Interviewing our founder

In November 2014, the jEURnalist interviewed our founder, Jules Maitrepierre. The interview gives a short introduction about the association, its goals and where it is going. We would like to thank again jEURnalist for their hospitality, the article and the transcript. 

Introduce yourself briefly (passions, hobbies, background)

My name is Jules Maitrepierre, I’m French, I turned 20 last August and I am the founder of the International Finance Student Association. I’m currently studying International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management. My main interests are philosophy, rugby, strategy, sociology and, of course, finance.

What exactly is your association about ?

The International Finance Student Association (IFSA) is a non-profit association for students from all around the world who are passionate about finance and who desire to be part of a global network.

We want to provide students with a foundation for professional success in the field of finance. We aim to do that by working hard on two things.

The first one is to create a unique and gigantic global network of students who are passionate about Finance to make them share ideas, work on projects together help each other out wherever possible. For instance, if you’re looking for an internship we want to make sure one of our member will be able to help you out wherever you are. 

The second is to provide knowledge to our members.  We desire to provide theoretical and practical knowledge to our members. We want them to have a clear idea of what is finance and how fantastic it is!

What made you want to start up the association ? How long did it take you to implement it starting from the idea form ? What setbacks did you face ?

To be honest I am not sure if I can fully answer this question. I wanted to create a network of people who are into the same thing. I wanted to make sure people had the possibility of meeting other people who share their passion. Then the ideas of providing them with knowledge, organizing workshops, events and games came later on. Now how long did it take to go from theory to concrete I have no idea, everything went so fast, IFSA has only existed for eight months!

Achievements so far and future long-term goals ?

Well, in approximately eight months IFSA managed to expand itself to three continents and we are still expanding. We managed to settle a certain structure on which we are still working. Every chapter is at a certain stage. Some are more advanced than others as they joined us very recently. We also have to adapt to each environment where IFSA is established. As a result of that the achievements between each chapter vary a lot. For example, Kyoto will have its first workshop on the 8th while London just joined us. We’re working very hard on the website which will be available pretty soon!

Our long term goals is to have all of our chapters completely structured and have them organizing various events such as lectures, workshops or games. We want to work in cooperation with numerous banks and consultancy groups. We also want to expand and have more elite universities in our network.

Has it reached your expectations ?

I cannot really answer that question can I? You should ask all of our members: if their answer is positive, then I would say yes! All I can say is that I am very proud and happy about the work each of our member is putting into the association. Everybody is working very hard and that’s simply fantastic!

Biggest challenge your association faced ?

I don’t know if there was one challenge that was bigger than another. We faced and we still are facing many. One challenge is to organize this huge network, to know what everyone is doing, at which stage each chapter is, what sort of environment the chapter has to work with, etc. Anyway, the most important is that we are able to face every challenge with ease. Thanks to our multi-cultural network we always receive a lot of input from several different perspectives. Everyone is very keen to help the other chapters grow! As a result, we are very adaptable, we always find a way to solve any issue at an incredible speed.

How did you grow so fast on all the continents ?

It’s a blend between today’s technology, hard work and networking. We had connections here and there, who in turn had more connections here and there. Countless hours communicating through various social medias to each others. Then you add hard work, numerous sleepless nights and passion and you have the result of a growing organization, I guess! I’m very lucky to be working with smart and motivated members. Without them IFSA would not exist and would definitely not have grown this fast!

Do you organize any on campus activities? If so, what do they entail ?

We are going to organize various activities such as workshops, lectures and games. Workshops are going to teach students a specific topic of finance while lectures will discuss broad ideas of the field. Games will make students learn and interact and even compete with each other. I cannot be more precise about this so far, the only thing I can assure you is that it is going to happen soon enough! We are working hard on it!

How has being the head of the association enriched you as a person ?

I learned the fact that without people and without a team you cannot achieve as much as what you want to do. You need people to be with you from the beginning till the end to achieve something. I also learned that there is always a way to everything; the only thing that is limiting people is their imagination. I had the chance to apply the notion of “sharing is caring”. Yes, it sounds cliché, but as most clichés: it’s actually true. If you give your time and energy to the people you trust, they can transform it into something that is beyond what you can imagine. Also being part of such an international community teaches you a lot about cultures and people. People in terms of who they really are and how an individual works and thinks. 

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