Written by Hannah Jelkmann, President of ESN Groningen 2021/2022
In April last year I applied for the Executive Board of ESN Groningen. At that time, I was busy with my SOG Faction year and being part of the University Council of the University of Groningen. Having lived through almost an entire year of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as being part of a consulting organ of the University, I wanted to be part of an organisation which is able to directly impact and positively influence the student life here in the city of Groningen. The global pandemic made it evident for me to see that during times like these, ESN Groningen has an important role in connecting students and making their time here in the city fun and enjoyable. Now, having managed the biggest international student organisation in Groningen together with my fellow board members, it has given me many great opportunities to see and experience Groningen through an entirely different perspective. In this blog, I will elaborate on what makes a board year at ESN Groningen so special and why you should apply!
Add value to the student life in Groningen
ESN Groningen is the biggest international student organisation here in the city of Groningen, we offer more than 150 activities throughout the entire year and provide 4 programmes which support students and enable them to meet and connect with other people! Because of ESN’s proactive approach, we really add to the student life of Groningen! Examples being, our student nights at Copas, these offer students a break from their studying and allow them to come dance their night away with us. On the other hand, our Christmas and Pals programme, which were newly installed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, focuses on connecting students during the holidays and through the entire year so that no one is left behind and always has another fellow student to talk to. Not to forget, our Introduction Weeks! These weeks are the highlight of the year as they provide incoming students with a week of unforgettable memories and activities which will allow them to kick off their semester here in Groningen. These initiatives and events make me very proud as I can see their direct positive impact on the student culture!
Build a great professional network
During my board year, I had the pleasure and opportunity to meet and be in contact with many people. This ranges from our active members and people my age that are part of another student association board to influential people within the University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the Municipality. Furthermore, as ESN Groningen is part of a national network, I have met a lot of people from all over the Netherlands and beyond our borders. Having had all these experiences and contacts, it really helped me expand my own professional network and grow as an individual, which will benefit my future career greatly. A board year at ESN Groningen will give you similar great professional experience as the one I have had the honour to have!
Personal growth and leadership
One of the best things about doing a board year at ESN, is that I have really developed myself on a personal and professional level, even more than I did during my studies! Among other things, I learned how to manage and run an organisaiton, how to represent the interests and voices of the international students in Groningen, how to take responsibility and negotiate with important parties, as well as writing and holding speeches and presentations in front of a larger crowd. After a year, I have already noticed the impact of these events, as I have become more confident in my own personal and professional expertise. I am absolutely certain that all the skills which I have acquired will help me in the future and will continue to help me grow as a person.
Made friendships for a lifetime
Lastly, and most importantly, I have come close friends with my fellow board members. As we spend so much time together working towards the same goals and experiencing the same things, we really got to know each other. A board year really allows you to not only grow within a professional group atmosphere , but more importantly to make new and long-lasting friendships! These friendships have made my board year amazing!
Are you interested in becoming part of the board of ESN Groningen? The applications are currently opened, click here for more information! The deadline for applying is April 6th, 2022.