We reached out to a previous Executive Director (then known as Secretary General) of KY to ask about the skills he learned in the role, how he has benefitted from those skills later on, what jobs has he gone on to have after leaving KY and finally, what to most look forward to in the role. This is what Karri, Secretary General 2014-2017, told us:
In an ideal world (and in my experience, most of the time at KY), the good of the organisation is aligned with the good of all the people in the organisation. However, sometimes they are not, at least in the short-term. And when people are passionate about the things they work for (either as board members, employees or volunteers) things easily get out of proportions. Learning to work between the rock and the hard place and act as the cooling element in heated discussions – to provide perspective – is probably the biggest benefit I personally got from KY.
Other skills that have proven useful since have been how strategic ambitions translate into concrete actions (and perhaps more importantly, how and why they sometimes stay as empty words), budgeting, financial operations, becoming familiar with constant change, what it’s like being a foreperson and HR practicalities.
After KY, I’ve worked in 2 start-ups. First I joined Gamesaver as the third wheel for 2 co-founders – they had just launched a mobile application that junior sports teams can use to e.g. stream their games. My job was to help them set the operations up and shape the organisation. The stint itself was brief but my experience from KY helped me look at the different aspects of what Gamesaver needed operations-wise and just start getting things done.
In my current position at ResQ Club, I’m running the HR & Administration function, which obviously resonates a lot with what I did at KY. Once again, the generalist background from KY and the experience of absorbing new things and information and surviving in new territories has proven helpful. My job is to prepare our company for growth, which means that a lot of stuff needs to be thought beforehand, if we want to do it properly and maintain our culture.
There’s a lot to look forward to! But, to highlight a few things:
– A superb school for becoming a generalist – getting to know bits and pieces from here and there.
– Entrepreneurial freedom in an organisation, that’s financially rather stable.
– A surprisingly professional atmosphere at work! KY is a student association, after all.
– Loads of great memories
And to be honest: sometimes you will feel like a teacher in a kindergarten, but that is in a way i) fun ii) a valuable asset too.
Secretary General 2014-2017