Age: 22

Previous University (s): Kharkiv National University of Economics

“Olya studies at the EUBA for a year already. Apart from learning hard and being an all-round splendid personality, she has a great job and is an active member of the “European Youth Parliament” NGO. In this interview we are exploring her take on the life in Bratislava”.

Hey, Olya, it’s been more than a year since we started our academic “adventures” in the EUBA. What has changed since then? Have you accustomed to living abroad?

Frankly speaking, I have changed a lot since then. I’ve never lived without my parents before, especially abroad, especially without knowing the language. That was the experience for me. I have grown as a personality a lot, cause I had to face challenges and deal with my problems all by myself starting from such basic things as cooking and finishing with dealing with foreign police to apply for the permanent residence. But I can finally say that after going through the stressful first year things become better and I generally like it here.

Looking back to your initial expectations from the uni/SiS program/Bratislava, would you say they’ve been met? What could go better?

I can say for sure that I haven’t studied this hard back in Kharkiv. Here you actually have to learn stuff to pass the exam. Of course, it depends a lot on the professor, but on the general note I can say the education here is better than in Ukraine. Here most of the professors actually want to make you understand the material and basic principles behind them.

Unfortunately, the administration of the university as well as people in the streets do not really speak English. But luckily for us Slovak and Ukrainian/Russian is pretty similar, so it is possible to understand nevertheless.

I know that apart from studying you are working, quite for some time now, and that you really enjoy what you’re doing. May you describe what’s your position about?

Right, I currently working in IBM as Employer Branding Support. So, my main responsibilities are to make IBM look cool to attract the most talented and qualified employees. It includes organizing events such as lectures and presentations in the universities, attending job fairs, administrating official Facebook page of IBM Slovakia as well as developing some leaflets and lay-outing internal and external newsletters. Pretty much everything related to how the company is seen form the outside is employer branding.

Was it hard to get the job? Do you think it’s hard to find a part-time position being a student in Bratislava in comparison to Ukraine?

For me it was not hard, cause I think I got lucky enough to apply for the position I was perfectly suitable for.

On the general note, there could be problems with finding a job without fluent English. But keep in mind that Slovak employee market is famous for its lack of qualified stuff. So there are more open positions in the huge international companies than people who can apply for them. Technically there is no strong competition and I’m sure everyone could find something in accordance to their ambitions.

Did you have a chance to travel a bit for the past year? What’s the best destination?

Well, first half of the year was a bit stressful, so I didn’t travel much. But since this January I have already been to the Netherlands, Austria, Estonia, Slovenia, Turkey and Czech Republic. It’s pretty easy to travel form here. It’s 40 min to Vienna and 4 hours to Prague. Next weekend I’m going to Budapest for the first time, which is 2 hours away by train.

We’re at the point when the finish line is clearly seen ☺ What do you plan after the graduation?

I don’t know yet, depends on the job opportunities I will have at that moment. But what I know for sure, I can clearly see here more opportunities for my self-development than in Ukraine for now.