At the Agora in Enschede five candidates compete for four places as general CD members. In alphabetical order: 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 Pavel Zbornik from AEGEE-Praha to candidate as CD member. His preferred tasks: European Institutions, PR and IT. “Communication is the key”, says Pavel, who has a lot of contacts and experience when it comes to deal with the European Commission and its programmes. Read also, what Pavel’s dream job would be: owning a brewery.

Golden Times: Pavel, five candidates for four CD positions. How do you feel about that?
Pavel Zbornik: I expected more candidates, but on other hand all candidates are very good so election will be interesting.

Golden Times: You are focusing on European Institutions, PR and IT. What do you like about them?
Pavel (smiles): With European Institutions I’m not sure, who likes to write hundred pages long report for the European Commission? The responsibility is quite challenging. About PR I like mostly the creativity and diversity; in any other field you can’t feel it so much. Once you work on official press releases, next day you develop an information campaign or just brainstorm ideas for a flashmob. Also, you influence people and it’s really a great feeling if you get positive feedback or when you inspire someone to do something or try it.

Golden Times: European Institutions and PR are very important and time-consuming. How will you balance them out?
Pavel: Indeed they are. But I’m not alone for it. We have the Public Relations Committee (PRC) which is doing very well. I want to have a really close cooperation with them. AEGEE taught me to be quite effective. Last year I had to combine study two masters programs, be a quite active president of my local and work at Eurodesk and the National agency of the Youth in Action Programme plus travel on several AEGEE events. I’m using for several years quite successfully time and task management’s tolls, which make me quite effective so I believe I can manage it. I can recommend to everyone self-management methods and tools such as Getting Things Done (GTD), Zen To Do (ZTD), mind maps, Gmail, cloud services and others.

Golden Times: You are currently NetCom member. What are your greatest successes in that field?
Pavel: The most visible I guess is the new website of the NetCom which I did together with the internal page only for NetCom members. These websites make our work easier and work as well as platform for knowledge transfer. What I see from statistics of the new website, people are using it quite a lot which makes me happy. What I see also as my success is that I visited all my locals, some of them many times and have a quite good connection, which I see as most important when you are NetCom.

Golden Times: What qualifies you for the task European Institutions?
Pavel: I work more than one year as Eurodesk Manager and also have a task in the National Agency of Youth in Action Programme, so I know the programme quite well – especially the back stage. I’m also cooperating with our partners like the National Agency of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), Europass or the European Youth Card Association (EYCA). I worked with several representatives of the DG Education and Culture as well as EC on Youth on the Move event or when we organised a fair of all EU bodies. I also wrote a booklet about institutional fundraising opportunities in the Czech Republic, which includes European Programmes and funds. So I believe my knowledge of these programs will be valuable.

Golden Times: Except for funding, what do you want to focus on regarding the European Institutions?
Pavel: This depends on the task division. I see my strong point in funding, which is highly important. Also, I want to focus on keeping relevant stakeholders informed about our achievements. They should be aware who we are and what we do. Communication is the key.

Golden Times: You are also in the AEGEE-Europe webpage team. What’s your vision for the website?
Pavel: My vision is having the site as user-friendly as possible, have a clear structure with relevant information. The current website is not so bad if you look at other NGOs’ sites, but there is a problem in the structure of the content. We just started to work on it and I think we are on a good way, so I hope you will see soon some results.

Golden Times: In terms of PR, where do you see the biggest needs for AEGEE?
Pavel: Our visibility is problem and we don’t provide a clear picture who we are. Coherent visual identity is also missing as well as templates for PR materials. I also see we have problem deliver information to our members and partners. The AEGEEan was big step forward and a big improvement, the new website will help as well. But there are other communication channels and we shouldn’t forget on problem in coverage. With our current channels we can reach only 10 to 20 percent of our members – so we have room for improvement.

Golden Times: Which other PR instruments would you use and improve?
Pavel: We have to start thinking how we use emails, I think we overuse them, but don’t use so typical tools as newsletters. Our social media presence should be more coherent, I would like to connect social media profiles of locals with AEGEE-Europe, with similar design or applications. We are also forgetting about social networks such as LinkedIn or Foursquare. I believe we should also use more videos, they have a viral effect potential and can easily explain who we are and what we do or did.

Golden Times: How do you want to improve AEGEE’s external image and impact?
Pavel: I believe when we deliver relevant information to relevant people it can have impact. Target on opinion makers, have a feedback like media monitoring and coherent media presence can be key for it. Sounds simple but it’s hard to do.

Golden Times: Will you try to improve AEGEE’s visual identity? In what way?
Pavel: Currently the PRC is working on developing a visual identity with an updated version of the current logo, so I would like to continue in this direction.

Golden Times: How and when did you actually join AEGEE? Is there a nice story?
Pavel: 25th March 2009. It’s interesting how I found AEGEE, I was looking for some workcamps for summer and by accident I found the SU page and it was interesting. So I looked if there is AEGEE also in the Czech Republic, found the page of AEGEE-Plzen and after that the page of AEGEE-Praha. I went to a meeting and after three years I’m giving an interview in a position where I would have never expected myself.

Golden Times: You did a lot of things in AEGEE already. Which three of them are most important to you?
Pavel (smiles): I don’t have an answer for that, all of them were important at that time when I did them. I was developing my skills as well as the tasks became more complex. It’s like when you ask parents which kid like most.

Golden Times: And which were your best and worst moments so far in AEGEE?
Pavel: I have a lot of good memories, don’t ask me to choose, there are all different. I guess the best moment is when you meet your friends, doesn’t matter where and how. About the worse moment I prefer to not speak… (smiles)

Golden Times: Which was your favourite event?
Pavel: After attending more than 30 events it’s hard to say, I really enjoyed all of my SUs, NWMs or Agorae, I can’t pick one. Maybe Enschede will be my favourite.

Golden Times: Please complete this sentence: “AEGEE is for me…
Pavel: …a platform where you can do what you like as well as a way of life.”

Golden Times: How did you get the idea to candidate for the CD?
Pavel (smiles): Well it’s funny, last year I said I would never do that. There is a simple rule: never say never. Some people encourage me and my motivation is quite simple: I feel I can change something, I’m not that much an idealist like others, but I believe I can improve the work of our association.

Golden Times: What hobbies do you have?
Pavel: Movies, music, sports, traveling and recently I started to enjoy cooking.

Golden Times: What’s your dream job after finishing AEGEE?
Pavel: A job which is similar to the AEGEE lifestyle. I have right now one quite similar and it’s great. A real dream job would to be owner of small brewery…

Golden Times: Can you imagine living abroad for more years? Maybe start working in Brussels or will you go back immediately after your CD term ends?
Pavel: I don’t have any strong connection which keeps me in the Czech Republic. My daily job is to inform about opportunities which young people have in Europe and I think I’ll use some of them in future. Brussels or another place? You never know where life will take you.

Golden Times: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Pavel: I’m from small town with a big brewery so it’s simple, beer.

Golden Times: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?
Pavel: Hard working, organised, stubborn, creative and realistic.

Golden Times: Anything you’d like to add? What should people know about you?
Pavel: I can recommend to everybody who would like to know more about me, what my AEGEE experience is and what I did to visit website which I did for my candidature: