Name: Jasper de Ruijsscher
Degree: Master in Accountancy & Auditing (ESE)
Association: RSTV Passing Shot, the student tennis club
President since: September 2015
Motto: “Let and let live”
Why did you want to become president?
“I knew that, besides my thesis, I only had to do one subject this year, so I’d have plenty of time for it. Actually, initially I considered standing for treasurer, but I was sounded out about being president and after a few chats with former committee members, it looked more interesting.”
Did your parents think it was a good idea too?
“To tell the truth, they had their doubts, mainly because I already have a job as an economics teacher at a school in Capelle aan den IJssel. But we didn’t really discuss it much – perhaps because I wasn’t often at home at the time. Anyway, they’re not worried about it now.”
Were you appointed or elected?
“The president is nominated by the resigning committee at the General Membership Meeting. The members only elect the president while the rest of the committee are simply appointed. I think it was a unanimous decision.”
Did you prepare yourself in any way?
“No, not really, I chatted to one or two people, but that was it.”
Well, are you enjoying yourself?
“Yes, I am!”
Does it take up much of your time?
“It’s hard to say. It’s always there at the back of my mind and during the day, I’ll ring someone, talk to someone, send out some emails and so on. Obviously, I attend all our social dos, but I’m not actually stuck in an office all day.”
What else does the president of Passing Shot do?
“I keep a close eye on things, watch what the other committee members get up to and make sure things are ready in time. If something goes wrong, I’ll step in, but so far, I’ve not needed to. Added to that, I’m the club’s public face, so I keep in touch with our contacts and go to meetings with external parties such as Erasmus Sport and the clubs where we hire the courts.”
The committee has been working together now for a few months; how are things going?
“At first, we were a bit tentative – you just don’t know yet how everyone is going to handle things, but now we’ve grown used to each other and every member knows how everyone else works.”
Which qualities are proving to be the most useful?
“I’m quite quiet by nature, and that helps, particularly in a discussion. I dress smartly too, which is very useful if you are dealing with other parties, or if problems arise. It’s quite easy for me to earn someone’s goodwill.”
And which traits are a hindrance to a president?
“I clearly still have to work on delegating things. I’m not a real control freak, but I really do want to be sure things turn out alright. If it’s necessary, I stay on top of things. Of course, I don’t have to do it on my own and in the end, the less prominent I am, the better, because that means things are going well.”
Have you always been a fixer?
“To a certain extent. I’ve already been on various committees at Passing Shot and at EFR too. In fact, I used to work for an agency to earn some extra cash tutoring kids and pretty soon I was a coordinator for the agency. I’m happy when I see people enjoying things I’ve organised.”
How’s your tennis?
“I used to play quite a lot of tennis and football, at about level five or six. But an ankle injury prevented me playing at lot of tennis for a long time. Mind you, I’ve been trying to get back in the game again these past two years, with lots of stops and starts.”