At the Agora in Enschede three candidates compete for the task of Secretary General. In alphabetical order: Elena Antova, Lucille Rieux and Seren Günes. The Golden Times asked all of them for an interview. Read today what motivates Lucille Rieux from AEGEE-Toulouse to candidate. “Secretary General is a pillar of the network, responsible of the internal and external communication, but also a key person inside of the CD”, Lucille says.
Golden Times: Lucille, you candidate for Secretary General. Why would you like to do this task?
Lucille Rieux: First of all, I want to candidate because I am spending already all my free time – and even a good part of my working time – on AEGEE. It is high time I bring my ideas and dynamism into the CD, where I can, together with the team, implement what will be the direction of AEGEE. Secretary General is a very interesting and challenging position. It is a position that is not very well understood in general, because it encompasses a lot of different tasks, which will stay invisible if they are well done.

Golden Times: What does it require to be a good Secretary General?
Lucille: It requires a very good understanding and experience in different fields, not just administrative, but also thematic and organisational. I think I have this background and I can use my strong experience from projects to organisational issues, from commission to committee to successfully lead this position. Moreover, I really like that it requires a lot of team work and team management, enabling me to work a bit with everyone in the CD, control the internal and external communication, and being like “the hand that makes that things are running smoothly”. I want to have a proactive attitude, both by ensuring that basic tasks are made efficiently and by the deadlines, as well as by bringing fresh ideas into the team.

Golden Times: Why did you decide to candidate now, quite some time after the original deadline?
Lucille: Candidating for the CD is a very important decision. I have been thinking about it a lot for quite some time already and had gathered many ideas. When I saw that the deadline was going to be over, and no one would defend this position, it gave me the impulse to do it. I had to finish gathering my ideas, and it was ready. The extra days were because I was managing a Regional Training Course in Paris, just a few days after the deadline and it was very time-consuming.

Golden Times: Alfredo said that he wants to give the Secretary General task more importance. How much are you secretary and how much general?
Lucille: I guess that you mean how much am I a follower (Secretary) and how much I am a leader (General). I do believe that Secretary General is both about being a very strong team member and team leader. As Secretary General, you are to implement and put into the papers the decisions that are taken by the team. This is a very demanding part, where the secretary has to translate the ideas and the vision of the whole team into something realisable and understandable. But you are also to be seen a team leader.

Golden Times: In what sense?
Lucille: You have to ensure an effective working team, assigning tasks, stressing deadlines, defining priorities, and working on Human Resources. Moreover, I think this position is not to be undervalued as it is a very key position, which can also focus on other things than limit to administrative task. Mainly because most of the aspects, from organisation, to thematic issue or administrative ones, are linked, and being too restrictive would actually affect the whole team. Personally, I want to give this position a real dynamism: focusing on the archives, ensuring a high quality of statutory events, ensuring the electronic voting, increasing internal human resources through European programmes, implementing an internal certificate for our non-formal education…

Golden Times: What is the favourite task of all things you would do as Secretary General?
Lucille: For me, my favourite task is the part of the team and task management. Secretary General is a pillar of the network, responsible of the internal and external communication, but also a key person inside of the CD. As Network Commissioner, I have already had the responsibility of being in the centre of the communication between people. I am a very organised person, I like a lot to manage tasks, define priorities, being aware of the needs to deal with coming from the inside and outside of the network. But in order to get your team working well and smoothly you need to ensure also a good team spirit and group dynamics.   Moreover, in the field of human resources I have big experience with several European programmes, and I am planning to keep on looking for new opportunities to increase our task force without spending AEGEE-Europe money: by implementing the European Voluntary Service, Grundtvig or even Service Civique, which is a French programme of volunteering. The rest I will enjoy a lot too. I’m just eager to discover it all.

Golden Times: How and when did you join AEGEE-Toulouse?
Lucille: There was this lucky day in September 2008. While looking for an association dealing with Europe, I ended up on the not very updated webpage of AEGEE-Toulouse. Fortunately, the contact e-mail was still good, and after I got an answer, I decided to join the first meeting. Crazy meeting! I just arrived when the preparations for the Network Meeting Toulouse in November 2008 were about to start. I immediately joined the troops, taking care of the visa for non EU participants. I was so enthusiastic and motivated, that after only one month I was asked to candidate for president and started my first incredible year in AEGEE. When I think back about why I joined AEGEE, I realize that I was coming back from Erasmus in Sweden, and I was in need of some space outside the university, where I could learn, develop, meet, express myself, develop and try. A new learning space. And I found it.

Golden Times: You did a lot of things in AEGEE already, including Network Commissioner and project team member for Youth UnEmployment. Which of all your tasks in AEGEE are most important to you?
Lucille: Yes I accumulate a strong experience: I love AEGEE and my experience proves it: I have worked on thematic projects: on Youth UnEmployment, but also in the social inclusion core team, and currently in a European project on Youth participation called “Speak Up”. I have been Netcom and Subcom, a position I dear very much because of everything I have learned about AEGEE and myself. I have joined the Academy and done several trainings, organised exchanges with Youth in Action, and currently I am member of the first ACT team – the Action Agenda Coordination Team.

Golden Times: Can you choose three?
Lucille: I would pick being president of AEGEE-Toulouse, which was my first year in AEGEE, I worked with a small but great team, implemented real changes in the association. There, I learnt a lot In terms of NGO management and team management. Then, my position as Netcom, and later Subcom in Luis Alvarado’s team, responsible for French speaking locals, is just the best experience I have ever had. Being Netcom is one of the best ways to understand what AEGEE really is, to live it! I am also enjoying a lot the ACT team, because we are in a trial period, fighting to increase the antennae’s contribution to the thematic work, and the process of planning it is extremely interesting!

Golden Times: Which were your best and worst moments so far in AEGEE? And your favourite event?
Lucille: Well, best moment are numerous, being elected Netcom, organising the first Regional Training Course in France and seeing the potential of the members there, giving trainings and seeing the changes in the face of the participants, helping out antennas, developing ideas and making the into a real project. Being able to actually do something as young European is what AEGEE has to offer! Worst moments are good to have as well, we learn a lot from them, for instance I remember the disappointment after we had to drop social inclusion as flagship topic My favourite event was the ES2 in Poznan in 2010. One of the most inspirational, hard, but yet incredible event!

Golden Times: Please complete this sentence: “AEGEE is for me…
Lucille: …a space where young people can express their voice and make Europe happen.”

Golden Times: What hobbies do you have?
Lucille: I love to ski a lot, and I used to do badminton also. Couldn’t find a club in my current city, but well… I love cinema, photography and art in general, languages, learning them, and travelling – as a good AEGEEan…

Golden Times: What’s your dream job after finishing AEGEE?
Lucille: I am not sure yet, I am changing quite often the ideas, but I would like to work in the youth or in the cultural field, most probably I see myself in a NGO, working on policy or projects development.

Golden Times: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Lucille: Goat cheese and dried tomatoes.

Golden Times: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?
Lucille: Dedicated, focused, comprehensive, passionate, colourful.

Golden Times: Anything you’d like to add? What should people know about you? :-)
Lucille: Well, that I’m ending to answer your interview at almost 3 am, right on time to go sleeping for leaving for the Network Meeting in Burgos tomorrow. Good organisation of our time is the key, because if well-managed, we can do a lot of tasks in one day… It is true that, very often it requires some night working late, but well, already something I will be used to if I am elected to the CD.