I am sitting in a bus to Toronto and I am realizing that after couple of weeks, I finally have some free time to write some thoughts down. Moreover, this is going to be a long driveJ.
My new home town, Washington D.C. is a busy place. I feel like people confuse their life with their work, here. I have heard this saying that in D.C people ask you as a first thing, “Where do you work?”
In New York, it is, “Where do you live?”
And I guess in Boston, it is, “Where are you studying?”
One of the common answers in Washington D.C would be for the government or for some international development company.
I work for one, just two blocks from the White House. If you have a little curiosity for another life story, please keep reading.
But, let me introduce myself first.
My name is Petra and I believe in good people and also that nothing is a coincidence.
Last, year I graduated at the University of Economics in Bratislava and I am very thankful for this place, and for the all opportunities that are offered by this organization to young people like me.
So let’s get back to the White House and international development. Although I studied economics, I always had a passion for protection of the environment, equality, and the right for access to good nutrition for everybody. And, of course, traveling.
Last summer, after my semester at Berkeley I started to look for a job. Given that I had just few experiences working with environmental organizations in Mexico and India, I did not have a lot to choose from, so I took a job with a software company based in Bratislava. And guess what? It was better than I expected- I learnt so much about professional relations, how to communicate with people and how such a huge company can operate. One month before I started my job, I was surfing on the internet looking for a miracle and I found it – Slovak-American Foundation. The foundation basically fully supports young graduates or undergraduates to go to United States, where they can choose a company they like and work there for a year.
Amazing, right? Sometimes you have this feeling that this is meant for me. I had an unbeatable feeling inside of me when I was told that the foundation picked me.
But, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” as my professor of globalization said.
Than I had to take the initiative into my hands, pick the best companies for me and write some outstanding cover letters. At the end, I was able to get two internships, one at Chemonics, and the other at the Environmental Defense Fund. To have a better idea what they do, I am attaching independent public information about those companies.
Chemonics is an international development company. Since 1975, Chemonics has partnered with local and international organizations in 150 countries to promote social and economic change and address the challenges of political instability, limited healthcare, and lack of market infrastructure.
Environmental Defense Fund was ranked first among environmental groups in a 2007 Financial Times global study of 850 business-nonprofit partnerships, and received a four star-rating from Charity Navigator, the independent charity evaluator.
To be honest, I was never a fan of big companies, but I believe that is a great opportunity to learn about everything what I like, network and focus my career more precisely.
What can you expect from this blog? I would love to write mainly about my professional experiences in international development and environmental policy. I also plan on writing about the cultural differences I am experiencing and the country in general. From time to time, I will infuse my blog with some experiences from my travels and observations, since this is what I really enjoy in my free time.
Just to make a little disclaimer. Everything what I will write about are just my observations, beliefs and common stereotypes. So please don’t take it too seriously, life is not as serious as our mind makes it to be. However, I would appreciate any other thoughts and comments you might have.
By the way, Toronto is amazing city. I have done some sailing on the lake Ontario. According to the Economist, 4th best city to live in.
Stay tuned for part 2! Or Why the USA is the most competitive country in the world
Autor: Petra Zikmundová