A board year at Aureus with Jerry Melis

Step aboard! Aureus is recruiting for members of the 70th Aureus board. Are you wondering what it’s like to manage Aureus? Where will you spend your time on? Read the testimonials of our previous board members to find out more. Today, Jerry Melis (Vice-Chairman in 2014/2015) is sharing his experience with us.  

The application proces

After my exchange semester in Singapore and after attaining the last ECTS that led to my bachelor graduation, I decided to apply for a board year at Aureus. Despite my previous committee experience at Aureus, I found the application process still quite challenging. However, I luckily received the liberating phone call in May 2014, in which Maarten Snijders asked if I wanted to by the vice-chairman for 2014/2015. Besides my function as vice-chairman, I was also going to be responsible for the IT architecture of the association. This turned out to be more challenging than expected at first..

A challenge 

During my board year I had the chance to hold many interesting conversations with numerous sorts of people and companies. During some of those I was accompanied by Sven van der Lugt, where we talked with Microsoft and SalesForce about the planned investment in a new CRM system for Aureus. Which CRM system turned out to be one of the most difficult decisions to make. We needed to explain, somehow, to our fellow board members, supervisory board and every member of the organisation that an investment of more than 40.000 euros is an absolute necessity. Eventually, these kind of situations are the ones that will ask the most of you.  Dare to make that decision (and the corresponding mistakes), and defend it to everyone else. After half a year of hard work we finally signed the contract, what a relief! It was time to start the implementation phase… another enlightening experience.

An opportunity

Apart from the CRM project, I learned a lot about the collaboration in a very diverse team, with a wide variety of personalities. It taught me more about my own strengths, but surely also about my weaknesses and common pitfalls. This knowledge can be of great value in your future job application process. Having a board year on your resumé is often enough for an invitation for the first interview. This is only the start, because having the experience of a board year provides you with a lot of examples in which you showed your strengths.  I have heard many times, in the feedback I got from companies, that I was more aware of my weaknesses than the other candidates and this is a big plus.

Nowadays, I am working as a Young Professional at Koning & Hartman. But during the weekends (sometimes also weekdays), I am still having beers with my fellow board members. In fact, I just finished my Sinterkerst poem for one of them. Besides all the acquired skills, I definitely gained lifelong friends because of the Aureus board year!

Not convinced yet? You can learn about the experiences of other (previous) board members by sending an e-mail to [email protected].