We are all in the Milky Way... Maybe it is time to have some changes? Let's change galaxies for the 28th time! BETWEEN GALAXIES - that is what ESN Šiauliai is planing to show us this time!
11/06/2016 - 10:00 to 12/06/2016 - 18:00
One the 12th-13th of March, 15 sections came together as the 27th National Platform of ESN Lithuania began. Organized cooperatively by ESN KK and ESN VU KHF. With the plenaries and workshops being held in VU Kaunas Faculty of Humanities. Among other things, this NP was focused upon the reports of the National Board members, National Coordinators, National Committees and of the sections themselves.
On the first day of the Platform they saw the reports of Eduk8 Starter participants, "Colours of Lithuania", CNR Jyvaskyla and the National Board.
The day came to a energetic end as ESN ISM and then ESN ŠU presented their candidacies for the OC of NP'28. And finally the evening was a part where all faces began to fade, as the night brought on the Masquarade. An evening part with many games and a wonderful performance by the OC.
On the second day of the Platform. For the second time at a Platform of ESN Lithuania an infomarket was held to present the sections, where everyone got a chance to get up and personal, meet face to face and learn all they could want about other sections and share gadgets with eachother.
The votings decided ESN ŠU as the OC for the next platform and "Go Xtreme" as a National Event.
Written by Tautvydas Utyra
Daphne Scherer is another example of a person who has used her volunteer work for ESN to her benefit. Today, she works for the European Commission.
Born in Genova, Daphne is Italian by nationality but has enjoyed a life in an international context, both through studying and working as a volunteer. Already in 2003, Daphne had her first experience abroad, when she attended a high school cultural exchange. After one year in the US, Daphne started her undergraduate degree in Italy.
However, she still wanted to be a part of an international community. Even before enrolling at the university, she joined the local ESN section. For three years, she was responsible for the Tandem project and organising language cafés. Like many ESNers, she also used the opportunity to practice her foreign language skills while volunteering.
Even after several years working for ESN locally, Daphne wasn’t satisfied with her international experiences. So, for her Master’s, Daphne moved to Denmark where she attended the University of Aalborg and graduated with a degree in Culture, Communication and Globalisation. ESN Denmark was a big part of her time in Aalborg. After graduating, she moved to Paris for the European Voluntary Service.
During her EVS, Daphne got even more involved in ESN. First, through the PRIME project in 2009 where she worked on the continuous challenges concerning recognition procedures for outgoing exchange students. Daphne also worked on preparing the PRIME project in 2010, andoperated as a National Representative for ESN Italy and Vice-Chair for the newly established International Committee for Education. Through her work in ESN, she got the possibility to attend the Bulgarian Education Summer Training II in Bulgaria and was part of setting up the Eduk8 project.
Her volunteer work in ESN helped her achieve her goals. More than anything, her previous experience with the PRIME project helped her gain a position at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. In her position, Daphne is working with higher education and Erasmus.
For Daphne, having always dreamt about working in the field of higher education, the dream has come true. She has no doubt about what helped her achieve this:
“This was always my dream and ESN gave me the opportunity to seize it!”
Written by: Jesús Escrivá Muñoz, Sara Panis, Stefan Jahnke Edited by: Olav Mydland
Every success story begins with a first step forward and things following naturally. As a volunteer experience, ESN has been a stepping stone for many, now successful, individuals. This was also the case for Damien Lamy-Preto, who works for Education First in France as a Business Developer.
After his Erasmus exchange, Damien decided to join ESN in addition to his studies and work in architecture, but ESN completely changed his career. He has been involved in ESN for almost ten years, starting from a section member, to the section President of ESN Nancy. Later, he continued his journey as the National Treasurer of ESN France and lastly he became the Treasurer of ESN International.
Through his experience in ESN, Damien developed an entrepreneurial spirit. He believed that developing himself as much as he did was only possible due to the love he has for the mission and vision of ESN. So much of what he achieved was due to the effort he put forth and his belief that ESN could be great.
His hard work and involvement was rewarded with trust from the network, which allowed him to further learn and develop as he was working to keep that trust. After years of experience, on all levels, he is still convinced that ESN can always do better if the belief and trust in ESN, and its members, continue to grow.
Thanks to his volunteer experience in ESN, Damien pursued a career that was very different from his studies. He compares his choice with other students who followed an MBA path to build up their careers and now when he looks back he believes he made a good choice. In his own words:
“In ESN, nothing is impossible. The work fields of ESN are really broad: Education, Management, Finances, IT and so on. I found a real possibility to grow personally and professionally and thanks to the size of the Network this was a long and fruitful adventure.”
In ESN, he had the chance to work with many different institutions and companies which helped him build extensive personal relations and networks. He developed numerous skills in finance, languages, education management, and leadership, but above all, he values his friendship skills, which he believes will be essential in his future.
He is convinced that if it hadn’t been for ESN he wouldn’t have had these vast opportunities to improve himself at the level he did and he would have also never gotten in touch with Education First, where he works now.
Damien’s experience is a great example for every volunteer in ESN. From time to time, your volunteering work might not always seem important to you, or be relevant to your field, but you are learning a lot and developing competences you do not even realise at the time. All of this self-improvement will be helpful in your near future.
ESN is so much more than meets the eye. Search no more for what is relevant. By adding value to the network, you will also be adding value to yourself. ESN itself might not be the reason a company will employ you, but the skills and experiences you acquire from volunteering in ESN will.
Written by: Jesús Escrivá Muñoz, Sara Panis, Stefan Jahnke Edited by: Cüneyt Akso
A unicorn. The synonym of success in the professional world. After all, the term itself was coined for the most successful startup companies in the world. But this article is not about Silicon Valley or startups. This article is about you.
It’s not easy to spot a unicorn - especially the mythical one - and yet becoming ‘a unicorn’ seems to be a universally applicable goal. Stand out in the crowd and shine. Don’t we all want this? Sadly, there’s no universal recipe, but we can all work on understanding ourselves and selling our assets in the best possible way. This article is the first in a series on how to become a unicorn yourself - in the job market.
If you’re sitting in a classroom, look around you. These people are just a tiny fraction of all students of your age. Students that will enter the job market at the same time as you will. In fact, around 20 million students graduated in 2015. Now look around the class again. These people will enter the job market having the same education as you.
Our generation is constantly told we’re special. And we are, when it comes to our families. Out in the wild we’ve got to show something extra to stand out if we want to succeed.
It’s easy to say “something extra”, but what exactly should it be? Well, let’s actually take a step back and start from the very beginning. Ask yourself a question: “What am I bringing to the table?” Let’s take the example of Lucy. Lucy is applying for a job to become a nurse. Lucy gave the question a thought and came up with the following answer: “I know how to handle medical equipment, I have an excellent overview of pharmaceutics and I am a gentle yet firm person.” Sounds simple enough, right? Let’s take a close look at Lucy’s answer.
The first thing mentioned by Lucy - “I know how to handle medical equipment” - is a skill. Skills are simply the ability to perform a certain task. Do you know how to cook scrambled eggs? Congratulations, that’s a skill - and very valuable one for having a delicious breakfast.
However, not all skills are relevant for all tasks. Cooking eggs might not be the core skill for being a nurse; that’s why it’s important that we know which skills are the ones we can proudly present to the world. Knowing your skillset well is a must - and knowing which of those skills to show at the right time, that’s what makes you stand out. Don’t worry, we will show you how later on.
Skills are closely tied with knowledge - a good example is Lucy’s 'excellent overview of pharmaceutics'. Knowledge is usually associated with what you learn during your time at the university, but having knowledge itself doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or useful.
What you’re looking for is pairing the knowledge with the relevant skills, that’s where the sweet spot is. On top of that, in today’s fast-paced world, it’s the ability to acquire knowledge quickly, the ability to jump into an issue without knowledge and learning along the way, the ability to go 80% using the resources we have, that makes for an A-player.
That concept sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?
What would skills and knowledge be without the third to the Triforce. Being 'a gentle yet firm person' is Lucy’s secret sauce. You’ve probably heard the words 'soft skills' already. Being a team player, being resilient, being persistent on one hand and patient on the other. These are what binds the whole A-player together.
Skills and knowledge on their own are simply not enough today; it’s the extra mile, expressed by the attitudes we are showing to the outer world, that makes a difference in the end. And of course - as you have probably guessed it already - they are the hardest ones to obtain. The soft skills and attitude are completely up to you, to your personal growth.
There we go, the three categories we should focus on to become a unicorn in the job market.So, do you have the right skills, knowledge, attitude? We will look into how to acquire these in the next article.
If society is a damsel in distress, then volunteers are superheroes who are on call 24 hours a day. Why? Because it is rewarding in so many different ways! If you are wondering whether it’s worth the time then keep reading to find some of the benefits volunteering can offer you.
1. We develop new skills.
Through our work as volunteers we develop soft skills such as adaptability and problem solving, as well as hard skills such as proficiency in a foreign language and networking. Both sets of skills boost our employability and make us competitive in the labour market.
2. We travel.
Thanks to our activities, we can travel all across Europe, discover new places and meet new people. As much as travelling is a fun experience in itself, it also allows us to develop a sense of wonder, foster new values, and helps us realise what it truly means to identify yourself as a European citizen.
3. We learn informally.
Volunteering serves as a reflection of who you are―it shows that you have been active during your student years, that you took initiative, and that you performed in high, decision-making positions which helped you foster entrepreneurial and leadership skills. That is enough to set you apart from other candidates.
4. We work on improving ourselves.
Social interaction is a key component of life. Volunteering makes you open your door to strangers who soon become your family. It pushes you out of your shell and motivates you to work on improving yourself. Soon enough, you become a master of social and communication skills, and presenting yourself to new people brings you joy, not sweaty palms.
5. We learn languages.
Volunteering in an international environment does wonders for your language skills. It helps you improve the language you already know, practise speaking a language you have only started learning or get you into learning one you never thought about before. Plus, it looks amazing on your CV!
6. We celebrate differences.
For a continent with as rich a history as Europe, it is important to get a better understanding of other cultures, something we as volunteers have first-hand access to. Understanding leads to respect and respect leads to knowledge. Learning and participating in other people’s traditions, exploring their cuisines and discovering their differences is not only fun, but also rewarding.
7. We make friends.
The amount of people you meet through volunteering is one of its greatest advantages―you make a network so big, making sure you always have someone to turn to. We do not only meet potential employees, we make friends all over Europe which means that as volunteers we can offer you any piece of information you might need.
8. We inspire.
Volunteering can be a stepping stone for you. It is a source of motivation and inspiration—through various volunteering activities you can discover your career path.
9. We help people.
Volunteering is like asking yourself “Would you still do your job, even if you did not get paid for it?” Volunteers are people who are willing to invest their free time into helping others not because they have to do it, but because they want to do it. No matter what you are doing—helping international students find their place in a new surrounding or helping your local community—you matter. And is there a better way to end your day other than hearing a warm thank you?
10. We make a difference.
Interacting with people from other cultures can make you more open-minded, tolerant, and understanding. Volunteering can change your point-of-view, educate you and help you break stereotypes. You find yourself in situations you never thought you would be in, doing things you never thought you would be doing. You acquire knowledge and skills that can become your lifeline. Volunteering opens a whole new window of possibilities and experiences. You stop wanting to become better than other people and you start wanting to outgrow yourself. You become your own superhero.
Do you want to join our squad?
Written by Tajana Mohnacki
Summer is coming as well as the most important National Platform of the year! Elections of the next National Board of ESN Lithuania will take place at the SMK University of Applied Social Sciences in Klaipėda 13-14 of June, 2015. Let's meet for the second annual meeting of ESN Lithuania this year!
Usually it takes a long time to get there. Once you do that, there is never enough: of ESN, of people you meet and spirit you feel. Official description tells you that it is the main decision-making body of ESN International. Well, it is. And it is much more at the same time: future cooperations, knowledge transfer, gathering information, sharing experiences, developing ideas, creating personal long-lasting relations, simply having fun and believing in ideas of the network.
The idea of AGM is to gather together around 600 current and former members of ESN from international, national and local levels. 36 countries – numbers only prove how broad our organization is. And while wearing different colors and realizing slightly different projects we manage to keep unity in diversity.
ESN Lithuania also was a part of it – 12 delegates representing 9 sections of ESN Lithuania together with NB delegates and NR in front of. Great purple cloud took over the city of Maribor for 4 days starting from 11th continuing to 14th of April.
Thursday, 11th of April
While our NR Simona Patašiūtė was catching a breath after intensive and productive pre-CNR delegation of Lithuania was slowly starting to appear from different corners of Europe. The fastest ones were invited to explore Maribor – former European Capital of Culture 2012 during guided sightseeing tours, which invited to share “Brez objemov” or “Free Hugs” with the citizens. Surprised, smiling faces and a bit scared ones from too high dose of Love, but after all – socially aware ESN greeting for the city, which hosted the biggest event of the network.
Opening ceremony of the event was soon to come so after making few more circles in the city time for preparations to meet Mr. President of Slovenia Borut Pahor. After his speech even more greetings followed by ESN AISLB president Emanuel Alfranseder, partnerts of the network and even Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. Ceremony was opened and closed by Slovenian singer performing anthem of ESN SB – “Don’t You Worry Child”.
Afterwards delegations were invited to enjoy traditional Slovenian dinner together with songs and dances followed by Responsible Party where RP ambassadors were taking a great care of ESNers while providing them water and other goods.
Friday, 12th of April
From 7am in the morning participants were invited to enjoy the breakfast and so prepare for the following sessions when procedures of AGM were presented, chairs were elected, agenda approved and presentations of the candidates for 2013-2014 IB were heard.
Later the action was moved to the Technical Faculties, where local Slovenian people together with the members of ESN were invited to participate in the Uni-market which has lasted for 3 hours and has invited to get to know more than 300 universities across entire Europe.
After the market was finished ESNers were invited to attend the variety of workshops starting with the diplomacy lessons taught by Slovenian Foreign Affairs Minister ending up with project management and team building. Impressions and lessons which were learnt were shared during the National Platforms, which invited to talk about candidates for the IB, about AGM itself and to prepare for the loud and colorful flag-parade.
Parade which took for more than few hours and was captured by various media representatives ended up in Festival Hall Lent where the Eurodinner took place. Crazy night with loud music, various goods from different countries of the world leaded to the one of the most important days of AGM.
Saturday, 13th of April
The 3rd day of AGM invited to the sessions where the most important decisions were made. OCs for the future international events were elected:
• AGM Milano 2014; • CEP Košice 2014; • CND Lodz 2014.
Later on budgets were discussed and presentation about the work done by IB 2012-2013 was given. As well as standing orders were changed with the biggest innovation – bringing the chairing team to the CNR meetings, which from now one will be made of CNR Administrator, Secretary and Technical Assistant.
44Changes for the Visual Identity Manual were also introduced with a suggestion to allow the use of ESN logo in full solid ESN Colors, including ESN Pink/Cyan/Orange/Green/Dark Blue. The next day proposal was approved by AGM, so from now on we have even more colorful and flexible visual identity of the network!
AGM was continued by presentation of the Board Action Plan for 2013 – 2014 with concrete actions how to improve the structure, budget, work of secretariat and strengthen up ESN Brand. Promotion of the mobility, concentration on the projects as ESNSurvey, PRIME, Erasmus Impact Study will remain. Will be working on strengthening up the Eduk8, Alumni network, working with facilitation of international jobs, traineeships and volunteer opportunities for ESN members.
During the rest of the day international ESN projects were presented: ESNWiki, Responsible Party, where ESN Lithuania takes the first place by the number of RP parties organized! Time for the session was coming to an end so lots of discussion points were delayed to the coming day.
UV Youngle Party followed afterwards, where with the help with OC, IB and NewYorker everyone was dressed the same – T-shirts of ESN, which later on were covered by the layers of ultraviolet sensitive paints.
Sunday, 14th of April
New day, new challenges and huge amounts of information! Projects as ESN Satellite was presented with having a first look to the new version of it and promise for it soon to come. ESN Survey was analyzed, recent results of Eduk8 were presented continuing with the presentation with the rest of projects as Erasmus in Schools as a Flagship Project for this year, Social Erasmus as the latter Flagship Project of ESN, Section Quality Development, Section Cooperation, ESN Galaxy, ESN Card, Ride for Your Rights, ExchangeAbility presentations.
Reports of CNR, CND, Committees, Liaison Office and Network itself followed together with presentation of commercial, institutional partners.
Alumni were also invited to the stage to present their new work done during the recent year, attempts to gather all national Alumni coordinators to one place and to share their knowledge and possibilities between each other. More information about Alumni network might be found HERE. Also traditional Alumni grant was given. This time it was ESN Rijeka which was awarded by 500eu for the innovative trainings for ESN members of their section.
Also that day IB for the next cadency was elected:
• President – Stefan Jahnke;
• Vice-president – Dominique Montagnese;
• Treasurer – Jonathan Jelves;
• Communication Manager – Robert Klimacki;
• Web Project Administrator – Salih Odabasi.
After the reports of the auditors and vote of AGM event was officially closed. Only Gala-prom was waiting for the participants.
Gala this year was different. The idea was to have a prom date like in the times of finishing high school. That was the reason why everyone that night came by two. High heels and ties, dresses and suits – that night we’ve proved how different we can be – from dirty t-shirts to fancy look, from crazy parties to Social Erasmus. That’s what ESN is about.
15th of April
Then the sun started to appear in the morning of 15th AGM came to an end. Lots of goodbyes were told during the breakfast, many free hugs made to each other hoping to see each other again. Once more hundreds of people from different parts of Europe spread apart to work for the same ideas and values only through different projects and venues. Work for the local, national and international community. Spread responsible and socially aware ideas.
Every time we meet, something changes. In statutes, standing orders, VMI, but the wish to ESN your life always remains.
During the recent weekend, staring from the early morning of 16th of March participators of already 14th National Platform of ESN Lithuania met each other once again in a purpose of improving work, sharing experiences, gathering information and exchanging ideas. Challenging national event which encouraged not only to consider in which direction future work of organization should be developed but also to enjoy the rising quality of the NPs.
Despite the Survival Guide, shared with participators weeks before the event, and present moderator for the second time in the history of ESN LT even the opening was different – this time the network was welcomed by the representative of Education Exchange Support Foundation. After meeting and greeting covering more serious topics followed. President of ESN Lithuania discussed the meaning of being a volunteer and significant role of it which in some ways is useful while creating a good image of not only ESN, but of entire Lithuania as well.
Later the recent Bling Bling party was discussed with the arising idea to elect the future coordinator for the one of the most successful events of ESN Lithuania. ESN LT Alumni has also played a significant part in a program presenting their motives of foundation, followed by future plans and vision. And so did the Social Erasmus with Kristina Seleziova in front of it. Coordinator of SE in Lithuania talked about the results which were achieved through the latter quarter. Also ideas for the future were presented with a promise to present them all in the official page of SocialErasmus in Lithuania.
One more happy new is that ESN Lithuania keeps growing not only in quality, but also in quantity! The new section candidate – ESN SMK (University of Applied Social Sciences) was approved as the 11th possible section of ESN network in Lithuania with ESN VGTU as their buddy section which will monitor the work of the candidate until the next NP. Happy moments were not over with this change only. After accepting new member candidate time for guests came. Michal Sikora from ESN Czech Republic and Stefanos Antypas from ESN Greece presented their ESN countries, methods of organizing work there and ways of solving arising problems. The day ended with discussions about coming ESN Olympics and relaxing in non-formal environment.
During the second day of the National Platform many statements of National Board members were made, covering the recent results of their cadencies – participation in various international events, making ESN Lithuania more visible in international context same as in the local one. Also effort while organizing workshops and gaining the best results from it. Or even supporting the particular members of the network to take part in those workshops. One of the recent and the best examples of it – participation of Tomas Tamulevičius in Eduk8 Winter in Valencia, where trainings for the better team work, management of projects and their realization were organized. Tomas (ESN VMU) was glad to admit that it was an event worth time and money invested in many different ways. His workshop and positive reviews after the one only proves that with ESN you can always go further and help others to go with you.
That is how the recent weekend looked like under the sky of ESN Lithuania. But the life there never stops, so keep up with our website to get the latest news – about NBM Dijon, coming AGM and all the other local, national and international events approaching.
P.S. Huge thanks for ESN ISM for organising one more beautiful event for the entire ESN of Lithuania!