The 5th Edition of the Hellenic Student and Young Professionals Congress
“In the end, all you have is your efforts and your persistence to do everything work fine and this is all that matters and the only way to achieve your dreams and fix the pitfalls.” – Theodoros Chatzinikolaou
A 3-day congress, with a program including topics from a variety of fields in engineering, entrepreneurship and IEEE related subjects, which managed to keep the interest high and in the end keep all participants satisfied. The 5th edition of the most excited congress for the Greek Students and Young Professionals IEEE members, held in the city of Xanthi, by the IEEE Democritus University of Thrace Student Branch. “Amphitheatrically built on the foot of Rodopi mountain chain, Xanthi is located in Thrace (Northern Greece), the crossroads of the Black Sea and the Aegean, Europe and Asia.” – http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/main_cities/xanthi
Τhe official welcome ceremony, was highlighted by a moment of silence to honor Mr.Elias Kyriakides, who was serving as the IEEE Cyprus Section Chair and also supporting the 5th HSYP congress. Unfortunately Mr.Kyriakides passed away peacefully, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
A quick and easy registration process or a nice program flow is one of the things that a congress participant aims to face during his participation. Something we saw happening during the 5th HSYP Congress. Unexpected last minute cancelations, or crises, were professionally managed by the organizing committee, creating a feeling of trust among the participants.
Even though the officially congress program was between Friday to Saturday (8-10 November), pre-congress and after-congress activities were also included in the program, giving the opportunity to those spending some time in the city of Xanthi, to discover some of its given treasures.
IEEE Region 8 Today spoke with the Organizing Committe’s Chair, Theodoros Chatzinikolaou, sharing with you a very motivational interview about believing in yourself, and never give up on your dreams.
Which was the biggest challenge you had to face?
Even if we had many last-minute changes and difficulties, I believe that the biggest challenge was my inner demons. The fear of making a catastrophic mistake, the anxiety of something not going as planned and the panic when you believe you do not have enough time to make everything perfect – even if you have the necessary time. But if you stay focused on your target and have your team by your side, every demon can disappear, and every challenge can be faced.
Can you describe your best moment during the congress?
I cannot identify only one moment, because the Congress as a whole was a unique experience in itself. Yet, if I must focus to only one moment, I would say the birthday and the name day surprise we had prepared for the IEEE Greece Section SSR Ms. Georgia Saridaki and the IEEE Region 8 PEAsC Chair Mr. Stamatis Dragoumanos accordingly. It was awesome how all the participants were welcomed our surprise and started singing “happy birthday” proving that in the IEEE there is nothing that keeps us apart and we can make great things all together.
What have you learned by organizing a congress?
Simple and straight: Everything is possible, and every problem can be fixed! It is amazing how a dream can turn into a plan and, finally, into reality. It is, also, amazing how many problems can be popped up at the same unexpected time. In the end, all you have is your efforts and your persistence to do everything work fine and this is all that matters and the only way to achieve your dreams and fix the pitfalls.
Days after the congress, thinking back on what happened, what would you change and why?
It may sound weird, but I would say nothing. That does not mean we did not make any mistake, or we did not had any problem. I could say exactly the opposite. Yet, every mistake you make and every problem or difficulty you face is a lesson that provides you with experience and knowledge. So, I wouldn’t exchange these with a change in order to avoid difficulties, because experience and knowledge are the two factors that can lead you to perfection in the long-term.
The key ingredient behind a successful congress is…?
I strongly believe in the motto that my Student Branch has chosen… Teamwork makes the dream work (John C. Maxwell). So, the key ingredient for me is definitely a strong team, communication and what we call in Greece “meraki”. Hopefully for me, I had a great team with lots of energy and stick to making the best we could. At this part, I have to say many thanks to all the organizing committee heads, members and volunteers, as well as to all the people and the professors that supported us all this time!
What’s next for Theodoros now?
That is a tricky question for Theodoros because he cannot lie down. So, the next steps focus on his academic obligations, helping – at the same time – his Student Branch as the Mentor and keeping all the doors open for any IEEE opportunity may arise.
Closing question. What advice would you share with our readers?
The one I had shared with the Congress attendees… follow your dreams and thrive! Just believe in yourself, imagine the future world you would like to live in, plan it with vision and passion, and, finally, advance technology for the benefit of humanity!