What does a Financial Director do in AEGEE? Checking reimbursements, making money transfers, bookkeeping…But actually Elena Antova does a lot more and shows her ongoing interest in AEGEE events and other fields. She shared with us her memories of her term in the CD house, her hobbies, plans and more. Enjoy reading to get to know more about our lovely Financial Director (FD), Elena Antova.
Dear Elena, it’s been already 8 months that you are moved in with 6 other CD members in headoffice, how things are going so far?
Elena: For me every day in the CD house is like an adventure.
We are really different people, who have their own perception how the things should be handled. It is really nice and interesting to live, to work and to spend your free time with them. I think that for these eight months I am here in Brussels, I changed. I hope it is for better!
So did you find time for some different activities, except for your work, while you are in Brussels? Maybe starting to learn another language or something like that?
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to start learning a new language. It would take too much time, which I don’t have. After the EBM, I joined the course of Dr. James Skelly “Global Conversation”, which aims are to raise our awareness about the importance of the climate changes. His lectures are really interesting and inspiring. In the other time, I like to walk around the city, to visit one or another museum, or just to enjoy the atmosphere itself.
Can you tell us more about Dr.James Skelly’s course?
It is an online course, where a new lecture for different thematic is published once per week. Also we have group tasks, but last days I don’t really have time for it. Still I am trying to be up to date with the lectures.
So it is good you have time for this at all. Tell us more about your work as Financial Director. It seems like a lot of bookkeeping, reimbursements, doing transfers, but what are the bigger challenges or different sides of your work, according to you?
I cannot say which is the biggest challenge for me in my work. Everyday there
is something new and different. Actually you described it quite well. The bookkeeping, reimbursements and transfers are taking quite some part of my time, but also I am updating the budgets and financial reports, attending NWMs as a part of the CD, which I really like because sometimes I am missing the contact with the network, assisting the Audit Commission. Something, which I can call a challenge but not only for me, but for all of us from the CD, is fitting in the deadlines, but I think we are all managing with this quite well.
You also started a nice initiative with creating a Reimbursement Manual, how do you feel about that?
I hope it is useful and understandable for our members. This is the most important for me. After some questions and requests I started working also on a manual how the locals can calculate their membership fees to AEGEE-Europe and what is the procedure to make payments. Before the last Agora we received some bank transfers without any description of the local, which make it a bit harder to find who wants to pay us. But at the end everything was fine. I hope after the new manual this cases will become more rear. I am planning to finish it in a week.
That’s good to hear! But as in all works some things may go bad as well as they can be good mostly. So curious about good and bad moments of your term as a CD member, can you share with us the happiest memory of this year and a time, when things got pretty wrong and became challenging for you?
One of the saddest moments for me was when I had to leave the Juridical Commission. I was member appointed by the CD but after 5 months in the team, I realised that the position requires too much of my time and I am not able to combine it with my other tasks. It was a really hard decision, because I really like this matter and I still miss the Commission very much!
One of the happiest moments was when we learned that we are receiving 100% of the amount for our administrative grant application from the European Commission. It was a really great feeling that all our efforts worth it. The same evening we had a celebration in the garden.
Well. I am sure life in the CD house is not only work. Tells us what is your connection with “Game of Thrones”?
Well, I am a bit addicted to this series Actually everything happened in the CD house. I was watching the first season during my knowledge transfer period last August and I was really sad that I have to wait almost 8 months without any information what will happen next. I have found and read the 5 released books, which includes the time of 5 seasons, but there are still two more books, that need to be compiled in order the story to end. I was really not passionate to see the second season, because I wanted to compare it with the book. I have to say that I really like it so far. Most of the things are exactly as I imagined them, but I am missing the surprise moment as I already know what will happen next. I recommend this series to everyone who likes fantasy or adventures. It is really good!
Good advice, sometimes it is better to see the series then read the books maybe, so it won’t be like the example of Harry Potter for most people. Are CD people also interested in, so you watch all together?
I was also disappointed with the Harry Potter movies, so I know what you mean. The first season we were more people watching it, now it is only me and Luis. Most of the CD people are now out of the house because of holidays or NWMs but I am sure that soon we will be more fans!
Are you planning to go for holidays as well?
Yes, I will be home for a few days next week. This year there is one week difference between Orthodox and Catholic Easter and this is the reason some people have left already. I can’t wait to see my family and friends and of course my Antenna – AEGEE-Sofia. I am sure I will have a really nice time at home.
At last, can you give some advices for people, interested in the Audit Commission and also maybe for the Financial Director candidates. Should they be scared or to go for it?
My advice is to go for it! If they feel like doing it, than this is the right decision! I really like the quote that one day we are sorry not for the things we did, but for the ones we didn’t have courage to do.
Elena, we were all surprised to see your candidature about secretary general. Why such a change? And actually how big change it is?
Actually, I can’t call it such a change as I would like to continue working on the organizational part of AEGEE. I am
working for one term as Financial Director of AEGEE-Europe and I really love my position, it is strict and clearly stated, full with numbers. As the end of my term started to approach, I started to think, what I want to do with my life from now on, and what my next step in AEGEE is. I didn’t want my AEGEE life to finish together with the end of the CD term. I was not ready for this. AEGEE means too much to me. At the beginning it sounded like a crazy idea for me, applying for Secretary General, but after spending hours on this and thinking about it, I realized that’s exactly what I want to do in AEGEE.
Was the CD experience what inspired you to “dream” about the job of the secretary?
Yes, I can say that the time I am spending as a part of the Comte Directeur helped me a lot to change my perception for the position of Secretary General. It is really a great position, frequently underestimated, providing great possibilities to work at the same time in many and different fields in AEGEE. For over eight months the respect to the position is grown in something bigger until it became a dream for me. I felt inspired from both the CD experience and from the Network, realizing that this position collects the tasks, I want to devote my time for. I finally found what I was looking for so long!
One more year living from Agora to EBM. What you are going to sacrifice because of this?
I don’t see the situation as a sacrifice of something; if I did I would not apply for the CD for one more term. True, I will be away from my closest ones and I have to postpone my studies for one more year, but at this moment AEGEE is more important for me. I realize that after one year in the CD, I am more motivated than ever and I am not ready to leave it without having my ideas achieved.
Why to vote for Elena for Secretary General? What is your asset in front of the others?
Unfortunately, I cannot give an answer to this question. I know both of the other candidates in person. I have seen what they are doing for AEGEE and really respect them and their work. I see that we are all really motivated, prepared and in love with AEGEE and each one of us has the potential to do a great job during the next term.
Well, we wish you good luck!
Written by Deniz Özhan and Liliya Buyukliyska, AEGEE-Sofia