My name is Nikola and I come from Croatia. From October 2016 until the end of March 2017 I was an Erasmus+ trainee at the Giovani nel Mondo Association’s headquarters in Rome, Italy. One of the last assignments I was given was to write something about this experience. I hope you’ll find it motivating and inspiring and that it will encourage you to look for a similar experience yourself.
The whole experience started when I decided to look for a traineeship abroad. It was a moment in my life when there were only a few months until my graduation day and I was looking for something to do next. I wanted some practical experience, I wanted something that can help me transition into the world of job hunting. So after all the emails that I had sent and when I almost lost all hope that I will find anything on time I received a positive reply. Roberta, now a dear friend and a former colleague of mine, asked me if we could set up a Skype interview. I remember that it was to take place on Thursday. The interview went pretty well and after filling out the proper paperwork I was ready to set off.
I worked in the International Relations Office and my main job was to help spread the word about the International Careers Festival by calling universities and other organizations worldwide. I think I made a million calls. Well, maybe not a million but I think the phone bill was pretty high. “Hi, do you speak English?” became my most famous phrase that everyone in the office knew about. At times, I felt like a parrot . Besides that, I helped our applicants with any problems they experienced during the registration process and with their visa applications. It was good to know that you contributed and helped others, especially when they come to you and sincerely thank you.
Most importantly, I worked with an amazing team! Every day people from different backgrounds met in one place to create something great. It was truly inspiring to be a part of it and to learn and grow personally and professionally.
At the end of this experience I can say that I have acquired new knowledge and experience I previously didn’t have. I improved my English and I improved my Italian. I am now half Italian. I developed my communication and my teamwork skills. I can also say that I have met some amazing people I will remember for the rest of my life. Saying goodbye to them was the hardest thing I had to do during this traineeship.
To wrap things up, it was an enjoyable and fulfilling experience I will never forget. And if you still have doubts about doing it yourself, throw them out the window and just do it!