Réka Salamon for the Comité Directeur: “Driven, Meticulous and Perfectionist.” Three Words, One Candidate.

Spring Agora is approaching and new fresh candidates are coming! Today we are meeting Réka Salamon (AEGEE-Aachen) an experienced member of our network, who is currently running for the Comité Directeur (CD) and who considers herself more than ready for this role. Her motto? Life is good!

The AEGEEan: Who is Réka Salamon?

Réka: Réka is one of the few with the unconditional willingness to put AEGEE before anything or anyone else in her life, because she believes everything she does here serves a higher purpose. She is driven, meticulous, and a perfectionist.

Can you tell us how did you join AEGEE and most of all why?

I joined AEGEE in 2011 after attending an information night organised by AEGEE-Debrecen on the upcoming Summer Universities in AEGEE. I became however, more interested in AEGEE’s role in the European political field and as an organisation for young activists… and I still haven’t been to a Summer University [she smiles, ed].

You are very engaged on the European level. Tell us about your experience.

My experience on the European level started with the Public Relations Committee to which I owe meeting wonderful people who are still close friends of mine, and discovering my true interest in the field of graphic design and PR. Over the past three years of being active, I also got involved in the Corporate Relations Committee, the Events Quality Assurance Committee, but probably the Europe on Track project is what I am most proud of. Since the second cycle of the project has also finished, now I am part of the Anniversary Team that is setting up the celebrations for AEGEE’s 30th birthday!

What made you decide to apply for the Comité Directeur?

The decision that I am going to run for CD was made when I first visited the CD house in Brussels – back in February 2012 – when the head office was still the broken old house where 15 CDs have lived and worked for AEGEE. I was fascinated by the idea of living in a place where so much knowledge and inspiration had been culminated for decades and where the walls literally have so many stories to tell. The more involved I got in AEGEE after that, the more certain I was that the CD house is the place for me.

What is the role of a member of the CD?

The main role is to keep an overview of a hopefully ascending line of improvement on a certain field the CD member is responsible for. Being one of the ‘directors’ means a constant load of intertwined tasks, from developing strategies to being in constant contact with the network and answer its needs. No matter how different things could seem in the Brussels bubble, the CD members always have to act representing the network’s opinion and keeping its best interests in mind.

Why do you think you are the right person for this position?

I have walked probably one of the most unconventional roads to get here. From living in the CD house on three separate occasions covering my own livings costs, through working together with three different CDs on specific projects to gaining a complex understanding of AEGEE’s past and present by being actively involved on the European level, I believe I have gained enough experience to call myself the balanced mixture of a idealist-pragmatic AEGEEan.

Do you really see yourself in this role?

No, I’m just planning a big April’s Fools joke on stage in Asturias where I will withdraw my candidature. Whoops, I shouldn’t have told you that.
On a more serious note: I wouldn’t run for the European board again after last year’s elections, if I wasn’t sure I wanted this.

Here is a question from our readers: You specify in your programme that you are “determined to work on the re-conceptualization of our Strategic Plan and Action Agenda”. How are you planning to do this?

I really like the idea of having a big thematic conference every year to define the most important objectives and activities for the Action Agenda – and Strategic Plan. However I found the system fundamentally flawed when there are only around 200 people involved in the process of this idea-generation. The people active at the European Planning Meeting (EPM) are not necessarily going to be working on turning their own ideas into actions and we are left with a lot of open calls and surveys. Implementing the Strategic Plan is proving to be harder and harder each year and we have to find the way towards a more bottom-up approach and the initiative coming more from the locals and not from the EPM.

Another question from the network: Could you point out the most relevant aspects of your candidature?

For lazy readers? Joking, a digest is always useful, just to keep the right amount of information in mind. I am running again for the European Board of AEGEE, because I believe I have the skills and the knowledge that AEGEE can benefit from in Brussels. I became the right balance of realistic-idealist over the years… I always aim high but with my feet on the ground. Following these two above: I have ideas for structural improvements in AEGEE – and I will make sure they are feasible enough to become reality.

Tell us something more about you, for example your life beyond AEGEE.

When I am not AEGEE email-bombing, I am working full-time as a kindergarten teacher at an English-German bilingual Kita (kindergarten) in Aachen. So most of my time I am spending being surrounded by 3-5 year-olds, and the rest is for enjoying the company of the AEGEE-Aachen bears. Life is good! [she smiles, ed.]

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

I have plans for travelling/relocating to other countries for the next 2-3 years maybe. But if I decide to settle down, I can imagine myself living in Germany. I really like this country and the mentality of German people. I’m also getting more and more used to this lovely language.

Would you like to tell our readers something more?

Can’t wait to meet you at AgorAsturias!

Written by Larisa Smajlagic, AEGEE-Verona