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Exciting intro of the CIVICA Early-Stage Researcher and Student Board in Warsaw

Anastasia Efstathiou is currently taking a year off her studies at the BSc Business and Economics program to hold the role as President of the Education Committee at SASSE. With the introduction of the CIVICA Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) and Student Board, Anastasia acts as SSEs representative on the board. She recently went to SGH Warsaw School of Economics to meet the other board members.

The purpose of the conference was for the board to meet in person and kickstart the coming year of close collaboration given that it is a new forum, discussions were held regarding how the board is to be set up in the most sufficient way.

"We discussed what common practices should be established for us to operate, set up our communication platform and strategized to set up the best ways for us to work together", says Anastasia. "It was especially rewarding for us to socialize in the context of CIVICA but also as European students, allowing us to exchange ideas and experiences from our respective institutions, all very different but bound by CIVICA."

SGH Warsaw School of Economics joined CIVICA last year, and the group received a warm welcome by the students and staff at the polish university. Anastasia was pleased with the fruitful outcome of the conference and happy to be more involved in one of the international elements of the educational offerings at SSE.

"I had the unusual opportunity of being part of advocating for the opportunities that come with CIVICA and building the ESR and Student Board from the ground up. This involved agreeing on a structure and the internal workings of it", says Anastasia. "A huge takeaway, both from this conference but also from my work as President of the Education Committee has been recognizing the value of bringing in student opinion in decision-making. Allowing students to have an advocate on their behalf is crucial in getting students involved in their education. It makes students feel involved, impactful and valued, ultimately building a dynamic study environment."

Additional possibilities for students

The visit to Warsaw gave the participants an interesting opportunity to brainstorm around the possibilities with an alliance such as CIVICA.

"Being such a small school as SSE has huge benefits in the community it fosters, and the closeness it creates, but at times may leave gaps in the benefits that come with larger universities. CIVICA has inspired a way where it is possible to sustain our close-knit community while simultaneously allowing us to branch out for additional possibilities."

The hope is to expand the experiences offered by CIVICA beyond the current offerings that include research conferences, student exchange, European Week and CIVICA courses.

"As CIVICA is currently in its infant phase, we can expect big strides in its operations, making it an even more exciting alliance to be part of", says Anastasia.