What kind of hobbies do the freshly elected CD members have? What would they do with a million Euro? And what are they afraid of? The Golden Times asked the new European Board of AEGEE, which will start their term in Brussels in August, questions about their personal life – and got many surprising answers. Read in this first part about Ivan Bielik.

Ivan Bielik cooking
Ivan Bielik cooking bryndzove halusky from Slovakia

Golden Times: Congratulations for your election! How nervous were you during the Agora?
Ivan Bielik: I was so nervous about the Q&A session that I forgot to put my backpack off my shoulders. That, I guess, demonstrates the situation.

Golden Times: After the election, was there any congratulation, which made you happier than others?
Ivan: No. They were all even.

Golden Times: In most CDs, the CD members cooked for each other. Are you a good cook? What’s your specialty?
Ivan: I am cooking in our student flat in Brno for the others as well, so I can survive. I admit that my cooking skills are not awesome and I cannot find a job as a chef in restaurant. My specialty, however, is Slovakian national food – bryndzove halusky.

Golden Times: The CD is a lot about teamwork. What was the best AEGEE team you were in – and what was your role?
Ivan: Every AEGEE team I was involved in was different. I cannot pick one. The important thing is that I have learned and experienced teamwork.

Golden Times: How did you join AEGEE? Is there any interesting story behind?
Ivan: My path began as usual. I wanted to experience a Summer University.

Ivan Bielik SU Brescia
Ivan’s AEGEE story started at an SU in Brescia in 2011. Also other prominent AEGEE members such as Anička Kotovych and Katre-Helena Käppa were there.

Golden Times: If you were not in AEGEE, how would your life look like?
Ivan: I do not know. Probably I would have played competitive football and prepared myself for the career in academia. Or I would have been involved in another student organization at Masaryk University in Brno.

AEGEE-Brno - Tereza Andari Miksikova
Ivan is very fond of Brno, the city where he studies – and his home antenna, AEGEE-Brno. Picture by Tereza Andari Miksikova

Golden Times: Are you also member of other associations? If yes, what kind of?
Ivan: Yes. The Academic debate club of Masaryk University.

Golden Times: Which city or country did impress you most during your AEGEE trips?
Ivan: Brno, Czech Republic.

Golden Times: Do you actually take the time to look at the city during AEGEE events?
Ivan: Not so much.

Golden Times: What was your best AEGEE experience?
Ivan: I do not have a list of such experiences. Every experience counts.

Golden Times: What was your worst AEGEE experience?
Ivan: Same as above.

Ivan Bielik Football
Football is one of the great passions of Ivan Bielik.

Golden Times: Which experience or moment did make you decide to join the European level?
Ivan: I wanted to bring debating, as part of my non-AEGEE experience, to the European level.

Golden Times: To how many events have you been so far?
Ivan (smiles): I stopped counting them after 10…

Is Ivan Bielik a party animal? Picture from EBM Lublin.

Golden Times: How many of them did you organize yourself?
Ivan: I always had a team at my disposal, thus I did not organize anything by myself.

Golden Times: Have you been to an SU? If yes, which ones?
Ivan: Yes. Two times. First, an SU organized by AEGEE-Brescia. Second, an SU organized by AEGEE-Kyiv and AEGEE-Kharkiv.

Golden Times: CD members often face criticism. How resistant are you to stress and criticism?
Ivan: I welcome critical remarks on my side. At least people will care about the things I am doing. If, however, people criticize me in personal issues, I am quite sensitive in these situations. I am not saying anyone how they should live, so I expect the same vice-versa.

Golden Times: What makes you most stressed and nervous?
Ivan: Improvization.

Golden Times: And how do you calm down in these situations?
Ivan: It depends on the situation and circumstances. I do not have one pattern that works every time.

Golden Times: How important is for you career in life?
Ivan: I would say that it is not on my top-five list of important things in my life.

Golden Times: After AEGEE, what will you work later?
Ivan: I wish I could have an answer for that.

Golden Times: Are you a party animal?
Ivan: I cannot judge this. Ask others.

Ivam likes reading a lot. The last book he read: “Quiet. The power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain.

Golden Times: Do you dance a lot during AEGEE parties? Or do you rather have conversations?
Ivan: It depends on the amount of alcohol in my blood.

Golden Times: What are the things you don’t like about AEGEE?
Ivan: Time delays during events.

Golden Times: And what would you like to change about AEGEE, if you could?
Ivan: I would like to create an Online training platform for AEGEE members and a Knowledge management strategy for the future of the organization.

Golden Times: What hobbies do you have aside from AEGEE?
Ivan: Literature, sports and again literature.

Czech beer
Beer, especially from Czech Republic, is Ivan’s favourite drink

Golden Times: What was the last book you read?
Ivan: “Quiet. The power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. Here is the TED video, so you can create your own opinion about the book: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.

Golden Times: What’s your favourite movie or TV show?
Ivan: “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”.

Golden Times: What kind of sports do you practice or like?
Ivan: Football, basketball and jogging.

Golden Times: What’s your favourite drink?
Ivan: Beer, especially Czech one.

The big moment: Ivan Bielik candidating at Agora PatraGolden Times: What are you most afraid of?
Ivan: Dogs and needles.

Golden Times: If you had 1 million Euro, what would you do with it?
Ivan: I would give half a million to my parents because of their never-ending support. Second half I would save for my studies at one of the top ten universities in the world.

Golden Times: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is…
Ivan: …transforming you in a way you have no idea about.”

Golden Times: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Ivan: Air.

Golden Times: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?
Ivan: Modesty. Responsibility. Hard work. Punctuality. Tolerance.