Let me introduce the President - Silvia Sýkorová and the Communication Manager - Nikola Krišteková from another perspective. From the unique perspective of a honest talk - sitting on my bed, eating popcorn and chocolate. May the honest talk interview begin...
Is there anything in particular that you would like to say?
S: Don’t hesitate to run for a presidency ! It’s the best year of one’s life.
N: I would like to thank the Centre for International Cooperation in Education for the free candy.
S: I would like to thank to universities for providing me with enough of notepads and pens.
Talking about personal life…
S: There is no time for personal life.
How come you were able to survive this year despite the fact that you live together?
N: That’s because I have only spent a fraction of time in the flat.
S: There are days when we don’t talk about the ISC at all. And also we knew each other before entering the ISC, that has a great influence as well.
Do you think you have changed during your time as a board member? Silvi, do you think that Nikolka has changed?
S: Yep, she got herself a boyfriend and she eats less as well. (true, we don’t make caramel at 2 am in the morning, and also the amount of mess on her table has increased significantly, editor’s note)
Nikolka, do you think that Silvi has changed?
N: No. I think that at the beginning she had the tendency to change, but then she came back to normal Silvi. Nowadays she is as she used to be, and even improved in terms of her personality. But overall I think that people don’t change, you just get to know them better, and have more opportunities to show their true colour.
N: Is there any popcorn left?
S: Not anymore, only Andrejka next door has some.
About the ISC…
Do you think you would enjoy working in some other ESN section?
N: I don’t know. Hard to say.
S: I think it depends largely on the people. When you’re surrounded by a good bunch of people, than you can work anywhere.
You wouldn’t have that much money to spend on promo materials. Let’s be honest here.
N: It’s true that I spend more money than the rest of the board members. On the other hand it saves a lot of trouble to live with the president, as I spend the biggest share of money.
S: So I am just a cashbox to you??
N: Well… otherwise I would have had two shirts and I would make photos with a compact. Or even worse, a phone!
What do you think is more important for ISC, the organization or the people within?
N: What do you mean by organization? I don’t understand the question.
S: She is blond. She is a golden retriever.
What makes ISC the way it is, the people within, or the fact that is has a structure, and sections, and a national board and platforms and all that stuff? And give me that candy!
N: See, that’s what you should write there, how the ISC changed my life - I eat hard candy for dinner. And I think it goes hand in hand, cause if there wasn’t for the structure, then the people wouldn’t have the chance to bind those intense relations - as they currently do.
S: I think the organization is the base and the people are the extension. That means that the structure provides you with an order. And you can build on that. And when a bunch of good people meet up, they can do a lot. Just like we have seen at the national platform recently.
N: Like, when the organization exists, then it works all the time, but when there are cool people, then it works perfectly.
We have met a lot of Alumni at the national platform. These people have already settled down and have a different life, yet they always come back to the ESN. Do you think you will be the same? That in ten years you will still be meeting up at the platforms?
N: I am not sure if that will be truth for the national level, however I do believe, that if I am still in Brno it is quite possible, that my friend from ISC will call me and I will leave my eight kids for you to babysit them. And I will go for a beer with him. But that may not be as much of the ISC thing.
S: On the other hand, I think I would go to peek if it still has such a drive, as it does nowdays. But going to every platform… I don’t think so. In ten years I am hoping to have a different life, and hopefully not under the bridge…
Alright then. We are leaving the ISC topic. Actually we aren’t... Wait, we are...
S: MAKE UP YOUR MIND!
Let’s calm down here. This is a serious interview.
S: It sure looks that way. (*irony*)
N: How deep is your love..?
Which word do you use most often regard in the ISC?
What would you give as a Christmas present to the ISC?
It can be a material present, let’s not pretend to be deep here.
N: Roll-up. I want a roll-up so badly. And also I would wish for the ISC to have a good board and that the people in that a board be happy and be able to cooperate.
S: I agree with Nikolka that the new board would be great. However I also wish for them to have a lot of motivation to work and to keep that motivation as long as they can. And also not to kill each other. For cabin fever can strike soon enough and strong enough.
How would you advise them to prevent the cabin fever?
N: You can’t prevent the cabin fever.
S: One just needs to learn to handle it.
N: Just try to eliminate the time spent together, that is definitely a way. Minimize the working and the private time spent together, nevertheless try to spend enough time not talking about ISC problems, but personal issues.
S: And spend some time outside the ISC. Even if that means you have to forbid each other from talking about the ISC.
N: And make personal rounds.
About the board...
Are there any specific predispositions that one has to have in order to be a member of ISC? Or would you rather say that the ISC forms it’s people in time?
S: I think Nikolka didn’t know that she would become the new Communication Manager, but the former one had known it from the moment Nikolka joined the club. Hence, I think she definitely have had some predispositions, and worked even harder before the election. And now she is doing an awesome job!
And Nikolka, what do you think of the President function?
N: Wait… I need to finish the drawing… Well, I don’t know. Being a president in this sense doesn’t mean that you lead the club as a dictator, but that you are willing to be at the spot where anyone else doesn’t want to be or cannot be. You become a problem solver. If something is missing, you go and get it.
Therefore it needs to be someone that is willing to sacrifice his/her comfort.
S: It’s just a crisis management in practice.
Are you planning to maintain any other position within the club after you finish your board mandate?
N: That is hard to say. I guess I am not planning to withdraw completely. It also depends on whether there is any room left for me. I will probably never become a treasurer...
S: Thank God!
N: … and I won’t be helping with the events as well. However I would stay a member of the PR team. I would like to avoid becoming a full time graphic designer. Because I don’t have the time to do that. Nevertheless I may not enjoy doing the PR anymore and I will focus on writing my thesis… But I guess I will stay.
Do you think that one year in board is enough, or would it be more appropriate to establish a longer term so that the board members may become familiar with their function?
S: I think that one year within our section is just enough. During that one year one can learn so many things… You shall find out who you are and what do you want to do. However after one year there is not much you may get anymore.
N: That is, again, hard to say. I personally belive, that I wouldn’t have a problem to do this another year. I believe that if I was doing PR for two years I would be able to improve it to the level that it would be really good quality. And I am not showing off here, I mean it in general.
S: I think that in your function that may be true, however as a president… One can still help within the club as a team member, but not much as a president again.
Would you say, that you have fulfilled your resolutions in the ISC?
N: I still have one month left to make the visual identity. Then I am done.
S: Let me think… I think I have fulfilled everything that I intended to do.
Was there any disappointment, that the ISC caused to you?
N: Well… I thought that I would be meeting more people from the ISC, and communicate with the outside world. But it wasn’t that way.
S: I am not disappointed. Only I have learned to work with people. And I have lost the illusions that I used to have, but not in a bad way.
N: More like sobering up.
When was the last time you have cried because of the ISC?
N: Thursday! … Friday…Saturday!
S: Laughing so hard, that I cried?
Silvinka never cries.
N: Silvi is sweating.
When was the last time you were laughing thanks to the ISC?
S: Five times a day. Everyday.
N: All you need is to spend four hours in a car with other eight people from the club, or to open up the chat conversation of the board, or to read the comments in the page for tutors. And you start laughing.
S: Or to meet them outside the club.
N: Or just to look at some of them is enough to make you smile.
S: Or the teambuilding memes.
What are you proud of?
N: The wine and love quote. And the orange campaign. And one board party poster that I made. And all of the quotes that are famous all over the place.
S: Wine and love is lengendary. And Eugene is legendary as well.
You came up with the Eugene?
N: Yep. But I am not proud of him, cause he is not handsome.
S: He is not handsome, but he is our own. He is just as retarded little thing as we are. And also it was lovely how you were posting for exchange students on the facebook. Apparently that is the way how to communicate with them. It’s better than the survival guide.
Silvi, as a president you had to deal with all sorts of critical situations. Are you particularly proud of dealing with any of the situations?
S: Surely, it was the situation when one of our exchange students caused a great problem, that lasted couple weeks. And also the national and international level got involved because of this. I think that was the worse that I was dealing with. And thank to pretty Nikolka, who put down all my thoughts in words we solved it.
N: I am proud of that moment as well. At that point it became obvious that it is necessary for the communication team to have someone who is not a good graphic, or a videomaker, but rather someone who can communicate with people.
About the ISC election...
How do you want to make sure that the next board will be competent?
N: I have tried to find a successor for my position. And I will try to be available during the first weeks and answer all the stupid questions that I was having as well, but I think that I won’t be having such a great impact here. The only thing that I could have influenced was the motivation of the team members.
S: I think that there are not many things one can have impact on. The only thing you can do is a great transition, when you help that new board member. I think that all the board members were there when we we having questions. Jesus Christ, I felt so overwhelmed during those first days, and I didn’t even know what to do, but Zikuska (former president) was being very helpful and answered each of my silly questions.
I meant if you have some sort of a campaign maybe? A way to persuade future members.
N: That is exactly what I am trying to avoid, that the new board members would be chased around. Of course, there is a need to push that person a little. I push people of whom I think that are having the potential to do the job, but I think that persuading someone is not the way. If you don’t want to do it, or you want to do it, but you don’t have the balls to go for it, than maybe that person is not suitable for the job.
S: At this very moment you definitely can’t make force anyone to sign on the ISC. Unless one doesn’t want to do it himself/herself, it doesn’t make any sense.
On the other hand the ISC, from the outsider perspective, does not seem too inclusive. I mean, many students may not even acknowledge, that there is a board or the election.
S: There are people, that remain tutors and are perfectly content, and there are those who want to participate more intensively. To all the tutors I would recommend to go to one of our teambuildings. That is the platform to meet all the active people.
N: Just get more involved. Go and help at the party. That is the way of getting to know people in the club.
S: And quiz night for tutors is a great platform as well. Any of our activities, really. And it is never too late. Zikuska had been a member of the ISC for three months all together, when he became a president.
What would be your advice to the candidates that are running for the board mandate?
N: Think about which position are you running for, and try to present yourself accordingly.
S: The nervousness is useful. It makes you take it more seriously and get ready properly. Be stressed out and it’s gonna be okay.
Any romantic last words?
S: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
N: But indeed, you should be afraid. Mistakes are evil, especially when you export the vector shapes wrong.