Personally, I am not a big fan of an “employee of the month” type of program for several reasons. First, you want to create a culture of people who join your organization wanting to do the right thing due to intrinsic motivation, instead of people who are focusing solely on gaining praise. Second, success is often the work of a team and not of an individual. If you then raise one person up on a pedestal this can lead to other team members turning against one another. Finally, I believe that the key for success is to let your team know how grateful you are for their work informally.
After thinking about my own experience at STAR and reading through the various blogposts of other members, I realized that my reasons above definitely do not apply to being STAR of the month. The goal is not to praise you or to create unhealthy internal competition, but to inform you of how it is to be active at STAR. Before I continue, let me first quickly introduce myself. My name is Klaas Hartmans and I am the chairman of the MSC Financial Management board 2015-2016. Together with six others, we are responsible for the organization of social activities and career events for approximately 500 students of the RSM Masters Finance & Investments and Accounting & Financial Management.
Being active at STAR is in one word GREAT. Not only do you learn a lot within a short-period of time, it is also a great way to meet new people. In my opinion, there are two things incredibly important when you decide to become active. First, you have to think about what you want to learn and achieve. I decided to apply for the chairman position, because my ambition is to be a future manager. Being a chairman is a great opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and to experience how it is to be responsible for your own organization. In addition, it is of course also a lot of fun and a great pleasure to work with a group of talented Master students. Second, you have to ask yourself whether you want to put the time and effort to make your year successful. No one is too busy to execute a simple task, it is just what they prioritize.
On the 1st of September a new period in my life will start as a management trainee at a Dutch corporation. My experiences at STAR along with my internship and study abroad definitely helped me in landing this dream job. For this reason, I would like to advise all new students to seize the opportunities ahead of you. Dare to go abroad, take that gap year, or become active at STAR. Of course, it is not fair that you do not receive a basic grant from the Dutch government anymore like we did, but some experiences cannot be measured in terms of money alone and will pay off in the long-term.
Klaas Hartmans – Chairman MSC FM