She is an active trainer with AEGEE academy, delivering amazing professional sessions. She is also a project coordinator for MINT, a name that most of you know, we’re happy to present to you the Member of the Month, December 2019, Desireé van Langen!
Congratulations on being awarded Member of the Month! We’re all eager to hear your AEGEE story.
I joined AEGEE-Amsterdam in September 2013, kind of accidentally and here I am haha. I have been active both at the local level (secretary, advisory board, etc.) and after that also European Level (YDWG 2017-2019, AEGEE-Academy, MINT project). I enjoyed travelling, meeting new people and cultures and especially learning a lot! I like helping others, challenging myself and learning at the same time which always really motivated me.
What has been the highlight of your time in AEGEE?
I have a few of them haha: launching the Mental Health Guide with the YDWG 2018-2019 (bit.ly/AEGEEmhg), TAT Bamberg 2019, Mental Health European School in Valencia, Youth in Progress – Skill up Now training event in Thessaloniki and of course participating in Transsiberian Dream Vol. 9!
What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve in AEGEE?
A: That is a hard question to answer, and I will for sure forget some of them but I will mention a few memorable moments: playing Agora bingo at the closing ceremony, the AEGEE-Amsterdam hitchhike weekend to Ljubljana, doing grocery shopping as a trainer before an event and being late to the opening ceremony, lots of great European Nights and parties, and some Transsib related moments: especially something with mashed potatoes + vodka, s(h)itting under the stars and rolling down the hill at Baikal Lake <3
What are some ways in which AEGEE helped you in your life?
Being active in AEGEE helped me learn a lot, both about myself but also lots of skills such as event- en project management, time management, communication and public speaking. Along the way you learn a lot about working in a team, team building, online teamwork, planning but also things like how to share a meeting, how to take minutes, prioritise tasks, etc. These experiences and skills already helped me a lot in my student job, so who knows what the future brings?! ;-) Furthermore I also enjoyed becoming and being a trainer and I found topics I am really interested in, namely soft skills in general, Mental Health and self-development.
What are your words of wisdom to your fellow AEGEEans?
A: Move your ass and become active haha. AEGEE is so much more than just partying. It is amazing to see what you can learn in AEGEE yourself but also work together with and meet other people (from different countries and cultures). Start small for example join a local working/project group, committee, board member etc., attend training sessions(!), try things, find something you like to do, go for it and keep improving and professionalising it!
Any closing remarks?
1. No, I will never apply for CD, haha
2. I am super much looking forward to the MINT training event in April 2020, hosted by AEGEE-Tartu (Mental health In Non-formal education and Training)
3. I would like to thank a lot of amazing people with whom I have/had the honour and pleasure to work together with; without you, my AEGEE experience would never have been the same, so a big THANK YOU! :D