Hansi Hettiarachchi – Treasurer – 2018/2019
Hi! My name is Hansi Hettiarachchi, and spelling out my surname was a challenge on the ESN Pubquiz 🙂 I’m originally from Sri Lanka, where I spent the first few years of my childhood before moving to Dubai, UAE. While I love the energy of a big city, I find Rotterdam’s laid back vibe to be a refreshing change! Personally, I love meeting new people, exploring new places and pursuing new experiences, so I was quite excited to continue my higher studies here. Next to my board year, I completed my second year of Economics (IBEB) and was a teaching assistant for the course Academic skills. By now, I’m quite used to long days and even longer nights!
I enjoy being busy. Since high school, I’ve always looked for ways in which I could apply myself beyond my studies, and I knew I wanted a challenge in my second year here. Specifically, I wanted to commit to something that would develop my skill set and grow my network, while ideally making an impact on others. Before my board year, I was part of ESN in the City Trip Committee. As an international student myself, I grew to love the mission (and people) of this organization, and I could really see how it added value to the student body. I felt that the general vibe of the organization itself was a good match with my personality, so I could definitely see myself at its helm for a year. Considering my interests and prior experience with ESN, applying for a board year at ESN seemed logical – but I was still a bit hesitant as I was concerned if it would have too much of a negative impact on my studies. Nevertheless, I decided to just go for it, and I have absolutely no regrets so far!
Since I was considering a career within the spheres of accountancy and finance, becoming the treasurer seemed like a great way to gain some practical insight into the field. As expected, I’ve definitely developed some relevant technical and personal skills that would help me along the way should I choose to pursue this career option. Moreover, I also thought it would be really interesting to receive a deeper understanding of how one of the bigger student associations on campus was financed and managed behind the scenes.
As the treasurer, I’m responsible for all the financial aspects of the organization. My year starts off with preparing the annual budget, which needs to be aligned with the goals my fellow board members and I set for the year. This involves forecasting incomes and expenses as well as allocating funds to different functional areas. I also guide and liaise with all the committee treasurers – my contact points for financial information from within our committees. Furthermore, I make simple financial models for high risk events, so we can gain insight as to how our financial position will potentially be affected by unknown variables such as the level of ticket sales.
My recurring tasks involve controlling, forecasting, bookkeeping, banking, recording invoices and making payments, handling receipts, preparing and sending invoices as well as checking if these are paid. Some of these tasks require clear communication with internal and external parties. I also use accounting software (Exact-online) to maintain financial records and ensure that all transactions are accounted for. Preparing financial statements for internal and external users as well as various financial overviews upon request also make up an important part of this role.
Being the treasurer at ESN also means being part of a board that organizes a wide range of events. I don’t feel confined to my role outlined above, since there is plenty of room to tap into the resources of the organization to create your own projects and organize your own events!
Looking for more information? Don’t hesitate to contact me by sending an email to email@example.com.