Okay, listen, there are SO, SO MANY positions in ESN, however, NR is one you should continue avoiding because of these five simple reasons:
You have to travel, like, A LOT
If you are an ESNer, then mobility probably already is your lifestyle - however, there are only several positions in ESN which abide by this rule more than the NR position. You are expected to attend several conferences in your mandate (world won’t fall apart if you miss one or two of them!), all of which take place at various destinations. This means you have to work in a highly international environment, surrounded by diverse and similar-minded individuals while discovering new places, trying traditional food and learning about other cultures - oh, save me from this horror, please!
You don’t gain any new skills
Treasurer makes you financially sharp, Communication Manager makes you more creative, and National Representative takes more than it gives. Umm, no? As an NR, you have to express yourself inconceivable and concise manner; you have to think strategically; you have to constantly question yourself and people around you, and you have to maintain good relations with other members. For an NR, nice communication skills and logical thinking are the key - if you don’t have them, you learn them. If you have them, you advance them. Patience becomes your virtue, and you gain deep knowledge of the network’s work, structure and members - you have to know it by heart to make decisions in its name. You kinda become an ESN Yoda.
You can’t make a change
On the local level, you have an effect on people’s daily lives. On the international level, the same process takes time, and it requires patience. When you become an NR, you also become a part of the wheel that never stops spinning. You have the power to propose changes that don’t affect one, but many. The future of the network is in your hands. Sounds pretty cool to me.
You are all alone
Unlike many other Board positions, NR position is a pretty isolated and self-governing position. While your Board members have their tasks and goals, you float in-between. Honestly, stop - do you even know what NR does? Before you propose stuff, you have to discuss it with as many people as possible and you have to include their perspective. Before you make a decision, you have to do consultations. As an NR, you are never alone. You are a beautiful mash-up of various opinions and perspectives and you have to take all of them apart and present them as one.
You have no support
You support everyone, but no one supports you. Could you be anymore misguided? You have a body of 40 individuals who do the same work you do and face the same problems you do, and those people are always there to give you advice. You have a direct support line 24/7.
So, yeah, this is definitely why you should never apply for NR. Hey, wait, is that… are you writing your candidacy?
Written by: Tajana Mohnacki (National Representative of ESN Croatia) Design by: Vedrana Kovačić (communication manager of ESN Croatia)