Many AEGEE members dream to continue their AEGEE lifestyle in their professional life. Harris Kantas, who recently joined Les Anciens, is a perfect example, how AEGEE can prepare you for job: the former President of AEGEE-Athina was active in the PRWG, now he works in international advertising, dealing with 34 countries in Europe. Harris, who also was Network Commissioner, is living in Frankfurt: “I’m so much thankful to AEGEE for giving me the chances to travel so often and so easily,” Harris says. “Now I am thankful to Lufthansa, having their hub in Frankfurt.”

Golden Oldie: When and where were you born?
Harris Kantas: 19th April 1982 in Athens.

Golden Oldie: Where and what did you study?
Harris: Marketing at the Faculty of Management and Economics, Technological Educational Institute of Athens.

Golden Oldie: When did you join AEGEE and how?
Harris: Officially on the 10th April 2003. It was for an SU application, but it turned out to be way more than that in the end.

Golden Oldie: You were in the PRWG, Netcom and board member AEGEE-Athina. How do you remember that time? What where the greatest memories, challenges and rewards?
Harris: AEGEE-Athina was and will always be in my heart. It helped me to grow, in fact, aspects of my character that I hadn’t even thought. I never believed that I could do so, but I managed two years as a board member and a third in the row as President. That was a challenge. The NetCom came out of nowhere, unexpectedly. It was one of my first experiences working with non-Greeks. Loved it. The PRWG, though, was one step further. I could combine studies, interests and AEGEE at the same time; it was just wonderful.

Golden Oldie: Tell us a funny story of your AEGEE time!
Harris: PM in Varna, October 2004, one of my first events, while getting close to join the NetCom.
The event is over, we all go back home. I enter the house, my mum asks: “What should I cook for the next days?” Me: “Not much, I am leaving in 50 hours for Turkey. A friend is having a conference and I am going to support her.” That was the TR-Key in October 2004 and, of course, the beginning of me leading the nomad-AEGEE-life for several years.

Golden Oldie: What was your favourite AEGEE event?
Harris: I count mention a lot. My very first event: “Re-starring Malta”, Valletta New Year 2003/4.
This event marked my whole AEGEE steps after it. I still have good friends from this event with whom I chat and meet from time to time.

Golden Oldie: Which other events would you mention?
Harris: My first Summer University: “Bucharrested in the Carpathia” in Bucuresti , Brasov and Sighisoara in August 2004 was great, too. I extended my stay in Romania for ten days after the SU, while we had the Olympic Games back in Greece. Amazing times! Also my first big event as organizer: PRES 2 in Athina, October 2005. Living from the inside as an organiser what I had studied, through the eyes of AEGEE spirit. Great combination!

Golden Oldie: What were your best and worst moments in AEGEE?
Harris: These could also be a lot! The best: blowing the 21 candles on AEGEE-Athina’s birthday cake, as a President at the time in a great party – together with ten years of AEGEE-Peiraias and ten years of AEGEE-Patra birthdays. The worst: saying goodbyes after an event was over.

Golden Oldie: Which AEGEE member impressed you a lot?
Harris: I will just say a name: Burcu Becermen.

Golden Oldie: Any things you regret that you haven’t done them in AEGEE?
Harris: Not going to more SUs as a participant.

Golden Oldie: Did AEGEE influence your career decision?
Harris: Not really influence, but definitely strengthen the decision in my mind; I wanted to deal with marketing and PR and this is what I am doing now – in fact in a very much AEGEE way, working in an International Coordination team.

Golden Oldie: As a child, what did you dream to be your future job after growing up?
Harris: Doctor, pilot, fireman, tourist guide, etc. All kids pass through phases in their early years.
In my late teens, though, I figured that I am babbling a lot -and in a good, persuasive way- so I started considering the PR and marketing field; and that was it!

Golden Oldie: What are you doing now as main occupation?
Harris: I am working in an Advertising Agency in Germany in an International Coordination Team, dealing with 34 countries in Europe.

Golden Oldie: Are you single/married/married with five children?
Harris: Five children?!? Next question, please.

Golden Oldie: Which languages do you speak?
Harris: Apart from Greek, I do speak English and a bit of Spanish. Being in Frankfurt now, hopefully I will get to know German too.

The old opera house in Frankfurt

Golden Oldie: What do you like and dislike about Frankfurt?
Harris: Frankfurt is a nice city for living, not for being a tourist. It is quite multi-culti and you can find your way even without speaking a word in German. The German way of living, though, is hard to be used to. Coming from the Mediterranean Sea I have a completely different perception of daily life.
I’m adjusting and all will be fine in the end.

Golden Oldie: What are your best and least liked cities?
Harris: I loved Valletta and Malta in general, and Istanbul. I am not a big fan of Brussels.

Golden Oldie: What is the furthest place you ever went to?
Harris: From Athens all the way up to Tallinn, I think. Brrrr! New Year up there is freezing!

Golden Oldie: Which cities or countries would you like to visit in the near future?
Harris: My top five would be in random order: Barcelona/Spain, Rome/Italy, Vienna/Austria, Budapest/Hungary, Rijeka/Croatia.

Golden Oldie: What are your hobbies?
Harris: Travelling; I’m so much thankful to AEGEE for giving me the chances so often and so easily.
Now I am thankful to Lufthansa, having their hub in Frankfurt. Another hobby of mine is drawing; I used to paint with water colours and coal, everywhere, mostly my rooms walls.

Golden Oldie: What are you most afraid of?
Harris: Tricky one! I am disgusted of cockroaches and afraid of snakes. In the other sense, I am afraid of loneliness.

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

Golden Oldie: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?
Harris: Egoist, sarcastic humorous, adventurous, reliable and always-a-kid.