise will share their experiences as a boardmember during COVID-19. Why did they apply? What does their current year look-like? What is different? To answer all these questions and more, continue reading!

Julie Habets - Treasurer
Hello everybody! I am Julie Habets and this year, I am the treasurer of Asset | Marketing. Already in my first year of studying in Tilburg, I decided that I wanted to do a board year after finishing my bachelor. After my exchange in Orlando, it was time to orientate on which board year to choose. Unfortunately, this was exactly the time when the COVID-19 crisis started. Of course, I wondered whether it was smart to start a board year in these times. However, after giving it some thought, I concluded that a board year would be actually much more interesting than it would usually be. 
Why? Because a board year allows me to connect with new people. If I had started my master, I would be sitting behind my desk zoom meeting after zoom meeting. Social interaction would be very limited and meeting new people would be very difficult. Since the moment I started my board year, I have met so many new people and I am talking to different people every day. 

That is why for me, a board year in times of Corona is extra valuable. It provides you with so many new social connections, a broad network and many new friends. Especially in these times where new social connections are so difficult to establish. You do not only build up valuable friendships with your fellow boardies, but you also get to know all members of your association. Furthermore, you get to know all boardies from the other Asset departments and work together with them.
Along with the ‘normal’ skills you learn during a board year, you can expand your skillset with so many more vital skills that will come along handy later in life. A board year in Corona times will teach you a lot about flexibility, optimism and crisis management. You have to think in terms of what you can do, not what you cannot do.  I have learned how to switch directions quickly and efficiently after a press conference, as well as flexible planning and event setup.

A board year in Corona times is definitely different, but it is definitely not less fun or valuable. For me, my board year is the best choice I could have made and I do not regret any second of it. I saw the opportunity in this difficulty instead of the difficulty in the opportunity and I hope you do too! If you have any questions, please send me a message and I will tell you even more! 


Michelle Roelofs - Chairman
Hello everyone! My name is Michelle Roelofs and I’m the Chairman of Asset | Marketing. It’s now my turn to quickly talk to you about what it’s like to do a board year at Asset | Marketing. More specifically, what it’s like to be a board member during the corona crisis. Because of course, a board year during the corona crisis is quite different from a normal board year.

I often get the question from active members why I choose to do a board year right now. One reason is that I was already sure I wanted to do a board year at Asset | Marketing for quite some time, and it was now or never because of where I am in my studies. Another reason is that I wanted to give something back to the association that has been like a home to me for 3 years already, and what better time to do that than during a crisis? Furthermore, a board year during the corona crisis still provides you with the opportunity to meet lots of new people, such as board members from other Asset departments or other associations, and to attend many corona-proof events. This, in my opinion, is much more fun than following my studies from behind my laptop. Lastly, a board year is great for your personal and professional development, and this does not change because of corona. There is still a lot to learn and to work towards!

If you have any further questions, you can always contact me or one of the other board members. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and tell you more.


Elise van Sterkenburg – External Affairs Officer
‘Isn’t a board year different during corona?’ ‘Are you able to keep busy all day with board tasks during this time?’ ‘Do you meet enough people now that everyone has to work from home?’
These are all questions I am asked often with regard to doing a board year during corona. In the following text, I would like to explain what moved me to do a board year during corona.

Before the current pandemic started, I planned on going on exchange during this semester. However, as the months passed, the situation wasn’t looking up and I therefore decided that I had to make different plans for this year. This wasn’t an easy choice to make, as I was faced with multiple choices (internship, minor, board year, ‘safer’ exchange destination) during uncertain times. 

After careful consideration, I decided that a board year would be the most challenging (and therefore the best!) decision for me to make for several reasons. First of all, I wanted to gain more hands-on experience in the business world. University has taught me a lot of knowledge; however, I wanted to discover what the business world is like and how to put this knowledge to use in it. As External Affairs Officer, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Secondly, I wanted to be able to think like an entrepreneur. As a board, we make decisions together which we then execute. This has helped me tremendously in this area. Additionally, because of the ever-changing circumstances around Covid-19, we have to be very flexible in the events we organize, which translates back to being able to think about innovative solutions in our daily work. Lastly, the social aspect of a board year was also very important for me. Even though we are not able to have our famous Thirsty Thursdays in the Polly at the moment, we still strive to have as much social cohesion as possible. Apart from the other 5 board members, with whom you work daily, we also meet with our members and other boards regularly.

Before applying for a board year, I figured that it would be challenging during corona. However, I have  already learned a tremendous amount which I wouldn’t completely have learned during a ‘regular’ board year. Therefore, I would definitely choose to do a board year again if I were faced with the same dilemma.

More information?
If you have any questions you want to ask our board members, you can always send them an email:
Julie -, Michelle -, Elise -

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