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

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, Dominic Dimian presents himself.

Dominic Dimian, AEGEE-Passau

Starting  my “Career Story” I have to admit that for now I have not really started my career. However, I am very confident that AEGEE will play an important role in this regard and that it opened some doors as well as helped me develop myself. This was never my intention in the beginning. I joined AEGEE as a young and an even more naïve boy who knew nothing. I was looking for some entertainment and the opportunity to discover other cultures, without any ambitions.

When I was convinced to go to  my first European AEGEE event this changed fairly quickly. I realized the scale of this association and the opportunities to do more. I came back to Passau and ran for a board position for which I got elected. I was responsible for international students, learned how to coordinate a team, handle a budget and organise events. Furthermore, I improved my public speaking skills and started networking within several institutions.

This did not go unnoticed and the international office of my university offered me a job without me actually applying. So, after my first semester studying, I got a job and therefore the chance to work on projects not only on a voluntary, but also on a paid and professional basis.

That was the kick-off for more opportunities, as it opened the door to the student’s parliament of my university as well as another big project in cooperation with several German universities and the German government. And although most of this was either unpaid or low paid, with every meeting, project and “business” trip I was able to enlarge my network, get to know people from different work fields and learn skills  and methods that my studies could have never taught me.

Summing up I want to stress that the real value of AEGEE for me was the possibility to not only learn a lot about organisation, team and event management and more but also to put this into practice. To try things, to succeed and to fail and to learn from those failures. To realize my own weaknesses and to exchange best practices with the people around me. I did not even mention the personal experiences and discoveries, the memories and emotional value that enriched my life for five years and which I will remember forever.

In the end it does not matter if you join AEGEE specifically, or you go to another NGO. It is just important that you do something, try something and learn by doing something! Don’t be stuck in theory, studies or some seminars but join projects, working groups, NGOs, etc. and use your full potential for something good and I promise you will get back more than you put into it!