Mareike Wegener for the Network Commission: “AEGEE is a Part of My Life”

The Agora is coming soon and this means that it is time for elections! Today we are meeting Mareike Wegener (AEGEE-Aachen) who is running for the position of Network Commissioner. Mareike is a member of our network since 2013 and has been a SubCommissioner as well. Now she considers herself more than ready for the NetCom.

The AEGEEan: Tell us something about you.

Mareike: Hey my name is Mareike and I am studying Material Engineering, but I will finish my master soon. I am actually a member of AEGEE-Aachen, but I moved to Cologne six months ago to write my master thesis at the German Institute of Aerospace – hope to become an astronaut afterwards. Just joking [she smiles, ed.]. Now I am also a member of AEGEE-Köln and really happy that I get involved in this great local as well. This summer I was one of the Main Organisers of Summer University (SU) Aachen and helper at SU Köln and Osnabrück. It was one of the best summers of my live, because it combined everything I like: get to know people, other cultures, meet new friends and spend an awesome time with my best friends and the greatest teams I ever worked with!

Describe yourself in three words.

If you ask my friends they would first say I am a pretty organised person and sometimes a workaholic, but I am also cuddly, like all AEGEE-Aachen polar bears [she smiles, ed.] and always in a good temper.

mareike1When did you join AEGEE and why?

I joined AEGEE in summer 2013 after my Erasmus time in Stockholm. When I came back to Aachen I started to miss my Erasmus friends and the international atmosphere and for this reason I became an Erasmus tutor for six months and was involved in a lot of different events for international students, organised by AEGEE-Aachen. I got infected with the AEGEE spirit and joined the board as a treasurer in November 2013. Since then AEGEE is a part of my life and I was involved in organising a lot of events like SU, Local Training Course (LTC), Network Meeting (NWM) or Election Observation training.

What do you know about the Network Commission?

I am SubCom in the team of NetCom Andrea Schmelz for almost one year now, and I learned a lot from her during this time. I got a huge overview about the NetCom related tasks and already worked with five locals in my position as a SubCom. The Network Commission is a link between the European and local level, and in between locals. A NetCom has to help and to support the locals he is responsible for. The Network Commission has to trigger and push networking which is personally my biggest source of learning and motivation in AEGEE. Furthermore the Network Commission is working as a team internally to improve the structure of the network and to promote AEGEE.

Why is it so important to have a Network Commissioner to be the bridge between the local mareike2and European level?

When you join AEGEE as a new member, of course first of all you learn a lot from the more experienced members of your local, but when somebody joines the board or wants to be more active, it is good to know that there is a NetCom helping to connect the person with the network and the European level. Many members do not know much about our Comité Directeur (CD) or the European level. For this reason I think it’s is the responsibility of the Network Commission to close this gab, to motivate more and more members to get active on the European level. Moreover a NetCom has to help and to support the locals in the network with any problems. The NetCom needs to have a good overview about all the things that are going on on the locale side, but also on the European side and share this information’s between them, because otherwise they will get lost and no one can profit from them. Knowledge transfer and networking are in my opinion two of the most important goods we have in our association. For this reason, I am really looking forward (of course just in case I get elected) to visit my future locals, to get to know them well, build up a relationship that’s based on trust and good cooperation and understand all their problems and needs. On the other side, I am lucky that I know at the moment most of our Comité Directeur members pretty good and have a good contact with them and I always know that I can still count on my precursor Andrea to build a bridge between the local and European level.

What makes you the right candidate for this position?

I gained a lot of experience being SubCom over the past year and have been a member of AEGEE for almost two years now. I figured that as a NetCom you have to be organised, but flexible, multi-tasking, being able to work under pressure and attentive towards people.

I think I have these characteristics, but mostly I gain a constant stream of energy, inspiration and motivation from the great people I meet and work with.

If you are elected, what would your programme as a NetCommie be?

As I already mentioned in my candidature, in terms of my work with the locals, I would like to continue the work and with the system of my precursor, who has elaborated a very well organised communication and administration system.

I would like to place a focus on local groups that are close to each other, and those that can actually support one another. I very like the idea of twin antenna and I have experienced a very positive feedback through monthly exchange meetings between antennae and Skype meetings where members got to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

Furthermore I see the necessity to build up a strong pool of well informed and motivated members by establishing LTC and Regional Training Course (RTC). I do not like the idea of a too rigid structure of LTCs and RTCs at the moment, but I fully support the idea behind them. We have so much knowledge about PR or FR but also about board related tasks and motivating and recruiting members in our network, that we need to use and share it. Every local is different in AEGEE, but in general they all focus on similar problems. I would like to work on this.

Do you want to add something more?

I would like to thank you for the interview and I would like to thank all the people which encouraged, supported, and even forced me to candidate as a NetCom.


Written by Larisa Smajlagic, AEGEE-Verona


You can read her full candidature here.