Get to know us: Interviews with the members of Social Change School. It’s the turn of Eloisa Armini, our Communication Officer
Our journey amongst the members of the big Social Change School family continues; these are the faces, the people, the souls that bring ahead their actions and ideals and that, for nearly 20 years, have characterized the school, making it a reference point for Non Profit training.
Today we will get to know Eloisa Armini, Communication Officer of the Social Change School. What you immediately notice when meeing her, is the incredible energy she is able to transmit and her positivity.
Italian Version available here
Hello, Eloisa! Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
“Hello! My name is Eloisa and I work as Communication Officer for the Social Change School, since April 2017.”
Why do you work in the Non Profit sector?
“I started volunteering in my local parish, taking up more responsibilities as I was growing up. Then, in 2014 I left for Colombia, and I experienced the beauty of working for something you believe in, working to bring a positive change in society… As soon as I came back from that experience, I started to volunteer for two organisations, AIESEC and Random Acts. The first one is the biggest Non Profit youth-run organisation in the world, the second is a US based Non Profit organisation. From that moment, I started getting to know the third sector better, and at first, I became Vice President and then President of AIESEC Roma Sapienza, and it’s thanks to this experience that I got to know the Social Change School.
In short, I can say that I work in the third sector because that’s where I love to work, I love the challenges, but above all, I love that unique feeling you experience when working for something greater, something you truly believe in.”
You mentioned you experience in Colombia… There surely is an interesting story behind that…
I believe that Colombia was a turning point: it was an experience that made me grow, especially in terms of awareness. I was in Colombia to teach English to children in the south of Bogotá, the poorest area of the Colombian capital. I don’t think I have become a better teacher, but surely, I have learnt the importance of being solution oriented, of lateral thinking and above all of persuasion and mediation.
At that time, I was living in a house that hosted 10 people, all from different countries, and I believe that this was the most formative experience of all. I came back home with a good network and the awareness that, if you want something, you are the one who must make the effort to achieve it. With these ideas in my mind, I started to work for Random Acts as Social Media Officer and for AIESEC as PR, Communication and Online Media Responsible.
Regarding the experience with AIESEC, at first as Vice-President and then as President, do you have any stories you would like to share with us? Which was the most significant moment of your experience?
“What I have learnt in AIESEC, is that if you think something is not OK and no one is listening to what you are saying, you should speak up or take the lead. In that moment, I remembered my mum’s words: “If you don’t like the boss, study to become the boss”; and that’s what I did. Within a couple of months, I was elected as Vice-President of the professional exchanges area. It was a difficult year, because results were slow to come, then I understood what was going to make the difference and bring success to my area: the team! With a motivated team that worked for goals, we managed to make the area grow and to reach numbers our committee had never seen before.
Then, I was elected President for the year 2017, and it was an intense year, the effort to balance work, volunteering, studying, friends, family after a while wears you out, especially if you want to do everything at your best…
Here is another life lessons for Eloisa: the importance to delegate, to take care of the team (without forgetting to also take care of yourself), time management, setting priorities and the ability to choose what things are truly important, because you cannot do everything.
I don’t have one most significant moment, as the experience in AIESEC is made of many moments, all of them equally important and that shape who you are. Only once you end your path in AIESEC, you truly realise how much it has given you.”
The biggest challenge in your career so far?
“When I ran for 2017 President. I did it despite a series of factors that were going against me: work, family problems, study, volunteers that left me with no spare time. In the end, I did it because I believed in it, in AIESEC, but above all, I really cared about the people that were in my committee.
I ran for the first election round and… I was not elected! It was a huge disappointment for me, because I always thought that if you believe in something you will surely achieve it… I had to fight against the little voice inside my head, telling me that I was not up for it, that I was not able to do it, that people did not believe in me, that it was not meant to be… And then got to a conclusion: I believe in myself, I believe in the organisation and I am willing to work more than anyone else and if it’s true that I believe in it, they might say no to me as many times as they like, but they will not stop me. The position was still open, so I ran for the second round of elections and here I am, President for 2017, unanimously elected. The biggest challenge for me is when you doubt who you are and the things you believe in. Being able to overcome it, means accepting your own weaknesses and fighting every day to improve yourself.“
What do you like the most about your current job? And of the Social Change School?
“What I like the most, is that every day I face a new challenge, a new objective, a new task. When you enter the Non Profit sector, you cannot expect to have a job that never changes, instead there will be thousands of different challenges you’ll have to face, but that gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you have learnt something new and that you have gone beyond your limits.
As for the Social Change School, I like the importance it gives to its Network. From the Communication Office, where I work, to the Career Development and for what it teaches to the students. Social Change School’s fellows have everything at their fingertips, they just need to take that extra step to get what they want.
I really like the fact that the School gives its students the chance of networking, of meeting people and NGOs, without handing it over on a silver plate, because the third sector doesn’t work like that.”
What is the biggest cause that drives and interests you the most?
“Education, which is also one of the reasons why I love working for the Social Change School. Thinking about the Global Goals for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, I believe Quality Education can revolutionise the world. The people who know me, know that I am an unstoppable supporter of Gender Equality, which, together with Education, is the cause that I am most interested in. However, I also believe that gender equality depends on education, because it’s through education that we can teach and promote a culture of sexual equality.”
And finally, you have a small motivational space: which message would you like to leave to our followers?
“It might be because I am Italian, but here is my message: do not wait for help and do not doubt yourself. If you want a job in the Non Profit sector, fight to get one. This doesn’t mean you should get upset or complain, you need to be smart: plan your future, your career; visualise where you would like to get and by when; be honest with yourself and in relation to the Non Profit world, knowing what you can expect and what you would need; be humble and ask for support, be aware of your limits, study – if you need to – and speak with people working in the sector, because every experience teaches us something.”
Get to know our other Staff members and read their interviews our Blog4Change!