At the Agora in Enschede five candidates compete for four places as general CD members: Beáta Matuszka, Kathrin Renner, Miguel Gallardo, Olga Iatsyna and Pavel Zbornik. The Golden Times asked all of them for an interview. Find out today what motivates Network Commissioner Beáta Matuszka from AEGEE-Budapest to candidate as CD member. Her preferred tasks: Human Resources and Network Development. “Trainings and knowledge transfer are crucial”, Beáta stresses. Find out with which ideas she wants to improve AEGEE’s trainings and the state of the network. “We need more cross-border cooperation among the locals, we need to promote the twin and the mentorship project”, she says. Read also, why Beáta would like to live in Ireland and the UK one day.

Golden Times: Bea, five candidates for four CD positions. How do you feel about that?
Beáta Matuszka: After the CD candidates meeting in Izmir, I expected more people to send their candidature. But I am still glad that there are less positions than candidates, the competition always brings the best out of everybody.

Golden Times: You are focusing on the Human Resources task in your candidature. Why?
Beáta: The human resource – you, me, and everyone in AEGEE – is always the heart and foundation of a successful organisation, hence it’s vital to focus on it. I spent my last five years to learn more about how to get the best out of people, how to recruit on different levels, how to create active participation and enthusiasm out of ignorance. I also think that in order to achieve something with AEGEE in Europe, we need skilled people therefore I find the trainings and knowledge transfer crucial. I really want to see the proper place of HR in our association, that’s why I found important to candidate and focus on it.

Golden Times: Another preference is Network Development. What would be your focus areas for that task?
Beáta: The healthy locals are vital to maintain and develop AEGEE, which can be also reached by either relying on the locals or relying on the help of the Network Commissioners. I believe in empowerment and in the good results what can be achieved in a great team, therefore I would work on the job enrichment of the NetCommies. Besides, I would like to strengthen the periphery and actively work on the cooperation of the locals.

Golden Times: What are your main ideas for improving human resources in AEGEE?
Beáta: In my programme I emphasised the three main pillars of my ideas which were built on several smaller ones. Beside introducing online trainings, I would work on the cross-organisational cooperation and best practise sharing, the intra-organisational cooperation on the European level, and on the feasible HR strategy – which is prepared with strategy creating methods with timeframes, measurability and building on the previous ones.

Golden Times: What about new training types or methods?
Beáta: Beside online trainings which can make all the knowledge accessible for everybody who can’t afford constant travelling, we also need to work on some kind of file repository which can be also easily accessible for our members. It needs to be user friendly and understandable for everybody and it should cover as many levels for each topic as it is possible – such as how to fundraise in a smaller and bigger local, PR tips and promo materials for beginners and photoshop gurus… It’s a win-win situation if every local is getting stronger.

Golden Times: You want to build an AEGEE identity which helps the members feel themselves as AEGEEans. How could the identity be improved?
Beáta: It is really important in an organisation that you are proud that you are part of it. When this “I’m an AEGEEan” page was created on Facebook approximately a year ago, I realised how important it is to have a common vision and common identity. It helps a lot to understand the aims we are striving for. When we talk about identity, we can understand the general AEGEE spirit and the more professional aspect. The AEGEE spirit can be easily gained during an international event, we need to reach it on local level to involve the fresh members in our activities. In order to achieve this, we also need more cross-border cooperation among the locals, we need to promote the twin and the mentorship project.

Golden Times: Would you be able to do also other tasks aside from HR and Network?
Beáta: I emphasised these two tasks as these are the ones I feel the most comfortable with, but as I also worked with Working Groups, I can help them in WG development and support thematical work. Besides, the marketing and PR education was also strong in my university, therefore if needed, I can easily help the network with my knowledge.

Golden Times: How and when did you actually join AEGEE? In your online programme you wrote that you joined de facto and later de jure…
Beáta: Well, de facto was indeed in November 2007. One of my best friends invited me to something called LTC and she said it’ll be fun. On the very first day when I heard that the whole weekend was organised by the HR officer, I knew that someday I also want to be the HR officer in AEGEE-Budapest. It took me three more months to pay the membership fee, I was distracted by my very first assessment period, but nothing stopped me since that night. It’s quite interesting, lot of people joined due to the Summer Universities, but I attended my first SU last year, when our lovely twin AEGEE-Oviedo invited two of us to help them.

Golden Times: You did a lot of things in AEGEE already? Which three of them are most important to you?
Beáta: Being a trainer during the first European School of Entrepreneurship was really challenging but simply perfect at the same time. As I’m studying international business and economics, it was even more interesting to see other people’s opinion from different educational and cultural background about business and entrepreneurship, and its place in the economy to solve the crisis. Just to continue with the most recent things, the Network Meeting London was a real icebreaker, not just for me, for the British locals and for the whole network. Finally we can show everybody that we are all part of Europe, and every single person’s opinion on our continent is worth to listen to and to be considered, so we should strengthen our network in various cities and regions. And last but not least my two terms as HR officer in AEGEE-Budapest. Everything started there for me, our board was an amazing team, everybody went to European level afterwards, their name is well-known in AEGEE, and we also motivated each other all the time… That was an amazing period of my life.

Golden Times: Which were your best and worst moments so far in AEGEE?
Beáta: Honestly, I can’t recall bad memories which can be connected with AEGEE… The best moments? When I was accepted to my very first international event, when I saw my name on the screen in Alicante, when I was elected as HR officer, when I posted on the intranet: NWM London… There are plenty of them.

Golden Times: Please complete this sentence: “AEGEE is for me…”
Beáta: …my family and my life. With AEGEE I found my place in every aspects, I found my favourite things in my life, my beloved friends from all over Europe, it gives me a lot professionally and personally and I wish that more and more people can enrich their lives by knowing about all the great possibilities what our association can offer.”

Golden Times: How did you get the idea to candidate for the CD?
Beáta: I didn’t even think about this before my NetCom year. But I realised day by day how much still I can give to the people in the Network and my biggest motivation was the current time constraint. In the CD I have all my time to deal with AEGEE related tasks, I can do loads of researches and benchmarking to develop our association, I can work in an efficient and always supporting team. Together I’m sure we can reach the highest potential of the whole network.

Golden Times: You’ve been working for Siemens and a consulting company recently. Why do you want to join the CD instead of getting a good job with a good income?
Beáta: If you work for a company you have totally different motivations for the job to be done. I never felt myself so dedicated to something as I feel it with AEGEE. My internal motivation is my driving force to strive for our beloved association 24/7, and it’s also really important to feel all your aims aligned with the organisation’s goals. Why should I do something if I don’t feel myself 100 percent dedicated to it? If I can’t feel myself comfortable in an organisation, I can’t reach my best. Fortunately, with AEGEE everything goes smoothly, I don’t think about it as a work or duty, I’m rather connected with it therefore I can truly identify myself with this association. And I have 40 more years to work for a company! First I would like to realise my dreams – helping others and changing lives – and then I call tell myself: I did everything I wanted in my life, I’m ready to find new challenges.

Golden Times: What hobbies do you have?
Beáta: I am a very active person, I started to dance when I was four and I could never stop doing this. Currently I’m taking Irish dance lessons, but I also played football for years – beside fencing, running and normal, girlish sports, such as spinning. In addition, I love all kind of self-expression, I wish I would be a professional photographer. If I have time, I enjoy reading and writing novels and poems.

Golden Times: You’ll leave Hungary for a year. What will you miss from your home country?
Beáta: My friends, definitely. But to be honest, my life since my Erasmus is all about travelling and AEGEE, so to live in a foreign country won’t cause any problem, I can adapt myself easily to new places and situations.

Golden Times: What’s your dream job after finishing AEGEE?
Beáta: I would like to continue this path and help the people in their self-development therefore I’m seriously thinking to be a trainer or coach. That’s already pretty sure that I don’t want to work for a multinational company, I prefer the personal and friendly atmosphere, where you can actually fulfil yourself and realise your dreams. Thanks to my studies, I can also consider launching an own company. And it would be the perfect job if I can travel a lot besides the tasks I mentioned above.

Golden Times: Can you imagine living abroad for more years? Maybe start working in Brussels…
Beáta: Living abroad is actually my plan after I graduated. Brussels is not among my destinations after uni currently, my childhood dream is to live in Ireland or in the UK. I spent five months in Swansea, Wales, and I loved every moment in the UK. It’s maybe weird, but I even liked their food! So yes, I can definitely imagine living somewhere far away from Hungary for even a lifetime.

Golden Times: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Beáta: Brace yourselves, spring is coming! During these lovely, sunny months, I try to buy as much vegetables and fruits as I can from the huge and beautiful market next to our university. You should definitely go there yourself in October. But as I live in a tiny room in the dormitory and I spend 16 to 20 hours per a day somewhere outside, I don’t have any special things in my fridge, I usually eat out. But if you ask my roommate, she will definitely find loads of dairy products – long live the Túró Rudi! – and energy drinks for my night AEGEE shifts in our fridge.

Golden Times: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?
Beáta: Enthusiastic, dedicated, caring, curious, European.

Golden Times: Anything you’d like to add? What should people know about you?
Beáta: This quote from John Quincy Adams was posted around a month ago on the Facebook page of the Leadership Summer School: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” If you understand this line and agree with this, you understand me and all my aims I want to reach in my life and the reason why I candidated. I want to inspire people to get the best out of themselves and to do what they really love in their life. There is nothing better than to see happy and grateful faces around you.