This week we talked to study association Flow. This association has no less than three different studies under its belt and a total of 800 members. Flow strives for an accessible, safe and fun culture, where enough attention is also paid to the educational and professional aspects. This is reflected in certain initiatives and activities. Highlights include many trips that are organised at different times of the year, but also major career events and the usual monthly drinks parties. Curious about this association? Then read on!
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO AT FLOW?
"My name is Milan Baars, I am 21 years old and I have been living in Tilburg for three years now. This year, I am the President at Flow. That's a full-time job that I'm committed to throughout the year. Being the chairman is quite a diverse job. You have the least concrete tasks. You are the contact person for the association. It comes down to having a lot of meetings with all kinds of different but important parties, like the university. It is a lot of getting together with many people, but I really enjoy the interpersonal and varied contact. Chairing the meetings is also part of the job description. In addition, you are of course responsible for organising the activities and directing the committees."
WOULD YOU OUTLINE THE BASIC PICTURE OF FLOW FOR US?
"Flow is the study association for Communication and Information Sciences, Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence and Data Science & Society. We try to support these three studies as much as possible on a social, educational and professional level by organising fun and interesting activities."
"We have general members and active members. We have over 800 members in terms of general members. Then we have a smaller, active group - who together with us are responsible, among other things, for organising the activities - where we have around 80 members. So that comes down to about 10% of that total 800 members so."
“ WE REALLY STRIVE TO BE AN ACCESSIBLE ASSOCIATION AND TO MAKE EVERYONE FEEL WELCOME AT FLOW. THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US. ”
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENERAL AND ACTIVE MEMBERS?
"As Flow, we offer summaries. If you are a general member of Flow, you can use those summaries for free. Furthermore, as a general member, you are also more than welcome at all activities and you can join what you like or leave what you don't like."
"The active members are really in a committee. Such a committee is responsible for organising a certain part of the activities. You can think of a Career Committee and an Informal Activities Committee. In total, we now have twelve committees. So there is something for everyone!"
WHAT DO YOUR ACTIVITIES LOOK LIKE?
"We have informal and formal activities, which in turn include a whole bunch of small subdivisions. Besides those activities, we have another division, namely the travel committees. In April, for example, we had a trip to Lisbon and Porto. It was very nice that it could take place. That was really one of my highlights this year. We also have a Weekend Committee, which is responsible for the members weekend and a Citytrip. The Citytrip went to Bruges last year. Finally, we have a Ski Trip Committee. Unfortunately, the Ski Trip could not take place this year. These trips are really the highlights of the year! We try to make these trips as accessible as possible for the members, so that as many people as possible can go along."
"You see that especially many active members go along. However, this year you saw that quite a few general members went along, for example to the Study Trip. They dared to go along for 8 days with more unfamiliar people. We really strive to be an accessible association and to make everyone feel welcome at Flow. That is very important to us."
"Then it's also nice to name the TSHD Career Day. This is really a formal event. We put on a whole day, where we invite many partners, alumni and large external companies to give a lecture, case and/or interactive talk. Afterwards there is a network market, where students can socialise with companies. It attracts really big partners. It is by far our biggest career event. So we really recommend all students to participate.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES OF DEVELOPING YOURSELF AT FLOW?
"You can become active as a committee member and take on as much responsibility as possible. You can decide how much time you want to spend on it. Based on that, you then look for a quiet or a more challenging committee. If you like that, you can become the commissioner of the commission. You are then ultimately responsible for the committee. The challenge then really lies in managing the whole committee. Finally, you can become even more active by joining the executive committee. There are application procedures for that and then you are ultimately responsible for representing the association for a whole year."
"So there are lots of opportunities to develop yourself. It just depends on how much time you want to put in. You can grow into whatever you want and aspire to."
WHERE DO YOUR GET-TOGETHERS TAKE PLACE?
"We have a favorite pub! That is 'Van Horen Zeggen'. We've had a great partnership with it for so long. We have monthly drinks there. It is always quite lively. There's always a large group of people there and the pub is really packed. In between those monthly drinks, we have activities, often ending with a drink at 'Van Horen Zeggen'."
WHAT ARE THE CORE VALUES THAT YOU FIND IMPORTANT?
"An open, safe and accessible culture is very important in our association. This year, for example, we have added an 'Accessibility Officer' portfolio to the board tasks. The responsible officer then really sees to it that as many things as possible are accessible to as many people as possible. This is, of course, a very broad subject. It's easy to overlook something, but we try to make sure that doesn't happen as much as possible."
"In addition, we want everyone to feel safe, welcome and at home. So we like to be diverse and encourage that. The members are also very different. In the end, that goes together very nicely on a drink."
"Furthermore, you are a study association and so the educational should not be snowed under either. We try to provide everyone with help in the form of lectures, summaries and anything else that lies within our reach in the area of education. We try to organise many activities and company visits together with our partners and facilitate that for our members."
“ SO THERE ARE A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP YOURSELF. IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH TIME YOU WANT TO PUT IN. YOU CAN GROW INTO WHAT YOU WANT AND ASPIRE TO. ”
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR YEAR AND WHAT DOES YOUR BOARD LOOK LIKE?
"First of all, I really like it, it's a great year and you get to experience things that you would otherwise never get to experience. We are now with five directors, namely the President, Secretary, Treasurer, Internal Relations and External Relations. Next year we will have a sixth director, namely a director for Educational Relations. Flow has grown and education is a very important issue. For that reason, we felt it deserved separate attention and full focus."
WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
"We want to eventually grow and become as big as possible! That way we can support as many students as possible. We want to eventually be able to offer even better and more suitable and relevant support for all studies under Flow. We want to grow into a situation where we can split the representation of the studies a bit more under the name of Flow. In this way, we think we can better provide the students with specific activities and help."
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT FLOW?
"The site is completely filled with information about Flow. You can find all kinds of information about all the committees and other things. In addition, you can always send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can then invite you for a coffee, for example, or just give you a lot of information."
"In TOP week we are actually present in our regular pub 'Van Horen Zeggen' the whole week and can be found at other activities during that week. During that week, registrations also open to become a member at Flow, both for a general and an active membership. The registrations will remain open throughout the year. We want to give people time to do a committee or pick up some small tasks. That also fits in with the idea of accessibility."
Would you like to know more about study association Flow? Then take a look at the site!