It is hard to believe that Natasha Kli­menko joined AEGEE just two years ago. The 21-year old stu­dent from Moscow, who is now liv­ing in Pas­sau, did more things for AEGEE on Euro­pean lev­el than most oth­er mem­bers. Just two high­lights of 2018: Natasha was first Con­tent Man­ag­er of the EPM in Yere­van and after­wards became edi­tor-in-chief of the Key to Europe. Now she keeps the lat­ter title but changes the pub­li­ca­tion: Natasha wants to take The AEGEEan mag­a­zine out of its hia­tus.

Gold­en Times: Hi Natasha! Con­grat­u­la­tions for being select­ed as new edi­tor-in-chief! What’s your moti­va­tion for tak­ing up this new chal­lenge?
Natasha Kli­menko: Thank you very much! Jour­nal­is­tic work some­how keeps com­ing back to me again and again, maybe it is a sign to choose this career track [smil­ing]. I love chal­lenges, and reviv­ing and refor­mat­ting The AEGEEan is a chal­lenge which, if prop­er­ly dealt with, will bring fresh air to AEGEE’s inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and exter­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Luck­i­ly, I have such sup­port­ive CD mem­bers by my side – we’ll get it done!

GT: Did you apply or did the CD approach you?
Natasha: The offer was from the CD side. It was a total sur­prise and a big hon­our for me! I nev­er real­ly thought of join­ing the AEGEEan Core Team. So far I’ve just writ­ten one arti­cle for the mag­a­zine. I took a cou­ple of hours to con­sid­er the offer and even­tu­al­ly said yes… Say­ing “Yes!” to every­thing nev­er lets you down!

Natasha was edi­tor-in-chief of the Key to Europe this year

GT: Now you are look­ing for edi­tors, proof­read­ers, jour­nal­ists, IT peo­ple, graph­ic design­ers and pho­tog­ra­phers… How many peo­ple do you want in your team?
Natasha: From my expe­ri­ence, sev­en to ten peo­ple is the opti­mal num­ber for the core team. Some posi­tions can be tak­en by the same per­son. Plus, any AEGEE mem­ber will be able to send us their arti­cles, so in prac­tice the num­ber of peo­ple who con­tribute will be flex­i­ble.

GT: Do the jour­nal­ists and edi­tors need pre­vi­ous jour­nal­is­tic expe­ri­ence?
Natasha: I require no spe­cif­ic expe­ri­ence from poten­tial jour­nal­ists. I see The AEGEEan as the oppor­tu­ni­ty for peo­ple to gain expe­ri­ence in jour­nal­ism and inter­cul­tur­al team­work — and turn it into their skills or even a com­pet­i­tive edge in the job mar­ket if appro­pri­ate. It’s from the field work that one learns! For poten­tial edi­tors, though, some expe­ri­ence in jour­nal­ism or PR might be desir­able, but what still counts much more for me is moti­va­tion and readi­ness to ded­i­cate some time of your lives to the mag­a­zine [smil­ing].

Natasha Kli­menko dur­ing EPM Yere­van, in the front her co-man­ag­er Mar­lène Rene.

GT: Do you plan to pro­vide a train­ing for them?
Natasha: I would like us to have a live meet­ing and a lit­tle train­ing then would be a good idea, but I know some peo­ple with­in AEGEE who have broad­er expe­ri­ence in jour­nal­ism than me, so I would approach them to ask for a brief train­ing.

GT: What is your idea of the edi­to­r­i­al con­cept of The AEGEEan? What do you want to focus on con­tent-wise?
Natasha: I adore per­son­al sto­ries and deem that this is what appeals most to read­ers. AEGEE is so rich in out­stand­ing mem­bers, behind each of whom there is a sto­ry to tell: how AEGEE has changed their world, what skills they have learnt here, what fears or prej­u­dice they have got rid of… I love inter­views and would like to focus on that; besides, suc­cess sto­ries of locals, inter­est­ing trips of AEGEEans, maybe sto­ries of the dai­ly life of CD mem­bers would be oth­er focal points.

Natasha was one of two con­tent man­agers of the EPM Yere­van.

GT: You were edi­tor-in-chief of the Key to Europe this year. How much did you enjoy this work?
Natasha: I enjoyed it a lot! Our whole team was very respon­si­ble, moti­vat­ed and cre­ative, and this is what has led to a won­der­ful result. I already got my per­son­al copy brought to me from Ago­ra Istan­bul and we proud­ly pre­sent­ed the Key to Europe at the Fair at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pas­sau.

GT: What is your jour­nal­is­tic back­ground out­side of AEGEE?
Natasha: Most­ly, writ­ing arti­cles about inter­na­tion­al rela­tions or soci­ety in Russ­ian and Eng­lish, as well as a few inter­views with celebri­ties, entre­pre­neurs and sci­en­tists. I used to write for sev­er­al stu­dents’ mag­a­zines and seri­ous online news­pa­pers when doing my Bach­e­lor.

Natasha Kli­menko dur­ing a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty

GT: Can you tell us more about your­self? How old are you, where are you from, what kind of hob­bies do you have and what do you study?
Natasha: I am 21 and just moved from Moscow to Pas­sau, a lit­tle town in south­ern Bavaria, where I study for a Master’s degree in Kul­tur­wirtschaft — Inter­na­tion­al Cul­tur­al and Busi­ness Stud­ies — with the focus on South East­ern Asia. In my spare time I love ball dances, dif­fer­ent sports, bak­ing pas­tries and have a lot of social work respon­si­bil­i­ties beside stud­ies any­way.

Pas­sau is an amaz­ing city and AEGEE-Pas­sau a great anten­na.

GT: Are you enjoy­ing your stay in Pas­sau?
Natasha: Absolute­ly! Every moment of it. The uni­ver­si­ty and the town in gen­er­al were total­ly worth the efforts. I feel so relaxed, moti­vat­ed and sim­ply total­ly hap­py like nev­er before. Learn­ing Bavar­i­an dialect [laugh­ing] and enjoy­ing the hos­pi­tal­i­ty of this won­der­ful region. In this 50,000-people’s town there is more to do than in Moscow, let alone it’s more beau­ti­ful, has a bet­ter envi­ron­ment and is also more afford­able in many aspects. Besides, I am slow­ly get­ting inte­grat­ed into AEGEE-Pas­sau and I must say there is a big dif­fer­ence between this local and the one I come from, AEGEE-Mosk­va. How­ev­er, this is a sub­ject for a long dis­cus­sion. Or maybe for an arti­cle!

GT: For sure! How did you join AEGEE in first place?
Natasha: In March 2016, I want­ed to go to a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty and some­how end­ed up doing stuff on the Euro­pean lev­el. When I say AEGEE has turned my life upside down, it’s not a joke. Enough to say I wouldn’t be in Ger­many now if I hadn’t joined AEGEE two years ago.

GT: You did many things in just two years! Aside from the Key, what were the high­lights of your AEGEE career so far?
Natasha: Oh god, I wouldn’t call it a career but rather ways of chan­nel­ing the sur­plus of ener­gy into good things. My per­son­al high­lights would not be huge Euro­pean events, instead, the dear­est mem­o­ries I have are from those first local events where I was orga­niz­er. Now I hope to serve AEGEE well also as a part of the Liai­son Office. Apart from that, I real­ly loved work­ing in the Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship Work­ing Group 2017/18 and miss giv­ing work­shops, com­pil­ing book­lets and our ever buzzing Telegram chat. Would love to have the 2nd live meet­ing!

GT: Thank you! Any­thing you would like to add?
Natasha: Always say “Yes!” to new oppor­tu­ni­ties! Apply for the core team of The AEGEEan, you won’t regret it!

Join Natasha, join The AEGEEan!