There are not many better things than feeling nice, useful and being part of some positive change in your environment. Being a volunteer connects them all and link into one new experience that feels just like that. First of all, it is useful because, thanks to your contribution, some change can be made and it is nice because you can say that you are one of the participants in such event. Along the way you will get to know yourself better, meet new people, develop new skills and knowledge, be the owner of unforgettable memories and will be able to say that something happened thanks to you and other volunteers, because there is no event that can happen without that driving energy.

We can freely say that volunteers are the basis of every event, because without their commitment and responsibility, many things could not be realized. The fact that December 5 has been declared International Volunteer Day also proves how important they are in every community. On the occasion of their day, we spoke with representatives of the Volunteers department, Stevan Stevanovic, recruitment and selection coordinator and Marko Radovic, IT coordinator, who will tell us more about what it looks like to gather 2,500 motivated people who will be part of 5th European Universities Games which will be held between July 14-27, 2021.

How does the selection process begin?

Marko: Any volunteer can join our team by filling out an application at http://volunteers.eug2021.eu. We are aware of the current situation with the pandemic and we have really taken all measures to keep the volunteers completely safe. That is why we decided to do the whole “first phase” online.

Stevan: Applying for a candidate takes 10-15 minutes, and it helps us speed up the selection and recruitment process. we can say that patiently and neatly filling out the application is the first step for the volunteer, the first important step, given that the volunteer thus creates a kind of small profile that we, as interviewers, rely on.

After completing the complete form, the volunteer will be invited and will be offered several dates for an online presentation and interview.

Marko: The presentation itself will be held through the Microsoft Teams platform, which many volunteers already have, as many faculties use it for online lectures. However, even those who have not encountered this software so far don’t have to worry because the application also works on any browser (Mozilla, Chrome, Safari, etc.).

Volunteers can choose to volunteer in one of the following departments: Media, IT, Accreditations, Protocol, Ceremonies, Attaches, Sports Facilities, Info Center, Sports Village, Logistics, Transportation, Accommodation and Catering. According to Stevan, about 2,000 interested people have registered, of which 1677 candidates passed the selection within the first phase.

Is there a special interest in some departments?

Stevan: According to the data we have in front of us, we can say that the Protocol, Info Center and Sports Village are more than full, but we cannot forbid a new and future candidate to apply and try to “invade” some of the mentioned departments. On the other hand, we need the most help within the Accommodation – Catering and Transportation departments! These are equally important for the “smooth” functioning of the competition.

How does the selection process go?

Stevan: After attending the presentation and a short interview which represent the first phase of selection and recruitment, we maintain occasional contacts with the candidates, which is why it is desirable for them to follow their e-mail. We do not want the candidates to get the impression that we have “forgotten” them. Then follows the second phase of selection, which involves the presence to “general training” where the future volunteer will get a little better acquainted with the meaning of volunteering and the importance it has for the community, the country and the world. After the general training, we will again have a short conversation with each candidate individually, to check together where we are and whether there has been a change in the motivation and interest.

As you say, the third phase of selection is the “practical phase”. What exactly does that mean?

Stevan: The volunteer is provided with the knowledge and skills he needs to perform work tasks, both through trial competitions (if he is interested and has time to participate in those competitions), and through “specific trainings” that represent simulations of real tasks, where the volunteer adopts skills in a safe environment. Specific trainings are held just before the start of the competition.

After the final confirmation and informing the candidate that he / she has been selected to volunteer, the signing of the contract for volunteering follows, as well as obtaining the first assignments. Then, in fact, begins the most important thing – the realization of the competition itself, which is eagerly awaited.

If you also want to be a part of the biggest European student competition, to see what the organization of such an event looks like and enjoy sports and socializing, you can apply through the link: http://volunteers.eug2021.eu. We are waiting for your application!