As the old song says, “Bilbao has a big treasure inside, that loves and cares with great passion”. I am not talking about places like the Guggenheim Museum, or the large number of cafés or restaurants in the Seven Streets area, where Diego López de Haro the Fifth founded the city in 1300 after being a small village fisherman. I am not even referring to one of the oldest football clubs of Spanish League, the Athletic Club of Bilbao. I am talking about its people, and more concretely the people of AEGEE Bilbao. It is one of the most active antennas in the country, which prompted The AEGEEan to interview the board for a glimpse behind the success.
This local antenna, founded in 2009 by “four innocent friends who wanted to know, to travel, and definitely, to enjoy good moments in Europe”, as it is explained in the web page of the antenna, celebrated, together with AEGEE Burgos, its Xth anniversary. Nowadays it has become one of the most active antennas of the country, with around one hundred members, four of them are in the La Tripulación 11.0, name of the Network Commission members that works and operates in the Iberian area, known as La Nave.
Hi there! (or Aupa!, as you say in the Basque Country). Thank you for accepting to be interviewed.
I think we could start talking about your beginnings. How did you hear about AEGEE and why did you decide to join?
Some of us heard about AEGEE-Bilbao by friends who were already Aegeeans. Others, in one of the campaigns AEGEE-Bilbao organises to recruit new members. Some joined because they heard incredible stories from their friends and others because they felt the spirit.
What are the most memorable moments you had in AEGEE?
The most incredible moments happen during the events. But we would highlight our local activities too: our Christmas dinner saw more than half of AEGEE-Bilbao members turn up!
After ten years of existence, AEGEE Bilbao remains one of the most dynamic and active antennas of La Nave. What is the key to that success?
Motivating members through weekly local activities, two-amazing-events-a-year method and board organisation and effectiveness.
AEGEE Bilbao celebrated its Xth anniversary with AEGEE Burgos and both antennas held an event together . Could you tell us about it?
It was held at the end of April and both antennas were excited to celebrate the special occasion! The topic was about medieval conquers!
Everybody has some personal goals and AEGEE promotes some ideas and initiatives to empower people to self-development. In which fields you needed some extra learning and development?
We believe AEGEE should be a tool to empower members in the growth of their own projects if they match with the association goals. In this sense, AEGEE should not be seen as an activity and a travelling agency, but rather as a world of possibilities.
And what do you want to contribute to the future, not only in AEGEE but also in other fields after the experience of being here?
AEGEE allows members to grow personally but also professionally. In this sense, last October we organised a workshop about Excel and another about writing a good CV. These are important non-formal skills that could contribute to the post-AEGEE path.
A final and a hard question to answer, how do you see AEGEE Bilbao in the next ten years?
We are creating a solid base to grow sustainably. We don’t want to be the luck of a day, and we see AEGEE Bilbao being referenced for AEGEE and for the town in ten years.