Richard Kneen- Vice-President – 2022/2023
I am Richard, a Scottish third-year IBEB student. I moved to Rotterdam from my hometown in Edinburgh in 2020 to start my bachelor’s degree. My first year here was anything but easy with covid restrictions and Brexit around every corner. In my second year, as the world started to open up again I joined the cultural committee at ESN, having had a fantastic time as a guide during the Summer Intro-days 2021. I’ve been interested in internationalism since a young age, and love to meet and help other people, which has made ESN such an enjoyable experience for me.
Why a board year?
After a cancelled exchange to Taiwan, I was looking at the possibilities to make the most of my time in Rotterdam alongside a minor. ESN board was already in the back of my mind for after my bachelor, so I thought why not do a part time position during my third year! As the first fully covid-free (touch wood!) year for ESN since 2020, the 15th board and I have the exciting task of bringing the organisation backup to full speed and exploring ESN’s full potential!
As the President of ESN Rotterdam, my role involves overseeing a rapidly growing international foundation and leading a dynamic and ambitious team. I am responsible for coordinating the overall functioning of the organization, playing a pivotal role in contributing to the long-term internationalization of Erasmus University and the city of Rotterdam. As the external representation of ESN Rotterdam, oversee the organization of events and deliver presentations and speeches to our stakeholders (students and partners alike!).
In addition to these responsibilities, I represent ESN Rotterdam in meetings with higher education institutes, the municipality of Rotterdam, and various national and international levels within the ESN network. While the president’s role is not very specific or stable, a significant part of the job is dealing with unforeseen challenges and constantly seeking ways to improve the organization. This requires proactivity, solution-based thinking, intercultural communication skills, and motivational abilities, given that a significant portion of the board and active members come from different countries and cultural backgrounds. The optimal way to achieve the organization’s goals can vary over time and within different boards, and success depends heavily on the president’s vision and abilities.