THS Ordförande | Union president, Cornelia Haag - Authorordf@ths.kth.se
Vice Ordförande | Union Vice President, Karl Arthursson - Authorvordf@ths.kth.se
Benjamin Javitz - Photographerbenjamin.email@example.com
Cornelia, current THS President, and Karl, current Vice President, will hand over their positions at the end of June - how does it feel to leave your posts?
Your time as President and Vice President is almost over - how does that feel?
It's been a very fun year, a very stressful one as well. We’re both happy that we’ve done it, but also starting to feel ready to do other things. It’s nice to continue what you started in your studies (Cornelia) or start working (Karl). But this is also the time when we’ve become quite comfortable in our roles! Taking on big decisions, giving advice, putting up a good structure for our work, it’s like that only started in the last one or two months.
What was harder than you thought? What were your biggest challenges?
Cornelia: What I didn’t expect as much was prioritizing. There are a lot of things that arrive on our desks that we don’t necessarily have to do - but we have to decide who should handle the question, if we should handle it, or how much time this questions should take. Will it be beneficial for our students?
Karl: We also had to learn to say no. We sometimes had to say “Yeah, this is a really good idea, but we don’t have the resources or the structure in place to prioritize it.” It’s very sad - we have to adapt and accept that we can’t do everything.
When you think back to last summer: have your goals and visions evolved?
Cornelia: I still want us to be a more visible organization for our members. I want them to feel not just belonging to their chapters, but to THS as well. That is still the core of what I think should be worked on.
Karl: I agree with that. I want THS to have more of a presence in students’ life! Not everything is in place for that to happen - we need to work on our internal communication and structure to have the right conditions.
What do you think are your biggest achievements during this year?
Cornelia: KL (the Management Team) is my biggest achievement, I'm very proud of them! Everyone has achieved something, but I feel like everyone has grown personally as well. We haven't always agreed on everything, but we've had an open climate where people can express their opinions. We have also (almost) achieved anonymous exams, we have introduced a new KTH President, that’s huge! We’ve been a part of a lot of good changes at KTH and started building a really good relationship with them!
Karl: We have worked with the PM for Nymble and Osqvik, to make them more accessible for our members. We have started - or KL have started - talking a lot about communication and visibility. We've had chapter presidents visit THS board meetings, I think that's important! It's more than last year, and we want more people to come, every Monday in Panorama!
What have you learned during this year?
Karl: I sort of learned how to handle a budget with a revenue of 45 million! I’ve also learned how to talk about difficult subjects. I think I've become a much better listener.
Cornelia: A lot has been about learning how to be a leader. I've been a boss and a leader before in both my chapter and work life. But THS is a weird mix. It's kind of work, and kind of volunteering. I’ve had to learn to be the boss, set priorities and restrictions, but also create motivation for the people that work here because they think it's fun. Is a very fine balance.
Would you do it again if you could?
Cornelia: Yes. I would do it in a different way, but I don't regret it for a second. It’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. In a fun way, but also in a learning-about-myself way!
Karl: I thought about this yesterday actually. It kind of sucks to go and search for a job in the economic situation we're in now.. but no, I would definitely do it again. Without question.
Cornelia: One of the things I'm most proud of is how you and I have worked together. We’ve had a very open and honest relationship from day one.. The first time we met after we were elected, I said “Alright, tell me the worst things about you that I need to know!” And we’ve always been able to talk about it when we disagree.. Can you tell which one of us is the more sentimental?
Karl: Yeah, but I'm probably the one who's going to be crying on our last day!