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Education for all

Five bloggers, five countries, one dialogue

To Berlin and back

Me going through Argentina's graduation ritual

In December 2008, I graduated with a bachelor’s in communication with an emphasis in journalism. I wanted to work in audiovisual production back then, but later on I came to know that my aspirations didn’t matter much. What was important (and still is) was that I made something of my degree, and that somehow that came close to my original wishes. That means re-thinking your original plans when you realize where you are standing.

By the end of 2008, I was unemployed and continued to be so for most of 2009. Luckily, I had my parents’ place to live. Even more luckily, I managed to get accepted at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin with a very important financial aid package. I sat for my remaining final exams (that would make my title official) and departed for Germany by the end of September 2009. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

By July 2010, I had finished my academic year and was starting to head back. I was offered a job at the college, but turned it down. My plan: go back to Argentina and find a job in audiovisual production.

So I was back home with my (non) job situation and a German friend who came to visit. I was unemployed for four full months. By then, I had sent CVs and emails for every job offer that had something to do with communications, posted the search on every possible social network, and developed some really cool multimedia CVs. The glorious helping hand came from a former college friend, Jessica, who was quitting her job to become a proper journalist. I was to become her replacement: a creative writer at a start-up online marketing enterprise.

I made good money. I could start thinking of independence. I became best friends with my co-workers. However, with time, I started to feel unhappy. I remember having a conversation with my boss one day outside of the office. I told her that we were trying to sell all of these things that people don’t need.

She then said, “But why do YOU care?”

“I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right,” I said.

Celebrating graduation with friends in Berlin

Some time after that, the job hunt started again.

It took me a few months and quite a few interviews to get where I wanted to be. I was smart enough to send an email to Carolina, an old friend from the literary workshop I attend. I knew she worked in an NGO and thought I could give it a try. The timing couldn’t have been better. She was looking for a junior to start working on a new program. I changed jobs in three weeks time from our first email exchange.

When my new co-worker Celina asked me why I changed jobs, even though I make less money here, and I have a limited contract, I told her that marketing wasn’t my thing. Truth is, at the NGO, I encounter different realities than my own, I can work in programs that aim at social inclusion and better quality education – actions that imply a commitment to society from the perspective of the fellow other.

This is where my professional commitment truly lies. And I think it is worth blogging about these programs and actions because it generates a bit of a knowledge community. Getting to know what other people do can only broaden our perceptions and multiply the efforts, making it all better.

Date

May 8, 2012 | 4:08 pm

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3 Comments

  • Maria, from Argentina.

    You are a brave young woman, who knows what your priorities are and you strive to get your goals. Your statement is so interesting because it shows what the youngsters have to face in order to finish studies and get a job nowadays. It isnt easy…it used to be a little bit better.

    It´s fascinating to realize how you have managed to put your dreams and expectations together with a cause. I know very little about NGOs but I can imagine it is a challenging and rewarding task. All the best!

  • Hi there! Thanks for your comment.
    I don’t know about me being brave… I can tell that what feels right is stronger for me than other things, as I believe is the case for almost everyone (meaning, I do believe people are, generally speaking, good-natured). But I also know I have a privileged position: I was able to step aside from my first job in marketing and start a new job at the NGO (where I was paid much, much less) because I have a family who supports me. Not everyone has this economic facility to fall back on, however, I do believe them working in whatever they can is still brave.

  • […] read Maria’s first blog entry, and some of her words resounded heavily with me. In her post, she explains why she changed jobs: […]

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