522 kilos of Lindt chocolate. The participants at Agora Zaragoza were eating them around the clock. The person who fundraised them is Ander Guerrero Ruiz, President of AEGEE-Zaragoza. In two weeks he will start his new job as CD fundraising assistant – and also considers to candidate for the CD at the spring Agora. Ander told the Golden Times his plans for Brussels: “I can’t wait for being there and start with it!”

Ander Guerrero
Ander Guerrero Ruiz

GT: Ander, congratulations to becoming CD assistant! When will you move to Brussels?
Ander: Thank you very much! I will start the 25th of February, after the EPM Burgos, when the next flight from Zaragoza was available and when it fitted the dates for the Comité Directeur.

GT: What motivated you to become CD assistant?
Ander: My overall motivation towards AEGEE! Motivation is really important for succeeding, and I have tons of it. I haven’t stopped on organizing or taking part in events since I joined. When I saw the open call for becoming CD assistant I got excited: I couldn’t wait to ask for a break on my compulsory internship and applying. I really want to contribute to develop AEGEE on all levels and after having done almost everything on the local level, now I have the opportunity to do it on the next level, especially in the field I have been working for AEGEE mostly – and which also complements my areas of studies. It seemed that the open call was made for me and was calling me, so I didn’t hesitate and applied. I really hope to learn a lot, improve AEGEE and have a great experience during which I will continue to develop myself!

Just a tiny bit of the 522 kilos of Lindt chocolate, which Ander fundraised for Zaragora.

GT: What is your experience in that field of fundraising?
Ander: During the past years I have been fundraising and external relations responsible for AEGEE-Zaragora and several events in Zaragoza. Also, last year I managed to attend the Fundraising European School in Barcelona and it was the ultimate boost I needed to implicate myself even more in AEGEE. Thank you, trainers! Last but not least, I am one of the members that are trying to relaunch the Corporate and Institutional Relations Committee (CIRC) – we will succeed, for sure! AEGEE has a lot of unused potential in FR that can provide funding for AEGEE-Europe and the locals. More FR means more funds for more projects, more impact and more sustainability in the long run: to sum up, a stronger AEGEE! We can do it!

GT: What was your biggest fund-raising success so far?
Ander: If I cannot forget a number related with my FR experience in AEGEE then it is 522. That was the number of kilos I managed to fundraise of Lindt chocolate for the Autumn Agora Zaragoza, the Zaragora in 2013. Everybody was delighted and happy with the chocolate and, after more than one year and a half, this remains in the mind of many participants and almost became a legend!

Ander Guerrero Zaragoza
Ander is lucky to be president of an amazing antenna.

GT: What will you deal with exactly as CD assistant? What will you focus on?
Ander: I haven’t spoken yet with the Comité Directeur for more details about my tasks, but I will be working with the whole CD, but mainly with Aleksandra “Ola” Kluzcka, developing a better FR strategy of AEGEE-Europe, looking for new sources of funds and developing the CIRC. At the end of March the first live meeting of the CIRC we will take place and I hope it will be fruitful and will boost the FR in AEGEE! We already have some ideas! I really consider this period as an opportunity for learning more about this field and how AEGEE works. Can’t wait for being there and start with it!

GT: You are also president of the biggest Spanish antenna. How can you manage to do both tasks?
Ander: Being in charge of AEGEE-Zaragoza indeed consumes a lot of your time, but I see it as an investment for the future of the antenna and in the development of the members of our antenna. I have to admit that being in charge of this antenna is sometimes not easy, especially now that there is a change of generations and they have different visions in some fields. And also, because if I do something, I want to do it as good as possible. That is why I have tried to give new fresh air to AEGEE-Zaragoza, implementing more activities and improving our external visibility: of course we party hard and we have fun, but this is the result of the hard work of many of us and the incredible dedication of our members. Some people may say that I was going too fast or ambitious, but I really believe in my members, my friends, and I see in them and in AEGEE-Zaragoza a huge potential that will make this antenna even greater!

2014 Aids Mont
The zineforum, one of the great events about social matters in Zaragoza

GT: Can you give an example of your activities in Zaragoza?
Ander: I’m just trying to motivate them, encouraging to join European projects or events and of course, launching ideas for the local level. They just have to try it and not be scared of what the rest of the people might think of their ideas. Every idea is welcome, and if we implement them, sometimes we will succeed, other times not. But we don’t have to be scared of failing. We always learn from all of our mistakes and, next time will do it better and better and in the end, a great idea might become a dream came true. We have to believe in us: the sky is the limit! I kind of feel that I am leaving a project unfinished, but in Zaragoza I have just found support to go to Brussels! But, I will be back soon and they really know that I love sending mails! So, for managing both, mailing and Skype will be essential and my board will cover for me if needed!

Ander Guerrero Malta
EBM Valletta is one of Ander’s favourite events.

GT: Will you candidate for the next CD?
Ander: If my experience in Brussels is positive, for sure! It has been always on my mind. If I candidate as CD member it will be to do something positive for AEGEE during one year, and now is the perfect timing: I feel prepared, really motivated and my studies come to an end!

GT: Which task are you most interested in?
Ander: Although I have to admit I have considered sometimes to candidate for President, I have always felt more comfortable and prepared for the positions of Financial Director or External Relations. However, now, for my knowledge and experience in AEGEE and my studies, I feel prepared for External Relations Responsible. Becoming FR assistant is the last piece to, hopefully, make it come true!

GT: Tell us about yourself: where are you from, how old are you? What do you study?
Ander: I was born in Zaragoza 23 years ago. Almost all my life has taken place so far in Zaragoza, although I live in the lovely Utebo, 15 minutes from Zaragoza. I am finishing my studies in Law and Business Management, a special program of the University of Zaragoza, in which you study both degrees at the same time in six years. This takes a lot of my free time, but as a really active person I can’t stop and I’m always trying to do something: we are young, it is time to act and to take part in our society!

Ander Guerrero Zaragora

GT: How and when did you join AEGEE-Zaragoza?
Ander: As the majority of the Spanish members, I joined AEGEE for the campaign of AEGEE-Zaragoza for the Summer Universities in March 2012. Although I knew AEGEE since my first year of university in 2009, I only joined three years later. When I entered and discovered AEGEE more, I quickly became an active member: especially since an Agora needed to be organized!

Ander Guerrero Zaragoza promo
Ander at a Zaragoza promo desk last autumn

GT: What was the best event you’ve organised so far in AEGEE?
Ander: It is very difficult to choose one, because we try to make all of them perfect. But this remains in my mind: first, the Zaragora. Is impossible not to mention it when you were involved for one year on it and the result was that great. Second, Lost in Mañosland – Maños 2. I almost collapsed because of non-stop working, but the participants enjoyed the event a lot, so that is the best reward for me. Another one was EuroSD. It was the first time I came closer to the European level of AEGEE. The result was perfect and it was an important event for the future of AEGEE. Also, NWM Zaragoza. For me, the best NWM ever! And I can’t forget the TSU Gdansk-Wroclaw. It was the perfect closing for my Erasmus term and my time as member of AEGEE-Gdansk. A really nice TSU!

GT: What were the best event you visited?
Ander: That’s even more difficult to choose. For statutory events: EBM Valletta was a great experience. But I had a great time in every Agora as well. For an SU: my very first event, the TSU Firenze-Genova. An epic team of organizers in unforgettable settings. They cought me up in AEGEE! For a regular event: AEGEE-Lviv’s pre-event of EBM Lublin. If I would have to choose one, for sure it would be this one. Everything was even beyond what I expected and for sure, the people I met! I can’t imagine my AEGEE life without them.

Ander Guerrero beach
A bad thing about Brussels: the seaside is not so nice as in Spain.

GT: You are also very much interested in social issues and make great events about it in your antenna. Can you tell us more?
Ander: I consider myself quite emphatic with many problems and unfair situations that we face in reality. I think this is the result of what I have experienced in life so far. Although I have been lucky to have a really tolerant and inclusive education and family, personal development is not as easy at it should be. I don’t know if I’m positive by definition or by necessity, but what is clear for me is that we can contribute to make our society a better place. For achieving this, activities have to take place in AEGEE in general, but what makes AEGEE stronger and has a more direct impact is what we do in our locals. That is why I wanted to implement something more social in my antenna when I started as president. Luckily I wasn’t the only one, so I listened to the ideas of the others. With our combined effort a great initiative like the Zineforum or the soon-released The Mañazing were born!

GT: Sounds impressive!
Ander: For these reasons and more is why I really believe in the potential and influence of AEGEE. Being a member has given me the possibility to grow in many aspects. I believe that we have to contribute and give in this life more than we have received. That is why I try to help as much as possible and I want to make AEGEE bigger. Everybody should have the privilege of experiencing it.

GT: Please complete this sentence: “AEGEE is for me…”
Ander: …the possibility of developing yourself, making a better Europe and having a terrific period of your life!

Ander Guerrero
Ander in traditional clothes from Spain.

GT: What other hobbies and interests do you have aside from AEGEE?
Ander: I really enjoy to spend my free time being with my friends or family, having a great conversation and time while drinking or eating whatever. Also I like to cook and to sleep without having an alarm-clock, technology and films and TV shows! Travelling is obvious, right? I really believe that the small pleasures of life are the most important ones and what really fulfill us!

GT: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Ander: Nothing in particular. Milk, I would say!

GT: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?
Ander: Active, funny, talkative, positive and hardworking!

GT: Anything else you’d like to add?
Ander: I could continue and continue… If everyone wants to know more about me, just ask me! But I cannot finish without saying ¡muchas gracias! to all my friends, family and people that are always there to support me when I need it and stand there for me – all of us have some flaws. We are the result of the experiences we live and the people we meet. I wouldn’t be who I am without them – no matter if they have been always with me or just in a period of my life. Everybody should enjoy this life to the maximum and do something positive with it; we only have one. To my mind always comes one sentence that one of the people I love the most – my mom – told me in a really important period of my life: “Ander, in this life you can be and do whatever you want, but never regret of what you have done”. Since then, I have always tried to act according to it.