Legend of ESN? But it is far too early to call her legend even though she deserves name like that. Simply because of the love for ESN she spreads around and of course all the rest million things she has done for it here, in Lithuania. I am more than happy to present you our former National Representative, person, who has convinced tens of people to reach for more in ESN (thanks for it!) and one of the most passionate ESNers I have ever met – Orinta Movsesjan.
HellooOoo, Orinta! ESN is calling. Do you still remember us time to time?
Definitely, yes! ESN is something you can’t forget so easily, it leaves a mark for a lifetime!
Where are you today? And did ESN help you to reach this point?
Today again I am on the first year, as I started my MA studies. I am also working at VMU International Office. Since the very beginning of establishment of ESN VMU we were all the time cooperating and keeping close relationship. After 3 years of working hand to hand on various social, cultural, academic activities for International students, I received an invitation to join the team and become part of university’s administration.
So tell us the story of your ESN career.
I joined one of ESN sections at Vytautas Magnus University on the first year of my studies. Even thought I had been part of plenty youth organizations, ESN was something new, something different, something special. I still remember my first National platform more than 3 years ago. It motivated me to reach higher and go further (will steal the slogan and the main idea of Social Erasmus project, as it perfectly describes my feelings after visiting Mentor’s Days in Trakai in 2010!). After that I became more than sure that ESN is the organization I want to be a part of and that I want to become a member of a National Board. National Representative was the position I dreamt about, so I decided to participate in the next elections. There were still a lot of things I did not know about ESN but I was ready to learn, so after the summer I submitted my application, run for my favorite position and was elected. And then the journey begun… I participated in international meetings of ESN (CNRs, CND, AGM), became a part of chairing team of pre-AGM CNR Budapest, coordinator of project “Ride for your rights”, learned a lot about ESN as an organization, gained loads of new skills. It was the best year of my studies. After my cadence was over, I came back to my section, wanted to implement all the new ideas, help the current section board and make it as amazing as it could be. At the same time I did not want to lose the connection with ESN International that is why I joined the chairing team of CEP Cracow in 2011. Even now, I am trying to keep a close relationship with my section, share my experiences, participate in the events and help whenever it is necessary. I am in ESN for more than four years now and it still doesn’t seem I am ready to let it go!
What does it mean to be National Representative?
This position is a combination of loads of responsibilities, fun time, new experiences, and new people. NR basically represents national opinion of a country’ on various topics, he or she is a “bridge” between national and international levels of ESN. Being a National Representative (at least 2 years ago) meant you had to:
- read and answer from 15 to 50 emails a day;
- follow the situation on all three (local, national and international) levels;
- participate in International meetings every couple of months (sometimes even more often) in different parts of Europe;
- know how to express your opinion in a constructive way;
- love what you are doing;
- … and much more.
It’s hard to explain, but I know that being a National Representative for me was one of the greatest experiences.
How much has ESN Lithuania changed compared to the one you were used to work in?
In couple of years this organization has improved a lot of things. It was officially established according to the Lithuanian law, it expanded and accepted even more sections, even more and more ESNers are getting involved in to activities on the national and International levels, we got our first star award… There are even more things which were improved, thanks to the dedicated and motivated members of the National Board and local sections. And I believe this is just the beginning!
Which values of the organization you find the most attractive?
I like principle “students helping students” the most. It is amazing how much can students do, how much they can help the other, and how much they can achieve on voluntary basis.
What was the hardest for you during all these years in ESN?
To decide that it’s the time to quit and move on! Once an ESNer, always ESNer! Have never thought it is going to be so hard to say goodbye for an organization.
What was your motivation to keep going?
The greatest motivation was and still is people, the feeling of being a part of ESN family. It’s always nice to see smiling faces of International students after each event, project, initiative, and happiness of ESNers after each achievement, no matter how small or how big it is.
ESNers, International students) and the feeling that you are doing something, which has a big value for other people.
Which ESNish moment you cherish the most, the one you could share with us?
My first National Platform as it helped me to understand how much ESN can suggest as an organization and how much potential it has; the National Platform during which I was elected as a National Representative, as it was the beginning of something new and unexperienced; all the International meetings, as each of it was a huge opportunity to learn new things, gain new skills, meet new people; and many many more!
Anything more to share with the network?
Once you get in ESN:
- don’t stop in one place reach for more and for better,
- try to do things as good as you can,
- don’t stop, always reach for your goals,
- take as much as you can from being part of this amazing organization and don’t wait till someone will push you, show the initiative yourself,
- if you don’t know something don’t be afraid, it’s never too late to learn and you are not alone, there are plenty of people who can help you,
- love this organization as much as you can!
Thank you very much, Orinta, and wish you never stop feeling ESN in your hearth!