In the section The President, EM interviews a different leading light from a student association. This month, it’s Job Heidkamp from student association In Duplo.
Name: Job Heidkamp
Programme: bachelor Economics & Business Economics, bachelor Fiscal Economics and master Corporate Law
President since: September 2015
Motto: ‘Professionalism and pleasure’
In Duplo is the association for students on the MSc.LL.M.-programme, which enables students at Erasmus University to combine Economics & Business Economics and Law. In Duplo was founded in the summer of 1999 and has been an official student association since 2002, currently with around 650 members.
How many hours a week do you work for In Duplo?
“I’d say about forty hours, not including drinks, attending events and giving talks.”
What are your strengths?
“I’m good at maintaining an overview, I generally enjoy my work and I’m good at motivating people. I’m also good at mediating and generating consensus in discussions.”
And your weaknesses?
“I’m not always a good listener, so that’s something I try to be aware of. As far as I understand, my fellow board members are now fairly happy with me.”
What has surprised you most during your time as chairman?
“I hadn’t expected people to be so different and have such totally different approaches to work.”
What issues are requiring special attention this year?
“The professionalisation of our formal activities in particular. For example, in January there was a legal week Meet the lawyers and we reorganised the study trip and the congress. The number of readers of our online magazine De Duplomaat is also growing very fast.”
What have you learned so far?
“I’ve learned to get on with many different kinds of people and ways of working and to listen to everyone. As the chairman, you’re obviously the face of the association for the outside world and you have to address large groups. That’s something I’ve also had to learn, though I still feel a healthy apprehension beforehand.
Were you always someone who took the lead?
“No, not at all. Until the age of nineteen, I was a keen athlete, doing judo at a pretty high level. However, an injury forced me to quit.”
And how do you enjoy being the boss of something?
“I’m not the boss, nor do I aspire to act the boss. I want to achieve something with the people around me.”
What do your parents think about it?
“That varies. On the one hand, they’re pleased that I’m doing something different, but I think my father felt it would just involve a year of drinking.”
“There’s not as much drinking as you might think. Although I’ve obviously learned to enjoy a beer or two.”
What do you hope people will say at the end of your tenure?
“I’d like my fellow board members to feel I was a useful chairman and that they had fun with me. And that the members of In Duplo can see that we’ve moved the association forward.”