Lucia Bajakova first set foot in London a few weeks ago. Arriving here with the Internship Programme, an Erasmus+ funded venture giving European students the chance to do work experience in another country, she impressed us with her positive attitude and energy. The 18-year-old business student helped out at the Special Yoga Foundation (SYF), a charity that assists children with special needs through yoga therapy.
We spoke to Lucia about taking the first steps into adulthood and learning to trust your own abilities.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Lucia and I live in the suburbs of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I am a student of Academy of Commerce on Nevädzova Street in Bratislava.
What sparked your interest for business?
Well, I think many people consider business as a way of getting rich. But I am interested in how it actually works. You always have to be one step ahead to be successful.
What has been the best moment of your trip so far?
I really enjoyed meeting up with my friend, who I hadn't seen for three years. It was definitely time well spent!
What was it like working at the Special Yoga Foundation?
I had a wonderful time there. My supervisor felt more like my friend than my boss. She explained everything perfectly and whenever my colleagues saw that I was confused, they were happy to help me out.
What were your tasks?
I organised and summarised donation applications for SYF in Microsoft Excel, matched contacts using www.podio.com and prepared and printed official certificates to new yoga instructors.
Your supervisor said you had a great energy about you and mixed in well. Was that something you aimed for during your placement?
Yes. But what I aimed for the most was take responsibility for every task that was given to me.
How would you compare your work placement to your work or school back home?
Compared to my work in Bratislava, I felt like I was doing something meaningful for people in need. Seeing those children who have serious medical conditions was hard, but doing my small part of helping them made me feel special.
How has this experience inspired you?
Visiting London inspired me to read more books, drink English Breakfast tea, travel more and, last but not least, challenge myself.
What did you learn from the trip?
I consider myself more mature now. I had to deal with an everyday working routine which probably helped me become more of an adult.
What did you find most exciting about working and living in a new country?
Being on my own, without my parents and teachers. You just have to deal with everyday issues yourself, which is quite challenging.
What are your plans for the future?
I am enjoying my business studies, but what I would like to do in the near future is volunteering. I like the idea of helping people in need.
What would your advice be for students who are yet to embark on this journey?
Don’t be afraid. Be curious and challenge yourself. The result will probably be much greater than you think!
Lucia visited London with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. Now we are also arranging work experience projects in Dublin. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.