“Include and Participate is the best lesson that I got from AEGEE”~ Antonio Castiello

Antonio Castiello is an Italian student who is a member of AEGEE-Salerno and like other candidates, he presents as a new member of the Summer University Coordination Team for the next Autumn Agora in Salerno (Italy). With three years of experience as a member of this young European students association he decided to work at the European level. And like other candidates, from The AEGEEAN decided to get to know him better through an interview.

You are in AEGEE for the last three years and you have extensive experience, as you have participated in and organized a lot of local and international events. What are the main lessons you have learnt of all those experiences and in which sense they have helped you to get to where you are now?

“Include and Participate”, this is the best lesson that I got from AEGEE. If you stay in a corner, acting like you don’t care about anything, nothing will never change in your life. You have to participate, join this big challenge called life in all its aspects. At the same time, participation needs inclusion. Each person that you meet in your life is a possibility to improve yourself. Don’t miss this opportunity. 

In your program, you have a quite structured approach to different sets of problems. But you also talked about the fact that “SU is an event that should be organized at least once by each local”. According to you, what should the SU Coordination team do in order to help and support all the locals to organize these events? What are you planning to do to reach this objective?

Maybe I didn’t write it in a proper way. I mean that the “Waiting for SUmmer” should be organized at least once by each local before/during the application period for participants. This mean having a strong “face to face” promotion among all the network. In that case SUCT should help the locals giving them some small tips for communication and promotion, not just the usual map or flyers but also other catchy materials. For the online promotions I would suggest common template for the events on social networks, short video or info that can be posted on each event. On the other side, for the offline promotion SUCT should give some guidelines/suggestions for the info desks of each “Waiting for SUmmer”. Saying just “cheap, fun, many young people from different countries…” maybe it has been catchy years ago when there were not so many opportunities to travel in that way. Furthermore, these words don’t describe the meaning of the SU. The best promotion is giving an example. If we show our experiences, people will probably  feel more empathy and so they will get more interested.

Apart from your experience, what do you think are your most important qualities that are necessary for the SU Coordinator position?

Being in an international project where so many people are involved, for sure needs a good stress management. In addition, working with people that you probably don’t even know, with different backgrounds and ideas, needs a great team working. Last but not the least, for sure each member of the SUCT has to manage different challenges and problems and that’s why I think being able to multitask should be fundamental.

You are studying Industrial Engineering and Cinema Engineering. In which ways, do you think your profession will help you to contribute more to the SU Project?

My Bachelor in Industrial Engineering gave me the possibility to learn many useful things about technical stuff; accounting, time management, basic IT knowledge. Even if they are related to an industrial perspective they can always be useful for any problem that I could face with the SU project. Furthermore, Cinema Engineering is more related to my creative side; having skills in future storytelling, graphic, video making, and cognitive psychology also can help to renovate the promotion and communication of the project.

To conclude this interview, what are your next objectives in case you would not be chosen as an SU Coordinator?

I will probably give more time to my personal projects, I’m planning to publish my books and produce my own music. At the same time I really don’t want to quit AEGEE or even to give less and less space to this association. Being more active in Turing (where I live actually) and being a strong supporter of the SU project can be possible options.