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I applied for a board year at ETC because of my strong passion for technology, with all its opportunities and threats in mind. I was amazed by the impact of ETC’s activities and events, and I sought to achieve personal growth by collaborating with a group of driven, creative, and daring people. That is exactly what I found within the community!
Society is moving forward at unprecedented speeds and myriad new challenges are arising. The ever-shifting technological landscape may seem difficult to apprehend, but ETC makes it all more accessible. As the President of ETC, I’ve had the opportunity to enable like-minded people who are passionate about technology and innovation to broaden their perspectives, engage in continuous learning, and ultimately get ahead of the curve while having fun. ETC is still a relatively young organization, and we enjoyed a great deal of freedom in all decisions that we made. It’s completely up to you which exact topics or formats you want to offer during your time on the board. For instance, we introduced the ETC//Careers series where alumni share their story and knowledge on how to make it in the industry. We also invested a lot in a new ETC//Learn format, consisting of in-depth software courses of 4-6 weeks offering an applied learning environment with cases, guest lectures, networking opportunities, and certificates upon completion.
A crucial aspect of my role is effectively managing internal and external collaboration; that is, ensuring that each individual lives up to their full potential by capitalizing on our diversity and backgrounds. This also applies across our partnerships with other student organisations, corporates, and nonprofits. Beyond opening my eyes to pivotal changes and disruptions happening within society, my position within ETC has taught me the importance of inclusive leadership and has constantly challenged my time management abilities. In a year as particular as 2020/21, we have found ways to adapt and keep up the pace set by our predecessors by organizing a wide variety of large- and small-scale, informational, educational and developmental events. We’ve also strengthened our ties with other student associations on campus. I am proud of my team for their amazing talent and dedication! Leading such a dynamic community as ETC has truly been a humbling experience, full of learnings and inspiration. It has met all and even exceeded most of my expectations!
When I look back at our events, one of my proudest achievements was convincing the Director of Music & Licensing at TikTok to join us from Los Angeles at the Future of: Entertainment. This time, speaker acquisition proved more difficult than usual, and we were still short by one guest only a week before the event. After facing rejections from Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, Ubisoft, Universal Music, we could have concluded that the Entertainment industry was just a tougher one to get a hold of. However, we decided to persevere and I contacted people at TikTok and finally one of them replied. I was amazed by the reactivity of my team in converting these newfound leads into speakers, and the whole community, from marketing to the education committee, came together to make the event a great success!
My interest in Erasmus Tech Community was initially sparked after attending the Erasmus Tech Summit in 2019 – a large-scale tech conference with 500 attendees and company representatives from Microsoft and Phillips. When I came across the advertisements for the ETC Board recruitment in March 2020, my interest in taking on a new personal challenge was immediate. Besides wanting to organize events of similar impact and magnitude, I was also intrigued to join a student organization that had a unique, entrepreneurial character. Applying for the Vice President position came naturally to me as I wanted to foster my leadership skills, employ strategic decision making, and work alongside a talented team of like-minded individuals. Knowing that I would commence a master in a tech-related field, I also wanted to learn more about technological innovations, build a network of ambitious people and find my place within the tech industry.
I set little expectations for my board year because I had never been on a student organization board before. Looking back, being part of the ETC has been the highlight of this academic year for me and I am grateful to be able to lead and grow this organization with my amazing team. Not only have I fostered my leadership and moderation skills, I also learned how to effectively network with external parties and communicate with active members within the organization. Furthermore, I developed a deep passion for organizing educational and inspirational events surrounding tech and I know how to organize and effectively execute these long-term projects. Lastly, the board year challenged me on a daily basis which made me a more resilient and self-assured individual overall.
My most memorable experience so far has been our first virtual event The Future of: Health with over 100 attendees. During this event we invited experts from Google and Reducept as well as the Chairman of the Dutch Union for Intensive care Diederik Gommers to share their views on technological disruptions in the field of medicine. Secondly, I thoroughly enjoyed organizing our Christmas elves gift campaign during which the board prepared and hand-delivered a small token of appreciation to our 50 committee members and consultants.
When I joined ETC, I was a first-year business student that was interested in the broad, growing field of technology. However, given my business background, I felt unsure about pursuing this interest because I always thought technical knowledge was essential. This is where ETC helped me develop not just as a student, but more so as a person.
During this year I learned so many different things thanks to ETC. The ETC//Learn courses taught me some technical skills like website building, the events brought me in contact with the exciting world of emerging technology, and most of all the atmosphere in the organisation showed me how important it is to follow your heart. In this organisation everyone plays a role in creating magnificent events that bring information and entertainment to many students in The Netherlands and beyond.
As one of the Directors of Business Development, I was able to develop my interpersonal skills. I learned how to be comfortable while reaching out to the professionals in the technological field. Also taking on this role really made me a more creative person. When you join this role, you need to find ways to achieve your goal of getting entertaining speakers. This however, does not always come easy, which means that you always need to get creative and challenge yourself to think creatively to reach your goal.
To summarize my board year I would say that this was the most incredible year in my life so far. There are moments of frustration and moments of pride, but in the end I can proudly say that I was part of ETC. I was surrounded by a group of ambitious, amazing teammates that made this work feel like a hobby. Above that, I was able to expand my network and get in contact with successful people in the field of tech. ETC gave me this opportunity where I could develop myself, while developing this great organisation. I can only say that I would recommend this journey to every student that is looking for a challenging, educational and great time during their studies!
I’ve always been interested in upcoming trends in the field of technology. Over the years, I realized how business and tech spheres are merging more and more, and how important it is to be prepared for those changes. In my first year, I discovered ETC and was excited to see how many people share the same interests I have and actively engage in conversations and discussions about it. ETC was a place at university where I could combine my major, business, with my interest in tech. Hence, I joined the organization in my second year and applied for a board position in my last bachelor year.
Being part of a community like ours, enabled me to grow personally and professionally. I was encouraged day after day to pursue my interest while learning hands-on skills. Whether it were tech skills during our workshops, or soft skills when organizing and planning the events in the first place. You also learn a lot through the high amount of teamwork required, especially since you work with a great diversity of people. Further, you strengthen your leadership skills when given the responsibility to lead a committee. The board year has been one of the most valuable experiences in my university life. It motivated me to pursue a future career in a more tech-related field and apply for a master program of that kind. Also, the connections I fostered through the events and partnerships we made will be a great asset for my future.
Although the board year was accompanied by many challenges and stressful moments, I appreciate the endurance and confidence each experience has taught me. Especially the pandemic challenged us and significantly impacted the way we had to work. However, we adapted quickly and made the best of it. I highly recommend a board year to anyone since the experiences are beyond valuable. Not only did I gain many skills, but also a group of friends that shares a common interest with me.
Despite the pandemic and all the new challenges that came with it, ETC has continued to stay a community for people who are brave enough to seek to understand how the latest technologies impact our world and use that towards creating our tomorrow. Even working online for most of my board year has not stopped me from feeling like I am a part of an inspiring, ambitious, and creative team of like-minded people, ready to take on the biggest of the challenges and make the impossible happen.
With the focus on strategic management and Big Data at ETC, I have had the chance to learn way more than I had ever expected. From understanding Google Analytics to getting the grasp of Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin advertising to working with leveraging the data we have to better our marketing, my time with ETC has given me a lot of hands-on practice and showed me which path I can see myself taking in the world of ever-changing technologies. Working with the Marketing Director for Creativity and Innovation and an amazing marketing team of Digital Marketing Experts, Graphic Content Creators, Videographer, and Journalists has given me the chance to not only be surrounded by bright creative minds but also to work together on innovative projects and have fun along the way.
If you would like to have your own team of inspiring creatives, to always have reliable support to count on while managing numerous marketing projects at once, and to learn about the ways data can be used to improve the brand image of a technology-oriented organization, I would like to encourage you to take the chance! You will have the opportunity to create your own team, realize your ideas in the field of marketing, and learn a lot about data analytics. With a supportive board always by your side, any challenge will seem manageable, both in your personal and professional life.
All my life I was curious into the application and integration of technology into our lives, as it’s become something that we’re dependent on. Upon hearing about Erasmus Tech Community, I just knew I had to be involved somehow. Learning about ETC’s goals and aims and their progress of introducing all to technological aspects and innovations that create our tomorrows today, made me even more excited and driven to join. As a creative in my free time, it made sense for me to pursue a position that allows me to incorporate my creativity and passion for technology.
Joining a board at the beginning of COVID-19, had created an unsure expectation for me. However, regardless of the distance and the time zones – ETC showed me that anything is possible. With the help of the board and the committees no issue was ever too big. Looking back on my year on the board, it’s clear that it created a variety in my life when everything became routine due to the pandemic. It was the one area I really allowed for creativity to flow and for ideas to blossom. I learned a lot through hands-on practice and was specifically taught the value of efficient working and learning more about planning and organise marketing, while also learning how different types of marketing is effective in different ways. Working with the Marketing Director for Strategy and Data Analytics alongside the committee, gave an incredible environment to work in with people of similar passions and allow for creativity and fun to grow.
It’s been an incredible year of growth and experience, and an opportunity that must be seized. If you’re passionate about technology and want to dabble with your creative side, then don’t miss out! Make use of this chance to grow and develop with a team of creatives and learn what it truly means to let innovation take the wheel. Let your ideas become reality, and learn various new skills on commitment, team-work, while also deepening your creative abilities.
I first heard about the ETC at their Datacon event in 2019. For such a young student organisation to sell 1200 tickets and bring the VP of Twitter to campus was no mean feat. Impressed by their ambition, I joined their Data Analytics Summer School committee in 2020. And although, for obvious reasons, the project never came to fruition, that brief stint was long enough for me to be certain that this was an organisation that I wanted to be a part of. To shoulder the responsibility of moulding ETC’s vision alongside equally enterprising members, and aligning its financial direction was a tremendous opportunity. Fascinated by the challenge of turning money into value, I decided to apply for the position of Finance and Data Officer.
It was not long before I realised, I had made the best possible decision. The drive and dynamism that fuelled each of our meetings was infectious. My initial apprehension that the pandemic would preclude us from achieving the heights we had reached the year before, was instantly dispelled. This was an organisation whose reach was constrained only by one’s creativity. Broadening our educational initiatives with ETC//Learn, working closely with like-minded enthusiasts to overcome the obstacles posed by the online transition was one of the most rewarding examples of that.
All in all, the past year at the ETC has been the most positive learning experience of my life. From practicing professionalism during meetings with external partners to negotiate funding proposals, to leveraging skills acquired during my study to transform attendee data into meaningful, actionable results. From learning to ask the right questions to derive maximum benefit from each euro spent, to exploring entirely unfamiliar fields like event management. All in an environment that fosters my passion for new technologies and the problems they can solve or create.