Learning by doing: how AEGEE brings you forward in your career (Part VIII)

Never underestimate what you do in AEGEE: what you learn here can help you discover new strengths in your personality, hone your skills and boost your career! Let us inspire you. In cooperation with the Youth Development Working Group, the AEGEEan launches a series of career stories which all started thanks to the invaluable experience gained by being active in AEGEE. This week, Fabian Brügemann presents himself.

Looking back at my time in AEGEE, the first thing that comes to my mind are all the amazing people I got to know and all the fun I had, attending all those conferences, Agoras and social meetings. And when I look at where I am right now, all those links to things I am doing right now become more visible for me.

Next to my job at the University of Cologne, I am running my own training company, Improve Yourself Training. I am giving soft skills trainings and team buildings to companies. And it all started with a workshop at Agora Kyiv in 2009, because “I just wanted to know how it is to give a workshop”. After being an AEGEE-Academy member for some years and about 100 workshops in AEGEE later, I gave my first training for a company. And since my first workshop was about improvisation theatre and somehow needed a name, I called it “improv(e) yourself”, so my company name always reminds me of my first training steps in AEGEE.

Being president of the Mediation Commission, I learned what it means to solve conflicts and really understand all parties involved. Those are skills that are very helpful for my job at University, which is about change management. And having given some team buildings for the CD really helped me with the team buildings I gave for companies.

My first job, however, was at an IT-consulting company – and it became clear to me very quickly that all the stuff I learned at University was nothing compared to the skills I learned while working in international teams in AEGEE. Cultural differences exist, and while being on my first project, working in 11 different European countries, it was quite fun to realize how valuable all the teamwork in international teams in AEGEE was.

However, there is one thing I learned in AEGEE which I like the most – and that is the power of fun, idealism and hard work combined. Before I joined AEGEE, those were different worlds for me, but in AEGEE it all got connected and showed me that a combination of all three can be very successful.