1. Can you please introduce yourself (who are you, where are you from, what do you study)?
Hi there, I'm Petr, I used to study in Usti nad Labem (ESN Usti), right now I'm an alumnus already. My study field was Art Education at Faculty of Education however in both ESN and my personal life my specialisation was always IT.
2. How long have you been a member of ESN and what were your roles before becoming active in the international world of ESN?
I joined a "tutor group" right after my Erasmus experience, then after four more years we founded a section in my city where I became IT responsible and Vice President, next year I joined National Board and spent two years in WPA's mandate, during my second year in NB I became a chair in ITcom. All together it’s about nine years now but ESN would be just a half of it. However, I must say the roles are not important, it's the will to change things and actively participate.
3. What is your position within ITcom and how long have you been doing it?
I'm the Main Chair of ITcom, this is my second mandate so it's been one and half year by now.
4. Can you describe your main tasks and responsibilities?
Well, it's a bit of everything what is needed. I suppose that is how ITcom works. Our structure is not really tight so it's a lot up to one's personality what will he or she do in the position. For me it's mostly managing the committee as a whole body, I should be one of those who is steering ITcom and deciding our main focus and where to use our resources. In this mandate my main goal is to restructure the ITcom and turn it into something a bit more efficient.
5. Can you describe some other interesting tasks on which ITcom is working on?
Right now, we're working hard on new Galaxy Accounts system which will replace the obsolete one based on Drupal 6. Second most important I'd say is a support for the network - sections, ESN countries, project teams, other committees…, then a simple maintenance of existing international websites which not always ends up being that simple. But there's also a lot of another projects, one of them is a committee website with the list of our projects :) For now we have a minipage on it.esn.org. Our flagship is of course the Satellite, which is a Drupal 7 based website system used by approximately 50% of ESN.
6. What was your most valuable experience connected to being in ITcom so far?
There's for sure some hard skills development, in ITcom you learn a lot if you're willing to get your hands dirty. More valuable for me would probably be a very slow and fluent socialisation :) I know it's somehow a mantra in ESN but learning how to interact with people is probably the best ESN gave me. The most important for me is however the experience from the time we founded the section. The feeling of self-confidence after you manage to create something like that is priceless. Than you have all the travelling and meeting new people and places, but that you can do on your own - not that you would, but you could.
7. What were the most challenging tasks that you had to deal with?
The most challenging in ITcom is definitely managing the people. Most of our members has almost no time or it's hard for them to get involved in the time when we need them. To figure out some system or rules which would work to motivate us is the million-dollar question.
8. Have you attended any international events related to ITcom? If so, which ones and what was the best about them?
During my ESN career I've attended a lot of different events. Aside other committees and projects I'd say all kinds we have within the network, starting from welcome party for students and ending with AGM. Each event has its unique atmosphere and purpose, there are some aspects in each which you'll like during certain periods of your ESN life and some others you'll enjoy later. For me most important in ESN is meeting friends however pathetic that might sound. Therefore, core ITcom meetings called Sprints are the best for me. Those are the meetings where I meet my friends in a relaxed environment, with vague or no agenda at all where we just focus on a project and work on it. Afterwards there is always some time for a beer or even BBQ if we gather in Brussels.
9. What is your message for people who can’t decide whether to join ITcom or not?
Well that's a tough one. I could talk about amazing people they will meet, new level of experience but we all know that's something one would realise later and can't be recruited by it. Maybe it's just very simple: the message is: "Why not?"