Every large company or organization has the function of an ER-manager, and so does AIESEC. In this function, it is our task to create and maintain our external relations with potential stakeholders where we can offer and promote our products of Global Volunteer, Global Entrepreneur and Global Talent (forgot what the difference was? read it here).
There is, however, a distinction between the relations regarding the university and student associations, and those regarding the applied science studies.
How do we put our job description into practice?
Concerning the universities, the first step that we take is looking into our ER-opportunities in and around Tilburg, where we work. This means going through the database and searching the internet for student associations, study associations, and universities where we can promote our AIESEC products. AIESEC Tilburg’s focus is quite broad, as we include Den Bosch, Eindhoven, and Breda as well because we are the local committee that resides closest to these cities and there is a large market share yet to be attained in those cities.
The next steps
Then, once we have found the right opportunity, we will arrange an appointment with the relevant counterpart. In this meeting, we provide the main information on our products (GV, GE or GT), tell them what kind of promotion possibilities we are looking for and discuss which workshops we have to offer in return. Once the basic agreements and mutual interest is settled, we contact the other party via email and spar about the end product that both sides are interested in. When each aspect is covered, we set up the contract and eventually sign it to commit ourselves to the agreements.
What is left for us to do then is to contact a potential trainer for the workshops and delegate content creation in terms of promotion for the workshop itself and the products of AIESEC within the marketing team.
Two different types of ER-managers
Next to an ER-manager for universities and associations, there is also one who focuses on the universities of applied sciences in Tilburg and its surroundings. The main focus of this ER-manager is essentially the same as that of its co-worker. However, the process might differ a bit. The main goal is to get the international AIESEC opportunities into the internship portal of the universities. As students are obliged to do an internship in their 3rd year, we as AIESEC try to incorporate our products in this window of opportunities. Next to trying to be added to this portal, we try to arrange workshops for the schools as well to get the promotion of AIESEC going. This process is similar to that of the universities and associations.
The primary focus this semester is to incorporate AIESEC in the portal of at least two schools, to begin with. Although we are still in the pilot version of this process, we have already accomplished some successful meetings with possible partner universities of applied sciences. The future looks bright.
Perhaps it seems as if the two ER managers are working individually and do not interfere with each other, but that is not the case. Both ER managers interact often with each other to bench new ideas and go to certain meetings together to support one another. This teamwork helps us to get the best possible result when finding and pursuing our new partners we want to work with.
A great opportunity
All in all, being an ER-manager can be quite a lot of work. This depends on how much effort you can put in seizing all these opportunities around you. On the one hand, it is a great collaboration and opportunity for personal growth within your social network and team, which can be experienced as a very rewarding task. On the other hand, you are one of the faces of the biggest organization run by students in the world. These two factors combined turn out as a perfect match for if you want to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.
Matthijs de Boer & Kevin de Louw, ER Managers, AIESEC Tilburg