Last weekend two Network Meetings took place in different parts in Europe: in the Polish town Zielona Góra and in Barcelona. The latter was organised by Network Commissioner Melissa Carreres in cooperation with AEGEE-Barcelona. For Melissa it also meant saying goodbye to her antennae, because her term ends in two weeks. The Golden Times asked her about her achievements and the spectacular NWM.
GT: Your task as Network Commissioner will be over in two weeks. Are you sad that it ends?
Melissa Carreres: Well, I would say that I have mixed feelings right now. On one hand, I can’t believe that my term is about to finish, time flies! I will miss a lot the close work with locals, but also my NetCom team with whom I’ve learned a lot. On the other hand, I feel happy because during all this year I have tried to do my best working very hard and trying always to get the best from my locals. I believe that somehow I make a difference. Life is about going through different stages and I have enjoyed this one a lot! I feel calm leaving the Commission because I am sure that my successor Alejandra Piot Pérez-Abadín will do a great job too.
GT: What was the greatest highlight or achievement as Network Commissioner?
Melissa: I believe I contributed to make a difference in my locals from the beginning of my term since now. I see more collaboration between them and that the motivation of some of them has grown a lot. Aside from this the Network Commission and its role and tasks are more visible now, and I think I also contributed on this. Regarding the best achievement, I would say that I am really happy with the results of all the events that I organised as a Netcom: Spring NWM Santander, Renove VI and Autumn NWM Barcelona. I had very good feedback from our participants after the event and what is more important, I see the effects on people after these events.
GT: You are now ending your term with a highlight. The NWM in Barcelona last weekend had 73 participants and involved 90 people in total, involving several high profile AEGEE speakers. Were the previous NWMs in the area also so big?
Melissa: No, I think never! In the past NWM that I have organised in Santander, we had just 40 participants. The medium it has been always about 50 but never so huge. It was a challenge to have a NWM with such a big number of participants, but we wanted a maximum number of people the possibility to attend it! We had to adapt our sessions to make them more profitable, but I think it was worth it in the end.
GT: How come that the NWM in Barcelona was so big?
Melissa: In the Open Call we offered 60 vacancies for participants, but then we were surprised of having so many applications – more than 150! Our organisers told me that the accommodation was big enough for hosting a few more, so we decided to increase the maximum amount of participants a little bit. Finally, we were 90 unstoppable AEGEEans taking part in the event: 73 participants, 14 organisers, one member of the CD, two subcommies and I.
GT: Was there a main topic or focus of the NWM?
Melissa: We had not a main topic but a big motto: “#unstoppable”. AEGEE-Barcelona is known as unstoppable antenna, we tried to use this motto also to motivate our participants to achieve their best in AEGEE, but also in life. Regarding with the focus, the aim of the NWM was to strengthen our network so I tried to schedule the programme, having in mind locals needs and interests.
GT: What were the highlights of the social programme?
Melissa: Our local organisers did really a very good job with the social programme. The theme of the parties were original and we really had fun! Besides, AEGEE-Barcelona had their own bar with cheap prices that provided us drinks all night long. The dance floor was always full because of the good music plus the AEGEE spirit and every day there were different topic ornamentations. The party themes were: Animals, American college party and European night. All were really successful, but I guess the favourite for everyone was American College party, because the ornamentation details were just awesome, a lot of American flags and posters hung from the walls, a beer pong table was also on the dance floor and – my favourite thing – a school yearbook with personal pictures from every of us and a fake American name, where we could leave our signature and a nice quote too.
GT: Anything you would like to add?
Melissa: I was really happy that I really felt as home in NWM Barcelona. I think it was no better place to almost finish my term. See you in the next adventure!