82 percent for Guillermo García Tabarés: at the Agora in Alicante, the former president of AEGEE-Barcelona received the best result of all six people, who candidated for one of the four vacant positions of Member of the Comité Directeur. “Thank you, Agora, for the great support and trust. Now it’s my time not to let them down, such a percentage is a big responsibility,” Guillermo says. The future Human Resources Director, who speaks seven languages, told the Golden Oldie more about himself and his plans in AEGEE.


Golden Oldie: Guillermo, tell us a few words about yourself. How old are you, where do you come from, what do you study?

Guillermo García Tabarés: I’m 23 years old and I’m from Bilbao where I grew up and studied my Biology Bachelor. Then, 2 years ago, I moved to Barcelona to study for my Masters on Linguistics.

Golden Oldie: Did you finish your studies or will you continue after your CD term?

Guillermo García Tabarés: I will finish them now, in less than a month!

Golden Oldie: 30th of April, 8.15 pm. The announcement of the election results at the Agora. How did you feel in that moment in time?

Guillermo García Tabarés: One month before that moment I started thinking how it will look if I was elected – or if I was not, if my name was not going to be there until the last moment. However, when it comes to reality you cannot control yourself anymore despite the mental rehearsals. Uff, my hands were shaking, and suddenly my name appeared there! I don’t remember the next moments very clear: my hands came to my face and my friends around started to shake me around and pulled me to the corridor, where the Spanish yellow Agora team came as a whole and started to jump and shout with me and then took me to the stage! It was incredible, such a special moment, a dream that became true and my cheeks were hurting at night because I couldn’t avoid smiling.

Golden Oldie: That’s great! Let’s go back to the beginnings. You joined AEGEE four years ago. How did you join?

Guillermo García Tabarés: It was so randomly, I was previously in some summer voluntary workcamps and did an Interrail trip, so I was looking for something new for summer. Totally by chance someone mentioned AEGEE’s Summer Universities in an Interrail forum. I didn’t hesitate, took my phone and contacted AEGEE-Santander to become a member as soon as possible in order to send my application. I wonder a lot of times, how different my life now is and would be if that day I wouldn’t have read that comment!
Golden Oldie: You have quite a record: president of AEGEE-Barcelona, founder and former president of AEGEE-Bilbao and projects director of AEGEE-Academy. What were the biggest achievements and obstacles?

Guillermo García Tabarés: One of the most curious achievements was registering AEGEE-Bilbao. Everything was easy until the registration office of the city hall contacted me telling that it was impossible to register it, as there was another association registered already since 1986 with a very similar name: EGEE-Bilbao. You cannot imagine my face in that moment. They told us that there were no records ever since 1987, but that it was never dissolved. Thanks to the Network Director I got the name and the phone number of the founder. However, the phone number belonged now to a mobile phone company! The fact that the surname of that person was not very common and Google made my day, as he is now a working at the European Council in the field of environmental issues. He totally collaborated with us and through some letters the dissolution and new registration was finally successful!

Golden Oldie: Excellent! You wrote that you are involved in the idea of creating a Language Working Group. What’s the motivation behind that?

Guillermo García Tabarés: It was the motivation of a group of language freaks. We felt it was missing in AEGEE, and that some activities could be developed in this field. Unfortunately we had some problems, so it seemed it was better to continue this idea through other ways.

Golden Oldie: Actually I was impressed when I read that you speak seven languages. Is that a kind of hobby?

Guillermo García Tabarés: Languages are my passion. Actually I don’t mind which language, anyone is fine. I like discovering their differences and similarities and new sounds.

Golden Oldie: And what’s your strategy when you want to learn a language?

Guillermo García Tabarés: Whenever I travel abroad to a new country I buy a language learning method, and then I simply enjoy devouring grammar.

Golden Oldie: At the Agora you had actually the best result of all six CD candidates – with 82 percent. Did you expect that? Or did you have doubts that you would be elected?

Guillermo García Tabarés: All I can say is: Thank you, Agora, for the great support and trust. Now it’s my time not to let them down, such a percentage is a big responsibility!

Golden Oldie: When did you decide to candidate? And what’s your motivation for that?

Guillermo García Tabarés: It started around November. It’s something that you always see so far away, but a long message from a very good AEGEE friend made me change thoughts and then I couldn’t remove the idea from my mind. When I joined the AEGEE-Academy, I started to devote so many hours to my everyday AEGEE work, and the same time felt so comfortable with it. This and the fact that next year I would finish my studies made me think that it was a good moment to finally go for it.

Golden Oldie: And now you’ll leave beautiful Barcelona and to go to rainy Brussels… How will you cope with that?

Guillermo García Tabarés: Well, it will be somehow like going back to Bilbao where it can be raining for the whole autumn, but living abroad, which is a feeling that totally like!
Golden Oldie: How does it feel to be CD member-in-waiting?

Guillermo García Tabarés: It feels like: why do I have to make exams and write stupid reports now that I know what my life will look like in some months?

Golden Oldie: In your candidature you said you’d would like to do Human Resources or Projects & Working Groups. So which task will you do?

Guillermo García Tabarés: It is somehow arranged but not yet 100 percent clear. The idea is that I’ll take care of our internal structuring and education, and mainly develop a strong HR system in the Working Groups, with daily communication, recruitment and education of new members, documentation and more. My idea is that AEGEE must be much clearer and more connected. It should start working as a living being, where everyone can find his or her place and knows what to do there, so that AEGEE can achieve a good change in society.

Golden Oldie: A few days ago you were writing about the AEGEE Game on the list. What’s that?

Guillermo García Tabarés: It’s a new initiative that I had in mind for a year so far. The idea behind it is creating a board game to create awareness of our structure, but also about the European level that so many times is forgotten on the local level. Hopefully thanks to it, new members can learn more and feel more curious about AEGEE. It could be played in Summer Universities, Local Training Courses and other events as a part of the “What’s AEGEE?” lesson or simple in any fun moment that some AEGEEans gather together and want to have some fun checking how knows more about it.

Golden Oldie: How do you want to manage a good work-life balance in the CD?

Guillermo García Tabarés: It’s needed for a good mental health to go out and not staying inside the house 24 hours per day, because if we spend our free time in front of the computer the days can become monotonous. So, of course, there’ll be hard workdays that must be respected, but I want to respect also my free time out of the house – from time to time going for a coffee, visiting around, shopping, having sudden crazy propositions for my team or something relaxing like start gardening and doing some do-it-yourself for the house.
Golden Oldie: What are your hobbies except inventing games and learning languages? In your candidature I read about archeology and oil paintings? Anything else?

Guillermo García Tabarés: I used to paint in oil for some 10 years, now I prefer collages, but I don’t practice it very often. About archaeology, it was just the topic of one of the volunteer workcamps I attended, but it’s not my hobby at all. I’d like to enjoy jogging or going for a ride more often, but I need a bike first! What you should know is that I almost don’t watch films.

Golden Oldie: What do you want to do after finishing AEGEE?

Guillermo García Tabarés: I simply don’t know. Sometimes I think this year can offer me afterwards new possibilities for my life connected to the work done there, but if this it’s not the case, I have some everlasting utopian ideas like practicing theatre or anything connected to art or leaving to a crowded Asiatic city to start a new life… who knows.

Golden Oldie: As a child, what did you dream to be your future job after growing up?

Guillermo García Tabarés: My parents told me that in the real beginning I wanted to be a clown and a doctor – yes, both at the same time. Then I had a very strong phase about becoming an actor or a devoted lab researcher.

Golden Oldie: What are you most afraid of?

Guillermo García Tabarés: Loneliness.

Golden Oldie: What’s never missing in your fridge?

Guillermo García Tabarés: Frozen vegetables and jam.

Golden Oldie: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?

Guillermo García Tabarés: Positive, energetic, chatty, passionate, nervous.