Name: Nicole Saliba
Studies & University: Bachelor of Psychology – University of Malta
Why did you join the Board of Management?
I first became interested in applying for a position in the Board of Management after my first ever Joint EB&MR meeting. After holding the position of Member Representative of Malta and, also forming part of the Congress 2018 Organising Committee, I was becoming deeply devoted to EFPSA and wanted to be more involved. Planning events has always been a passion of mine and I could not think of any better way for me to do something I love whilst meeting like-minded people from all over Europe. Furthermore, I felt like joining the board was good for my own personal development, and I can truly say that I have learned a lot both about myself and my best working practices, and about working in a team of multicultural people.
What is the best thing about your position?
Personally, I feel that the best thing about being Events Officer is seeing the final product; attending the event and witnessing how all the Organising Committees’ hard work pays off in the end. It is truly an amazing feeling to see how far a group of people come from first meeting each other to organising a successful event. Having the opportunity to meet multiple groups of people from different countries is also great and very interesting – I feel that I have learned a lot about different cultures and how things work in each country that an event has been hosted. Finally, I love this position because I also get to work with all the others in the Board of Management, I always feel supported and heard.
What is the biggest challenge you had to face with this mandate?
This mandate, the biggest challenge for me was guiding some of the Organising Committees in regards to financial matters. Unfortunately, money is always a bit of a problem when working in a voluntary organisation, and especially when having to organise big events for students. Budgets are always minimal so Organising Committees have to work really hard to find sponsorships and grants. This may sometimes lead to motivational problems which in turn affects the whole organising. I would say that this is the biggest challenge of this position, trying to find the right balance between a cheap budget for an event and keeping the quality of the event to a certain expected level.
How did you maintain your EFPSA responsibilities with your other responsibilities?
This was quite tough for me to do, especially when I was working a full-time job last year. It’s always a challenge to manage your time properly and you definitely need to plan ahead and find a system that suits you best. I schedule my meetings in advance and write everything down in my calendar. As for emails and other work, I slot in a couple of hours per day or every other day, depending on the timing of the year and what would be happening at that moment in time. I also prioritise some personal time because I truly believe that everyone needs a break. Ultimately, being part of EFPSA is also supposed to be fun for us, so we definitely do not want to overdo it 🙂
What skills have you acquired during this mandate?
EFPSA teaches you how to be committed to something that is bigger than yourself, knowing that people are depending on you instills a big sense of responsibility that will definitely be useful in future professional jobs and life in general. I personally feel that I have also acquired very good communication skills through working within a team, both within the Board of Management and with the Events Office. I have improved my organisational skills and have generally become more independent, travelling by myself to all over Europe, something which I had not had the opportunity to do before I joined EFPSA. I feel that being in the Board of Management has made me grow into a more mature person and prepared me for real-life work, something that university alone often does not do. It is most definitely one of the most enriching experiences of my life.