Olimpia Parje: Serve and Protect in MedCom

For most of you Olimpia Parje’s (AEGEE-Bucureşti) name is already known, and her list of previous positions in AEGEE both on local and European level is quite outstanding. This time Olimpia is offering her help in Mediation Commission (MedCom) where she has put her candidature forward. Besides of reading the usual questions and answers in her candidature application, we asked her some more interesting questions.

The AEGEEan: Please, update The AEGEEan readers about your current life. What have you been doing since Agora Enschede both in AEGEE and your private life?

Olimpia: I finished my master degree in July, after which I went on an extensive two weeks trip through the Balkans where I saw a lot of nice places and met a lot of great friends (from Istanbul to Zadar and Ljubljana, through Sofia, Belgrade, Bar, Zagreb and last stop in Budapest) – my own kind of “ceremonial” trip of finishing a complete cycle of education. Shortly after I was helping out with the Travelling Summer University (TSU) of AEGEE-Ploieşti and AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca.

Just about a week later I got my first “real” job. I’m currently working at the Representation of the European Commission in Romania, doing some communication work and website administration.

This summer you stepped out of  Action Agenda Coordination Committee (ACT) and Advocacy Team. Why is that?

Actually I didn’t step out of ACT or Advocacy Team. My term in ACT was over in August and I simply decided I wouldn’t go for another term as I wanted to do other things.

Regarding the Advocacy Team, nobody really stepped out, the activity simply got a bit slower after Agora Enschede and soon after the European Commission announced modifications to the proposals that we were mostly pleased with. So you could say the team reached its goal and that’s why it’s not so active anymore.

Why did you decide to apply for MedCom and why now? Did somebody in the current / previous teams motivate you (and who)?

After Agora Enschede I was looking around and trying to find my place again in AEGEE, see what else I can do and how I can be involved – as I don’t feel like I’ve had enough of it yet! – and the idea of MedCom came up in a casual conversation, though I can’t remember with whom exactly I was talking. There were quite some people in the end who were supporting me and trying to motivate me more to apply, especially when I was still undecided. The most enthusiastic advocate was definitely Ermanno Napolitano.

Could you give us one situation where you have acted as a mediator and that has helped to solve the issue?

There have been a few “opportunities” for this while I was working as a Network Commissioner. One particular situation comes to mind when there was a problem in one of my locals, where the board members were not getting along and it was damaging the local, so I stepped in and after talking to all sides, brought them together and devised a solution in the best interest of the local. The local has been doing much better after that, but I’d rather not mention which one it was.

Have you worked with other MedCom candidates before? What is your opinion about candidates?

It’s funny, it feels like I’ve worked with Ermanno Napolitano and Maurits Korse forever, even though we were never directly in one team working together. I guess it’s just a familiarity that the European level gives you. I’ve had a chance to work with them for bits and pieces, with Ermanno while he was in the Juridical Commission and Members Commission. Maurits was a great help with the locals’ map for the Key to Europe when I was its Editor-in-Chief.

But I have a feeling we’ll have great chemistry as a team and would work really well together. As they are both quite awesome people and with their experience in AEGEE, their personality and what I see as their biggest asset – their great involvement and caring for AEGEE – they will surely become great members of the Mediation Commission. They already have my full trust.

What else would you like to add?

I’m looking forward to our two very exciting Agorae in Budapest! And even though I hope there won’t be many instances when our help as a Mediation Commission is needed, I’ll be there to serve (and protect). Sorry, leftover NetCom spirit… (smiles)

Written by Anita Kalmane, AEGEE-Ogre