It seems that the hardest times are over and AEGEEans from all over Europe are beginning to meet in person once again step by step. So there couldn’t be a better time to announce to our fellow AEGEEan who has been honoured as the Member of the Month of May: Rik Smale, from AEGEE-Enschede! Last month, Smale took a further step in his AEGEE commitment and became Vice-Speaker of ITC’s Speaker Team, where he leads the role of MyAEGEE’s project manager.
Congratulations on being awarded the Member of the Month! We are all eager to hear your AEGEE story.
Thanks, I feel very honoured! I became a member of AEGEE back in September 2016, right when I started studying. To be completely honest, when I joined I didn’t even know that AEGEE-Enschede was part of a European network. Luckily I found out soon after I joined and I’m very happy that I did. AEGEE has given me so many memories and adventures, both on a local level and on a European level.
What has been the highlight of your time in AEGEE?
There are just so many highlights that I don’t even know where to start. I think my latest highlight was the MyAEGEE hackathon that was organised by the ITC and AEGEE-Aachen just before the coronavirus pandemic really hit us. That’s also the event where I chose to become the new project manager for MyAEGEE and that has been a blast for over the last few months.
What are some of the most memorable moments you have had in AEGEE?
One event that I really loved was the EPM pre-event in Tbilisi, just before EPM Yerevan 2018. I am not sure what the real reason was, but Tbilisi is just an amazing city and the people at the event were really wonderful.
What are some ways in which AEGEE helped you in your life?
Just to name two, AEGEE has helped me become more confident and more understanding of the world around me. When I joined AEGEE, I was quite a bit shyer than I am now and AEGEE helped me open up. I’ve also learned a lot about inclusivity and sustainability, two topics I knew a lot less about before.
What are your words of wisdom to your fellow AEGEEans?
Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you are not completely sure something would suit you, now is the time to try new things. And luckily, the possibilities in AEGEE are endless!
Any closing remarks?
I want to thank everybody who has helped me to get where I am now and everyone else working to make AEGEE a better place. And I hope to see all of you again soon, somewhere in Europe!