Kasia Sokołowska, CD: “I wanted to give something back to AEGEE


At the Ago­ra in Berg­amo AEGEE had a severe lack of can­di­dates for the Comité Directeur: there was no one run­ning for Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al or Finan­cial Direc­tor. While Zvon­imir Can­ju­ga from AEGEE-Zagreb decid­ed on the spot to become the new trea­sur­er of the asso­ci­a­tion, a new sec­re­tary was found only after an open call. It was AEGEE-Kraków mem­ber Katarzy­na Sokołows­ka, who was cho­sen as inter­im Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al; a few weeks ago at Ago­ra Chisin­au she offi­cial­ly ran for the posi­tion and was elect­ed with 94% of all votes. “One day I just felt that it is the oppor­tu­ni­ty which I would like to take. I real­ized it would be nice to give some­thing back to organ­i­sa­tion which had such big impact on my life”, she told the Gold­en Times.

GT: Kasia, what moti­vat­ed you to become CD mem­ber?
Katarzy­na Sokołows­ka: The biggest moti­va­tion for me was the feel­ing that I am ready to take this chal­lenge and that — with expe­ri­ence not only from AEGEE — I can be good per­son for this posi­tion. I have nev­er con­sid­ered it before but, I believe we are not able to pre­dict our life. So one day I just felt that it is the oppor­tu­ni­ty which I would like to take. I had a chance to work and live in dif­fer­ent dimen­sions and I real­ized that it all start­ed from AEGEE, so it would be nice to give some­thing back to organ­i­sa­tion which had such big impact on my life.

GT: What are the best and the worst aspects of work­ing in the CD?
Katarzy­na: Def­i­nite­ly the hard­est aspect of work­ing in the CD is liv­ing and work­ing in the same house. On one side it is very prac­ti­cal because it is impos­si­ble to be late in the morn­ing to your work; but on the oth­er side there are days when you even don’t know what the weath­er out­side is. Anoth­er pos­i­tive aspect is the unpre­dictabil­i­ty of your tasks. Some­thing new appears every day. It is very hard to plan your day because for sure some­body will come with a sur­prise to the house or you will receive a mag­ic mail with a new urgent task.

GT: Did you expect your CD life like it is?
Katarzy­na: Yes, more or less. When I was mov­ing here it was my first vis­it to the AEGEE House, but I wasn’t sur­prised about the CD work and lifestyle. I had a feel­ing how it can look like. Of course it was  impos­si­ble to pre­dict every­thing, because a lot depends on peo­ple with whom you live and work, but I don’t see a lot of dif­fer­ences com­pared with the vision I had.

Katarzyna Sokolowska
Katarzy­na Sokolowska’s orig­i­nal anten­na is AEGEE-Kraków

GT: Being in Brus­sels and Bel­gium means being con­front­ed to a lot of new impres­sions. How did you cope with this?
Katarzy­na: It’s not my first time that I moved to a city which I didn’t know before. I always try to start every­thing with­out any expec­ta­tions which helps me appre­ci­ate new sit­u­a­tions. I like this city because it reminds me of two places where I lived before: France and Eng­land.

GT: You were Inter­im Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al first and now you are offi­cial­ly elect­ed. How did you expe­ri­ence your elec­tion at the Ago­ra?
Katarzy­na: It was very nice to be at the Ago­ra again! My last time was in Patra in spring 2014, where I was sure that it would nev­er hap­pen again. I real­ly liked it. I saw AEGEE from a lit­tle dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive — not only because of the elec­tions, but rather because of the “break from the AEGEE I had” and oth­er expe­ri­ences I gained. It was very cold in Chisin­au, but adren­a­line kept me warm.

GT: Let’s talk about the time before the CD. What did you study or work before mov­ing to Brus­sels?
Katarzy­na: Three years ago I fin­ished my bach­e­lor stud­ies: Social Pol­i­cy with the spe­cial­iza­tion “Man­age­ment of NGOs and pub­lic organ­i­sa­tions” in Kraków. After it I decid­ed to take a gap year which is still on – well, it became a three years gap year. Dur­ing that time I took part in an EVS pro­gramme in Mace­do­nia, I was liv­ing and work­ing in Eng­land and I had intern­ships in the Coun­cil of Europe in Stras­bourg. I was liv­ing in many dif­fer­ent coun­tries which helped me under­stand the vison of a unit­ed Europe and appre­ci­ate the pos­si­bil­i­ties young peo­ple have.

Kasia’s can­di­da­ture at Ago­ra Chisin­au

GT: When did you join AEGEE-Kraków?
Katarzy­na: I joined AEGEE-Kraków in Octo­ber 2012.

GT: You were board mem­ber in AEGEE-Kraków. What did moti­vate you to join the board and how was your time in the board?
Katarzy­na: Wow, it was quite a long time ago – more than four years! I am not sure if I still remem­ber my main moti­va­tion. For sure I want­ed to devel­op my skills, but I also real­ly want­ed to work for AEGEE-Kraków. I saw a poten­tial in this organ­i­sa­tion, felt the AEGEE spir­it and want­ed to do my best to make AEGEE-Kraków grow­ing. My time in the board was amaz­ing, it is still com­ing back to my mind with a smile on my face.

GT: What did or do you like most about AEGEE-Kraków?
Katarzy­na: I haven’t lived in Poland for almost the last three years so it is hard to say what I like the most about AEGEE-Kraków nowa­days. I can tell what I liked when I was there: the peo­ple! They were and are amaz­ing! I met lots of young peo­ple with whom I was work­ing, but after­ward we became good friends and even today when none of them is active in AEGEE any­more we are still in touch and cel­e­brate Christ­mas or spend hol­i­days togeth­er. Also amaz­ing in AEGEE-Kraków was the pas­sion those peo­ple had. We shared the same val­ues and were ready to work for them. You could see the pas­sion in people’s eyes and that was real­ly inspir­ing.

Katarzyna Sokolowska4
Kasia and her fel­low CD mem­bers

GT: Do you have any fun­ny sto­ry that you can share with us from your AEGEE time in Kraków?
Katarzy­na: Well, when I was apply­ing to be a board mem­ber of AEGEE-Krakow I wrote my appli­ca­tion in Com­ic font! I didn’t realise it until some­one men­tioned it dur­ing the elec­tions. It was fun­ny but also a bit embar­rass­ing.

GT: What was your favourite AEGEE event?
Katarzy­na: I haven’t got my favourite event… Each of them was dif­fer­ent and it is hard to com­pare them. There are events which I remem­ber, because the con­tent was real­ly inter­est­ing but there are also events where net­work­ing was more impor­tant and I had lots of inspir­ing chats with new inter­na­tion­al friends.

GT: What kind of hob­bies do you have?
Katarzy­na: I like sports, espe­cial­ly swim­ming. Now in the CD I haven’t got lot of time to prac­tice but I still love it.

Kasia and the oth­er CD mem­bers at the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny of Ago­ra Chisin­au

GT: What would you like to do after your CD term?
Katarzy­na: For this moment I have no idea. I can’t plan my life. One year is a lot of time so I believe a lot can change and also new oppor­tu­ni­ties can appear. What I know for now is that prob­a­bly I would like to move to Eng­land and set­tled down there.

GT: How would you describe your­self in five key­words?
Katarzy­na: Smile, sun, fun, easy-going and pos­i­tive.

Kasia’s can­di­da­ture at Ago­ra Chisin­au


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