Meet the new Assistant to the Comité Directeur, Louise Pahisa

From Monday, November 25th, the Comité Directeur will work with the help of a new assistant, the first one of the new term, who will focus her work in the field of fundraising. She will also support the CD on the preparation of some of the projects they are carrying on. Her name is Louise Pahisa, from AEGEE-Paris, and she kindly answered these questions right before her last weekend in Paris.

Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters?

European believer, humanities lover who’s read too many 19th Century novels (a bit clumsy). Very original in my tastes: I love traveling.

When did you join AEGEE? What has been your favourite AEGEE experience so far?

Loiuse at NWM Paris

I joined AEGEE less than two years ago, in February 2012, although I had been intending to join for more than a year already. Stating my best experience in AEGEE is kind of hard, there has been plenty of them…

If I really have to choose one, I would say the Spring Network Meeting Paris (BVA) – Back On Tracks that was organized in March 2013. Actually, I was involved in its organization both as a member of AEGEE-Paris and as subcommie, and the result was very rewarding.

It had started a bit as a joke right after the board elections in AEGEE-Paris, since it’s always complicated to organize events in Paris, but we set our mind on it and it went pretty well, so AEGEE-Paris is definitely back on track! On top of this, we organized it close to Beauvais Airport in a nice typical French village, and since at that time I was doing a six-month internship in Malta, I was very happy to come back to the French countryside, for an event that was awesome, and to see people from my antenna and from the area that I was beginning to miss!

In the last couple of years, there has been a blooming of French members in the European Level. How can you explain this?

Well, my very first event in AEGEE was a Regional Training Course in Paris (I think I had officially been a member for two weeks or so) that pretty much all the French who are now active on the European level attended (Léa Charlet, Pauline Létard, Mathieu Savary, and of course Lucille Rieux were there…), and I think it’s kind of a collective emulation effect. Actually, then I was really – and I think we all were – inspired by Lucille, and I think after that seeing each other grow in AEGEE was very motivating as well. I also think the really good ties we have among the antennae of our area (Portuguese-speaking, Spanish-speaking, and French-speaking antennae) really helped since we learn a lot from each other and share best practices. This creates a sort of “area spirit” (for lack of a better word), which is very emulating so that the “area level” can be seen as a first step to the European level, and more and more French members are taking advantage of it!

What motivated you to candidate as CD assistant for some months?

Well, I am at this kind of crossroads where I finished my Master’s Degree and I have time to get involved as much as I want to in AEGEE, so when I saw the open call I immediately wanted to apply, as I am sure it will be a great experience thanks to which I will learn a lot. Moreover, I’ve grown increasingly interested in the logistical and organizational side of AEGEE (as I found out when I started organizing events as a subcommie). Last but not least, it was the opportunity to fully dedicate myself to the happening of great events and projects such as the Agora and the YVote Bus Tour, and I would like to think that in the end, I will have had a part in their success!

What is your experience related to the specific tasks of your position (Fundraising and helping with the YVote2014 project)?

I have studied European Affairs so I have learned quite a lot about European fundings and project management, and I have had to practice these skills during my Master’s in group projects. And although I wasn’t directly the one who was in charge of the fundraising in my antenna, I did follow what was happening, while doing fundraising for some University projects. As for YVote, firstly I know Léa (the project manager) very well, so I first heard of it quite some time ago, and became increasingly interested in it. Actually, I was a participant in the Kick Off Convention of the project in Valladolid. There, we also had some wonderful ideas of where it should happen in Paris, since AEGEE-Paris will organize a YVote conference on gender equality in February, and we have set our mind high, but I won’t say anything else… So in a way, getting fully involved in the project was just the “logical” continuation to a latent involvement!

Louise with Pauline Létard (AEGEE-Toulouse and recently elected as NetCom) and Álvaro Espinosa (AEGEE-Santander, LO towards UN). They were all part of Subcommies team of Pilar Lop (AEGEE-Zaragoza)

In the past many of the CD assistants have ended up applying for CD in the next term. Have you already thought about it?

I have considered it, but nothing else (yet?). I mean, I don’t think I would be ready now or in a few months to run for CD member, which doesn’t mean that in a year or two I won’t, but time will tell!

When are you planning to move to Brussels? Do you have started packing already?

I will move to Brussels next Sunday (November, 24th), and I don’t think I will start packing before Saturday. I have had the opportunity to live abroad on several occasions (Erasmus and internships), and if there is one thing I have learned from these experiences and traveling with AEGEE, it’s that no matter how early I start packing, I always end up forgetting something, and it’s not the end of the world! Well, and Brussels is not that far from home!

Brussels is a city with a boring reputation, and you will live there in the coldest and rainiest months. Moreover, you come from a city like Paris… Do you think you will find it hard to enjoy the city in the wintertime?

I was once told that the only city that is worse than Paris in wintertime in terms of bad weather is Brussels, which means that Paris is terrible as well so there won’t be such a big a change. And for some reason, although I was raised in Paris and have my whole life in this city, I only really enjoy it when I’m not living there, so leaving Paris is really not a problem. AND the more I go to Brussels, the more I like it, it might not be as “shiny” as cities like Paris, Barcelona, London, etc., but I really like the European feeling there is in Brussels, and people are much more open than in Paris, which is very nice as well! Above all, I think the most important is not the place in itself but what you do there and the people you meet, and I am sure that in that sense I won’t be disappointed.

Interviewed by Miguel Gallardo, Comité Directeur.