“EUROAVIA has definitely influenced my attitude towards people”, says Nicola Cimmino, former IB member twice, who self-declared as a passionate about EUROAVIA.
Nicola graduated from both, bachelor and master studies, in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Naples “Federico II” in Italy. During that period, he managed to complete an Erasmus programme in Spain and an internship in Ireland, experiences that allowed him to discover new countries, cultures and, as he remarks, friendly and warm people that made him fall in love with those countries, especially Spain. Right now, he’s working at the same University on a project related to satellites collision!
He started his journey with EUROAVIA in his third year of the bachelor’s degree, when he joined the EMEAC 2013 in Bremen. Although he was told there was a possibility he would get bored during the event, he got so passionate and loved it so much that he decided to look for more! For that reason, as soon as he got back from the congress, he ran for AS Napoli President, and got elected for it. From that point, he attended several international events, among which he points out EMEAC 2014 in Stuttgart, where he got elected as Executive Member of the International Board.
As he says, “That was the sparkle: the more I did, the more I wanted to do”. It was such an amazing year for Nicola that he decided to look for even more, and he ran for President of the International Board at the next EMEAC 2015 in Seville. One of the things he most loved about all this experience in EUROAVIA is, as he says, “I could jump from one international event to another and enjoy different cities, different cultures and, above all, different people”.
But what made him decide that getting involved in EUROAVIA was worth it? As he tells us, the first thing he found amazing was the commitment and passion shown by people attending the EMEAC in Bremen, that he found inspiring and incredibly surprising, as he had never thought that both, professionalism and fun, could be combined! Secondly, being part or EUROAVIA gave him the unique opportunity to keep in touch with different cultures from so many countries and being connected to colleagues from universities and aerospace companies from all over Europe.
He remembers with special affection EMEAC 2016 in Valencia, which was also the city where he was living at that time in his Erasmus. During that event, he says, “I could feel the flavour of the organisation of that event and see people from EA Valencia running from one place to another to have everything ready”. For him, that feeling, a bunch of around 50 friends that were deciding the future of something he had been working on during the last two years, was an incredibly rewarding experience.
For Nicola, his years in EUROAVIA have been a life changing experience. Before joining, he was a very shy and introvert person, and, for him, starting a conversation with new people was a heroic feat. After taking part in all those international events, doing presentations in front of loads of people and being pushed to start new conversations, he has been able to improve this aspect of himself. As he points out, this is a crucial skill when you begin your professional career.
Also, he finds that EUROAVIA and its multicultural environment has also fed his interest on learning new languages. Now, even if the pronunciation is not perfect, he can defend himself in many different languages (or at least say a few words in some of them) that it helps him create a really nice connection with that new person he’s meeting and his/her culture.
Even after stepping back from EUROAVIA when his time in the IB came to an end in 2016, he’s still in contact with people from his years within the association. As his university time is over and he’s much more involved in his professional career, he can’t be an active member of EUROAVIA anymore. Nevertheless, every Lustrum or event where Alumni can join, is a unique opportunity for him to meet old friends, see where life has taken them and share old memories. Also, he still meets his closest friends on holidays, when they spend some days together visiting someone’s hometown and sharing great moments together. As a great example, he had two friends from Seville and Pisa in his graduation, could he ask for anything better than that?
For Nicola, the word that better describes EUROAVIA is “family”. “Even if sometimes there are some misunderstandings or conflicts between members, what really matters in the end is to be together, to face problems and challenges trusting each other, supporting other people’s work with your own strengths and asking for help to win your weaknesses”, Nicola says. He also thinks there’s no better way to spread this spirit but by constantly sharing your experiences and simply telling how you’ve improved your skills by being part of this family.
In order to spread this spirit, Nicola thinks that one way is by showing it, talking to everyone in your university that might be interested in joining EUROAVIA, that’d be the fast and suitable for a big audience. However, what he recommends is to choose a couple of your own friends, with common interests, and share with them your personal experience in EUROAVIA. Your own enthusiasm and passion will make them curious, and they would end up by going to their own international event and falling in love with EUROAVIA.
For him, the sentence that sums up the best the feeling of being part of EUROAVIA is: “It doesn’t matter how far you’re from your country or how much unknown is the city where you land. You’ll find home everywhere”.