Tuesday, October 18th. For years the beginning of a new academic year has been a perfect opportunity to recruit new members to every student organization. Knowing that, we organized a recruitment meeting. A person chairing the meeting – Angelika Grzeszkiewicz – HR Manager of ESN UAM Poznań, with the help of our President and Project coordinators, explained the details of our activity to everybody who showed up at 19:00 in Jowita dormitory. A high attendance instills optimism and lets us believe that there will be more of us in our section very soon! (picture below)

Speaking of the section and the recruitment process, we decided to ask Kaja Janiszewska – our President, a few questions. Below you can find a short interview with her.

EWN: On 18th October we finished the first part of the autumnal recruitment for new members of our organization. Similarly to last year we didn’t lack in volunteers who decided to apply. Why is that?

KAJA: This year during the recruitment we decided to go out to students – literally. We went out to meet with them in the halls of their faculties. I think that thanks to those promotional stands and posts on student groups on Facebook, we managed to reach out to more people than last year. For the time being we have 100 volunteers willing to join us and every single person is amazing, unique and creative – ESN attracts those kinds of people because this is exactly who we are!

EWN: What do you think makes ESN stand out from other student organizations?

KAJA: For sure the fact that we work with the foreigners and for the foreigners. ESN is a huge international network which allows you to grow on many levels. From regular working in the team to being in charge of a project, creating marketing strategies or fundraising. ESN not only gives you a possibility of meeting interesting people from all over Europe but also of gaining skills that are most desired in the labor market these days. ESN is an organization in which everyone will find something for themselves: friendships, international relations, valuable experiences, great fun.

EWN: You became the President the second year in a row. What made you so hooked on ESN?

KAJA: People and their potential. I’m wondering all the time how to use those talents hidden in our section in a better way, what more can we do to benefit from ESN as much as possible. I won’t deny that it develops me as well – as I mentioned before, ESN gives you a possibility of gaining valuable experience. I think that you develop the most and the fastest when you challenge yourself, and this is what I want to pass on to our members – not to be afraid of new challenges, to get out of their comfort zones and see how much they can achieve. If it weren’t for ESNers and their energy, I wouldn’t be in the place that I am in right now.

EWN: You participated in the Erasmus+ exchange. You took part in the Annual General Meeting in Warsaw. As a President you have a chance to meet ESN sections from other countries. What do you think, how does ESN UAM Poznań present itself in comparison with them? Do our actions vary a lot from the actions of other sections?

KAJA: Each section in the whole network is different – there are smaller and bigger ones, less or more structured with different problems and possibilities. But the thing that we have in common is willingness to help Erasmus students, promotion of mobility and the values that it provides. ESN UAM Poznań is one of the biggest sections in Poland and our presence on the national level is very visible. Our members are involved in ESN Poland Association, many of them are part of the National Committees; ESN UAM Poznań members are even present in the National Board and in the group of National Projects Coordinators. Comparing our activity with that of other sections makes sense only when we have similar possibilities, for example, the same amount of Erasmus students at the university. From my observations I can tell that ESN UAM Poznań works really well, we organize different events regularly and Erasmus students know who we are. It’s important to follow what other sections do, to try to implement the best practices but also to learn from their mistakes. This is ESN magic, everybody can learn something from everybody.