Jana Pokorná from Prague is the new AEGEE Fair and Study Fair manager at the next Agora in Skopje. Since 2009 it became a tradition that at every Agora a study fair is organised. There the participants can get a chance to get first hand info about studying opportunities abroad from representatives of universities and other institutions. The AEGEE fair is an activity organised by the Chair in order to bring AEGEE members, Working Groups and Project Teams together at the Agora. The participants get the chance to ask all the questions to the present groups and find their places on the European level of AEGEE. The Golden Oldie asked Jana about her plans to make the fair in Skopje a success.


Golden Oldie: Jana, tell us about yourself. How old are you, where are you from, what do you study?

Jana Pokorná: I just finished my Master studies in Prague, last year I lived one year in Turkey. I am now 24. I am coming from a small village in Moravia, south-eastern part of the Czech Republic.


Golden Oldie: What was your motivation to apply for the task of Agora Fair and Study Fair manager?

Jana: I wanted to apply already at the last Agora, but I knew that I may not be enough experienced, so I decided to first observe how is it going and to take part in it. First I asked chair team member Yvonne Antonovic what are the tasks. She replied plus asked me to apply, as she thought that I would be suitable for it. It is again new challenge for me, a new experience, meeting new people, solving new problems. I like to organise stuff, and I hope the fair will be successful.


Golden Oldie: How did you react when you heard you were selected?

Jana (smiles): Surprised and happy.


Golden Oldie: What is an Agora Fair and Study Fair manager actually doing?

Jana: Organising it, managing it. On one side, taking care of the realisation, on the other hand looking for people who want to be there and take part in it.


Golden Oldie: Have you been involved in Agora Fairs and Study Fairs so far?

Jana: Yes, I took part in the Fair in Alicante, and I liked it very much. I was not in the Study Fair, and I have a feeling that this part needs a bit more promotion.


Golden Oldie: How would you like to do improve the Agora and Study fairs?

Jana: It depends on the resources which we will have. The problem is always a place, technology, materials. However, people are able to improvise – on account of quality, even though there are exceptions. The main problem is money for PR materials, and the place should be much bigger than the one in Alicante. Also a good timing is crucial. It shouldn’t be too late or too early. So far, I am at the beginning, so more ideas will come.


Golden Oldie: Yvonne Antonovic wrote that making these fairs in Skopje will be extra challenging. Why?

Jana: This year the Study Fair and Agora Fair will be for the first time together, at the same time. In Alicante they were separated, and the study fair was not really successful. This year, we have to manage both of them at the same time. Also, the Fair in Skopje will take 2 hours, not only 45 minutes as before. I would suggest to make the fair at the beginning, the first day of the Agora, because people will not be tired yet. More details later!


Golden Oldie: Do you think there is enough interest by AEGEE members to attend Agora and Study Fairs? How can that be improved?

Jana: I would definitely say that the fair has a big amount of visitors, according to my observations from Alicante, though it still can be improved. It depends of course on the realisation and promotion. If there will be enough space for everybody, if the stand will be interesting enough for our members, who would like to find something interesting to join or see, or buy or get. As I said, we are at the beginning, and I do not know so far the possibilities.


Golden Oldie: Do you have a team that helps you? How can people make your life easier?

Jana (smiles): Hehe, that is not that difficult. If a person is working in a good environment with intelligent people, then life and everything goes smooth. Well, the team will be me, fair responsibles from the Skopje organisers, CD members – so far Mirek and Marco – and Yvonne of course.


Golden Oldie: Finally, a few personal questions. How did you join AEGEE? Any nice story connected to it?

Jana: When I was on Erasmus in Bolu, Turkey, I met members of AEGEE-Bolu. They were my best friends and when the President contacted my antenna in Prague that I want to join, I decided to give it a try.


Golden Oldie: What have you been doing in AEGEE so far?

Jana: I am a member of two antennas, AEGEE-Praha and AEGEE-Istanbul. When I was in Turkey, I was active in Istanbul, teaching my fellow AEGEEans English, being a leader of the local Visa Freedom Working Group, helping with the organisation of their Summer University, and some smaller tasks. I was also active in AEGEE-Praha, but only via internet, helping to create new websites, translations, helping with organization of our TSU, a Slavic event and promotion.


Golden Oldie: Very impressive, that’s a full-speed start into AEGEE. You kept the pace of your activities when you returned to Prague?

Jana: Since I came back, I fully jumped into the organisation of our TSU, being one of the main organisers. I am also a Speaker of the Visa Freedom Working Group since April, trying to renovate, refresh, call it whatever you want, trying to motivate people to become more active in this field. I am going to Poznan in August for the Planning Meeting, in September to the Youth Convention on Volunteering event in Brussels. I was at last 2 Agoras and 1 EBM. I’ll go to Skopje as well, where we are preparing a workshop.  I am really new member, but AEGEE really took my heart. I did not do much so far, but I will try to do my best in future.


Golden Oldie: What are your doing when you don’t do AEGEE things?

Jana: Previously my studies, which are now finished. Now I am looking for a job. I’m also travelling a lot lately, books, sports, films, food – and sleep.