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Blog Mathijs de Ruiter- Portfolioholder External Affairs and Entrepreneurship

The summer is approaching and I’ve already enjoyed 7 months of being part of the Student Union. The first few weeks were mainly about getting to know the organization and the aims of the SU’s strategy and annual plan, but I also directly started helping to realize the new startup incubator in the Bastille, named The Incubase. By the end of November, we were happy to officially start using it and opening it with the involved parties. Being part of such a big project which can be of high value to the UT’s entrepreneurial role is great. Also, the first months I was as board responsible person for Create Tomorrow involved in evolving this event to a 2-day long, annual happening and with the UnionDeals-team, we worked on improving the platform and deals. Furthermore, over the last half year, I’ve been working on the TEDxTwenteU, the UT Challenge, UnionDeals, our partnerships with Grolsch and Vrumona and the SU’s collaboration with Novel-T. Also, I’ve been involved in well-being projects for the UT-students, the SU’s annual plan and the SU’s role in Shaping2030.

Within these projects I worked together with various parties within and outside the UT, which of course increases my network, but it also helps me to see topics from different points of view. Being part of the SU also made me experiencing working with rather big contracts and important collaborations, and to make well-thought decisions. During this board year, I work on affairs for the longer term. This was by times a challenge in the beginning because it can be hard to know what a wise decision is and I will not see the results of some decisions I made this year already. However, we get a lot of support from our office who have collaborated with over 50 SU-board members, our supervisory board, predecessors, the SU board and others. This helps to keep on improving myself in order to fulfill my own goal and of course the SU’s mission. With the SU board, we regularly meet during office hours, but also outside, even during this Corona-period. Every now and then we do a work-out at the sports center, visit constitution drinks of associations or eat together, making being SU-board next to interesting and a good learning experience, also a lot of fun.

Thinking about long term plans, shaping a vision for the organization, collaborating with various parties and people and taking responsibility are things I already learned. Presenting during the open days and visiting Student Unions in the UK with the boards were some highlights of this year. The upcoming months I hope to experience more of these highlights, and I want to keep on improving on goal setting and shaping and formulating my vision on the Entrepreneurship portfolio and its aims and finalize my projects as well as possible, to make sure I can make sure my successor can start in an optimal way.