Name: Vita Bogdanic
Studies & University: University of Maastricht (The Netherlands)
Why did you join the Board of Management?
I have to admit I wasn’t that brave and if it wasn’t for others encouraging me, I would’ve never applied for the position in the Board of Management. That would have been the biggest mistake I ever made. I decided to apply because I knew it would be a huge step out of my comfort zone. And when you are scared, when you realise it’s a step out of the comfort zone that is exactly when you need to do it. That is when you grow. I wanted to learn, I wanted to have more responsibilities, to meet people with similar interests and at the end of the day to feel that I’m contributing to a bigger community.
What is the best thing about your position?
Being an Academic Affairs Officer means that you are focused on the scientific parts of EFPSA. You oversee two services that take care of our EFPSA Research Programme and our Journal. You get the chance to learn a lot about them both, which is extremely useful, especially if you are interested in research. You also have a chance to talk to many different professionals and work on your networking skills. Since the position is new it gives you the freedom to be a bit creative and implement new things that will encourage collaborations and help EFPSA grow.
What is the biggest challenge you had to face with this mandate?
One of the biggest challenges was to restructure the whole EFPSA Research Programme. We’ve faced many issues with the programme, from people not showing up to events to participants dropping out of the whole programme. This was a huge challenge for me, as I knew the only way to do it right is to do it thoroughly, digging to the baseline of the programme. It also involved taking risks, which is always scary, but in the end, it turned out way better than I could’ve expected.
How did you maintain your EFPSA responsibilities with your other responsibilities?
The busier you are, the more productive you are. EFPSA taught me that this is definitely true. The truth is, if you set good foundations it just becomes so natural that you don’t realise how many hours you are actually working. I believe I’m a very organised person and I quite enjoy being busy, however I had moments of panic when I thought it would be impossible to keep up with everything. I’ve learned how important it is to know your priorities, and to always give yourself time for hobbies and social life. It’s always good to plan ahead and to solve some issues while waiting for a bus or cooking, if possible. I thought it was impossible to be a good student, have a relationship, have a social life, still do your hobbies and commit to something like this, but it turned out it’s all possible. If you don’t believe me the best thing you can do is prove yourself wrong.
What skills have you acquired during this mandate?
It would be a too long list to write it all, and I know that I’m not even aware of all the things I’ve learned and how much I grew through EFPSA. Some of the things I definitely got better at are time management skills, coordinating and leadership skills. I also improved computer skills, and I never expected I would learn so much about different computer programs, websites and, also writing professional emails. I became better and more confident in networking and I also became more confident in expressing my opinion even when it contradicts others’ opinions. Being a part of the Board of Management requires seeing a bigger picture, actively listening to others and, also critically thinking about topics and ideas being discussed. Lastly, EFPSA helped me in becoming more responsible and understanding how the professional world works.