A lot of term limits for the NetCom will end on the first of December this year. So, this seemed to be the perfect occasion to reach out to some of the leaving NetCommies and ask them about their experiences of the past year. Here to answer some questions are Lisa Gregis of AEGEE-Bergamo and Malwina Zielińska of AEGEE-Toruń, two exiting NetCommies after a year of hard work and dedication.
The AEGEEan: Could you tell us something about yourself?
Lisa: I am Lisa Gregis from AEGEE-Bergamo, I have been a member of AEGEE for 5 years and I am planning to slowly retire after my term as a NetCommie.
Malwina: My name is Malwina Zielińska and I am (till the 1st of December) a Network Commissioner, responsible for locals in Poland and Ukraine. I joined AEGEE three years ago, when I accidentally stepped on a brochure. It was the best decision of my life! I changed not only my behaviour in the group, but also discovered how much knowledge experience gives.
What made you want to become a Member of the Network Commission?
Malwina: I was the PR Responsible in my antenna, President of AEGEE-Toruń and now part of the NetCom. I am constantly expanding. But in my opinion, the most important advantage of AEGEE is inspiring to meet new people that give you a chance. Once someone believed in me. Now I want to motivate others. And it was the main reason why I wanted to be a Network Commissioner. I wanted to help my locals and make them stronger. I hope I did it.
Lisa: Nothing more and nothing less than a visceral love for the locals.
Which of the plans that you had when you ran for NetCommie did you manage to execute?
Lisa: Creating a safe space for locals to express themselves, saving some of them, connecting with all the people who are working in their locals in a healthy way, inspiring new generations of AEGEEans and fighting for what I believe was right.
Malwina: I wanted everyone to feel needed. I joined the Network Commission for this purpose: to help and motivate members.
What did you learn from your time as a NetCommie?
Malwina: I learned most of all to be patient. When someone asks you all the time about the same issue, it is easy to get irritated. But I knew that I could not do that. Many also carried on the work of the NWM, the organisation of the event for 120 people is not easy. I am very glad that everything worked out. The tasks while being Netcom were many. I do not know how many [she smiles, ed.]. I tried to do my best.
Lisa: I learned the magic art of compromising and negotiating. I also learned that I am a good and easy person and that without a team you cannot go anywhere.
What was your best experience as a NetCommie?
Lisa: Agora Bergamo and Agora Chisinau were the moments I liked the most. Meeting all my locals in one place, talking with them, actively participating in our democratic process, not because I wanted my own agenda to be put forward, but because we are there to give a voice to the Network. It was important for us to be there.
Malwina: Certainly the best experience that I will remember for a long time, was my trip to Vinnytsia, where my job was to attract new members for AEGEE and to share the AEGEE spirit. It was not only a difficult task, also the trip was not easy, as Vinnytsia is more than a thousand kilometers from my home. But I met fantastic people with whom I have established a very good contact and a fountain in Vinnytsia is a very nice memory [she winks, ed.].
How did your life change while you were a part of the Network Commission?
Malwina: Our lives are changing, regardless of the function: they simply mature. So our perception is also changing. I cannot answer what exactly has changed.
Lisa: An infinite number of Skype Meetings, notifications, emails and phone calls. Around three to four hours per day of work and an even bigger number of people who trusted me and supported me. I felt loved and useful. My life changed because my locals were my biggest concern and commitment each day of the past year.
What are your future plans?
Lisa: I am thinking about retiring from AEGEE, even if I would like to set up an IG, but we will see. Right now, I have started a new job which is consuming too much time and I do not know if I will have time for AEGEE. Thanks to everyone for this fantastic year!
Malwina: I need to focus on my health, so I will not be that much of an active member, but I hope we will certainly meet again somewhere in Europe during an AEGEE event [she smiles, ed.].
Want to continue reading? Click here for part 2 and here for part 3.
Written by Willem Laurentzen, AEGEE-Nijmegen