In the section The Chairman, EM interviews a different leading light from a student association. This month, it’s Jules Maîtrepierre from student association IFSA.

Name: Jules Maitrepierre

Age: 21

Study: 4th year of IBA Bachelor

Association: IFSA, the International Finance Student Association. It’s a non-profit, student-run organisation for students from all over the world who are passionate about finance and who want to be part of a global network. IFSA wants to provide students with a foundation for professional success in the field of finance, by creating a unique and gigantic global network of students who are passionate about finance and providing knowledge to its members. IFSA is currently represented in 12 countries worldwide.

President (and founder) since: April 2014

Do you get enough sleep?

“I manage to sleep between four and six hours a night. I also have time to eat, study, box and go to nightclubs now and then – I’m a great fan of dubstep music. I believe it’s not about the time you have, but about the time you create. Besides, I never watch television.”

Long hours then?

“Yes, IFSA is a full time job. Together with my job as an off-cycle analyst, I easily work 80 hours a week. I work all kinds of hours because I have to Skype a lot with our ‘chapters’ in Asia and America, which are in different time zones. I love doing that, but luckily I’m not on my own. In Rotterdam, for example, we have 20 active members.”

Do you ever meet up face-to-face with any of the local chairmen?

“I’ve met some of them, the ones from Switzerland and France for example. But one of the most fantastic things about IFSA is that it runs well despite the fact that most people have never met each other. This is all thanks to the global vision we share.”

Are you a control freak?

“No, not really. I look over someone’s shoulder now and then to see if things are going ok, but I’m very capable of delegating. Because we are operating in many different cultures, you have to trust the way people do their work, even if it seems very different from how you work. It’s like Bruce Lee once said: ‘Become like water my friend’.”

You’ve always liked being in charge?

“Yes. At school, for example, I was a class representative and I also liked playing leading roles in theatre plays. Later on, when I was already studying, I was vice chairman of the faculty council. I guess I always enjoy being in some kind of leading role.”

How so?

“Partly because of how I was raised, partly – I can’t deny it – it’s about ego as well. Not that I like to boss people around. It’s more that I like to empower them. I’ve also worked as an intern in several companies, because I think that if you can’t serve, you can’t lead.”

Your parents must be proud of you?

“Yes, well my parents trust me in what I am doing but they want to make sure that I have time to study and sleep.”

Do you always wear suits?

“Yes. I even wore suits when I was still at school. Mostly black and blue ones. Actually a black suit with a white shirt and a red tie are the IFSA colours. My mother sometimes advised me not to wear them, saying: ‘Jules, you shouldn’t try to marginalize yourself so much.”

As the founder of IFSA, will you still be in charge in ten years’ time?

“That’s a mean question. I should think I’ll have a much smaller role in the organisation by then, but IFSA will still be going strong.”