Can you please introduce yourself (who are you, where are you from, what do you study)?
My name is Eva and I am from a small lovely village near the town Spišská Nová Ves in the eastern Slovakia. I study tourism and currently I am in my final year pretending to work on my thesis. I am a cheerful and curious person. Travelling is my passion. Three years ago, I was on my first Erasmus in Germany and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you were on Erasmus, you would know how it feels to discover world, other people, cultures and yourself as well. Since then my life has completely changed. After that, I went to the USA through Work & Travel Programme because I wanted to see and understand how it works on the other side of our planet. My next experience abroad was Erasmus in Spain, one year ago, where I realized that besides travelling, I like spending time with my family and friends, I love reading books, especially detective stories because I am interested in the way how people think and I like to connect clues into one logical whole and come up with a conclusion. I also have to mention my passion dancing and music. It is kind of meditation for me, I forget about everything and I lose the perception of time and it makes me full of energy (my friends could tell you funny stories).
How long have you been a member of ESN and what were your roles before becoming a member of national board?
My ESN story began in September 2014 when I joined our local section ESN UMB BB. It was the result of my Post-Erasmus depression that I suppose most of you are familiar with. Since there was a vacant position of SocialErasmus coordinator, I decided to apply for it. It was the first experience with ESN and honestly I did not have any idea how everything in ESN works. SocialErasmus project is still one of my favourite ESN projects, I like the main idea and I always say that ESN is a voluntary, but SE is voluntary power of two. Being SE coordinator taught me how to work with people, how to manage and motivate them. I was always in touch with Erasmus students and I literally spent my whole third year with them. After I decided to gain other experience, so I applied for the position of vice-president of our local section. It made me more concerned with ESN, the organisation itself and its structure. This experience led to my current position and that is the president of our section. This position has been the most challenging one because it takes a lot responsibility, but on the other hand I am enjoying it. I try to focus on our members, their self-development and skills. I am very proud of them because we managed to change the structure of our section and we applied a new recruiting strategy thanks to our friend from AIESEC. Furthermore, I am trying to make them aware of ESN on its different levels, the opportunities it offers. Cooperation with different organisations within our town is other thing that I am working on.
What is your position in NB and how long have you been doing it?
I am a current the Vice-President of ESN Slovakia. I have been doing it since the beginning of January.
Can you describe a typical day of Vice-president of ESN SK?
Hahahaha. There is not such a thing as a typical day, at least not in my case. In general I check emails, messages every day even though it is a challenge for me because I do not like to spend my time online. I try to be in touch with the sections and help them everything they need. Well, I also try to help our president with everything he needs.
What was your most valuable experience connected to being in NB so far?
There have been more of them so far. I would love to mention the recruitment in one of our sections. Similarly as I experienced in our local section, the change of the way we worked was possible. I wanted to help them change something in order to find creative and right people for their section. So I went to visit some members of the section, especially their HR coordinator. We talked for some time about the structure and together we tried to create a recruiting strategy for them. I have given them some ideas how to do communication campaign and I explained the importance of interviews. I did not give them the finished plan, I wanted them to think and understand what it is all about and they had to come up with their own ideas. Now they are making interviews and I am very curious about the results. I am in touch with the HR coordinator on daily basis and it makes me happy to see how she reacts, how she perceives the whole recruiting and what kind of challenges she faces.
Also I would like to enhance our whole NB team. Each of us is different, but I think we have built a good working team, we try to help to each other and I am glad we keed good spirit. We are enjoying each other´s company and making fun of each other.
What were the most challenging tasks that you had to deal with?
As I wrote above, being online is kind of a challenge for me. Since I am the president of one section and also national vice-president, it is sometimes difficult to put everything together and to think about everything I need to do, finish, check. I sometimes feel like a schizophrenic. However, I see the effort of our local members, they support me a lot and I really appreciate that. I will start section visits soon, so I think some troubles the sections face and their solutions could be challenging.
What is your biggest goal that you want to accomplish before the end of your mandate?
There are only 3 months left until the end of our mandate and I realize that it is impossible to make a great change. I want to visit sections and help them to solve the problems they face, most of them connected with lack of members. Soon I am going to NETx to Brussels (meeting of national VPs or people interested in organising events or network care). I want to make the position of VP clearer because unfortunately it is not. It is not clear what kind of responsibilities, duties, tasks national VP is responsible for. I would like to create kind of a guide or strategy for the next VPs, so it could be easier to understand what to do.
Have you attended any international events? If so, which ones and what was the best about them?
I have visited a few of them, especially in the last couple of months. It was ESN CZ & SK NP Třemešek, ESN CZ NP Doksy and CEP Pécs. The best things about international events are obvious such as meeting new people, other ESNrs, visiting new places, getting new ideas. I see them as an opportunity to strengthen the network, not only the international one, but also national delegations. It is the opportunity to see and learn how other people work and deal with different issues. Thanks to one nice guy from Lithuania we have established section cooperation with their section and I am very happy about that because we have never had one. In addition, I like when some members of IB join international events. It is great to see them in person because most of us know them just from the mails.
What is your message for people who can’t decide whether to join NB of ESN or not?
First of all, being a part of NB is nothing to be scared of. In the contrary it is a challenge, it is an opportunity to gain other kind of experience. If you are more interested in how ESN works, what is beyond local section, join NB! However, think about your priorities. Do not let anyone force you to do something you are not convinced of. Take your time if you make this decision. As you may assume after reading my previous words, I would not recommend a president of a section to be a national vice-president at the same time. It is quite demanding if you also need to go to school or have a job and you want to have some social life. However, challenge yourself, only that way you can realize of how many great things you are capable of. Do not worry about failures, there is always a group of people (NB) that will stand by you.
To sum up, I am very happy to be the part of our NB team, I like to work with them, we keep great atmosphere and I feel, I can rely on each of them and that is something just amazing.