This interview is about Kim and her position as a commissioner external affairs. Her motto is not fear anything and just do it as you learn constantly from your experience.
What were your expectations of the board year prior to starting it?
I wanted to do a board year because of doing something extra. Before starting, I was living with parents and studying business administration. I wanted to gain practical experience. When I chose to apply for the board, I expected something like this: really busy year and a year to learn a lot and to have lots of fun. There are six of us and we are all busy with the association. Some of the things I learned are to give presentations and the many possibilities after the study.
What kind of possibilities did you learn about?
You start in first year of bachelor with 10 broad courses, and, then, you choose to follow either administration or economics as well as what electives. The way the curriculum is set helps you to follow the master specialization you are most interested in doing. After that you can choose to work either for a big, small, international, or national firms; you also have the chance to do traineeships. There are even companies focused only on traineeship and then you can start working for the firm for a short period of time.
In what ways were you involved with Synergy before your board year?
Last year, I was involved with the Introduction and Synergy Week committees but in the first year I only attended several activities. Last year, I went to the ski trip which I enjoyed a lot. So, once they announced they were looking for a board, I immediately applied.
What have you learned from the board experience?
Since I am responsible for the external affairs, I keep in contact with the companies. I learned to give presentations, to develop a professional attitude, to establish cooperation with companies, getting in touch with new companies as well as to cooperate with the rest of the board.
What do you still hope to learn during your term?
You can never stop learning. I am still learning. Now since we are halfway through the board year, there is nothing in particular that I still want to learn but you learn from every experience. However, negotiations and giving presentations are things you learn from experience.
How does a month look like for you at Synergy?
Really busy! I am establishing new cooperation with companies. I do acquisition; I keep in touch with other external affair from our partners. Just like the rest of the board, I work Mondays through Fridays from 9 or 10 in the morning until 5 in the evening. Then, we have the evening activities with Synergy. I pass my weekends by resting, spending time with family and friends, and sometimes horseback riding.
What is/are the most important skill(s) for your position?
For my position you need to be flexible, amenable (willing to do more), and have social skills. Having social skills is very important because you need to get in touch with new people. So, you really have to be someone who loves networking and who has the social skills to do it. My position also includes a bit of sales (selling skills) as I have to sell some activities, goods, and negotiation about them with companies. I spent the whole summer with Tom, the previous external affairs, teaching me some of the skills. Then, it is all about practicing. Giving presentations is something you improve over time.
What advice would you give to other students applying to your position?
Don’t be scared. You must do a lot and it is not easy, but it is the same with the other positions. Don’t be afraid from making mistakes and just do it.