Name: Linda Germanis
Country of Assignment: Thailand
Area of work: UNESCO
Where in the world have you travelled?
France, Switzerland, England, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel, Brazil, Hungary, Thailand, Cambodia, United States.
Where did you grow up?
What did you study in university?
Master Degree in Economics for Public Administrations and International Institutions.
What are the best and worst jobs you have had?
I cannot define any of the jobs I had up to this moment that bad to be considered as “worst job”.
The best was being a consultant with Ernst &Young because at the beginning of the work experience I thought it was really worthy to learn technical tools and methodology that I could later use to deliver high quality outputs in the field.
Why did you apply for the UNV programme?
I was working with Ernst & Young as a consultant for Public Policies (European Structural Funds) when I applied for the UNV Programme. Even though I was working on issues that interested me (public sector and development topics). I didn’t have any kind of commitment with the Institution I was working with and I did not have any contact with the recipients of my actions. I felt that I had developed enough technical tools to try to readdress them to be useful and to share both my working and human experience to build up something worthy under a holistic capacity.
Describe a day in your life as a UNV.
I wake up at 6.15am in order to be at work at 7.30 am. Getting out from my condominium I have to catch a “moto-taxy” to reach the Bangkok UNESCO Office, but just before my arrival I usually make a pit stop to pick up an iced coffee from one of the street vendors. Then from 7.30 am until 6 pm my office activities and duties could vary a lot, from meetings, attending workshops, completing administrative tasks and office’s activities.
Then twice a week I have my one to one Thai course in order to “RIAN PHASA THAI” and be able to get better in touch with the local community. Speaking about the evening schedule, always interesting and different lived within two worlds: the local and the international Bangkok night life.
What is the best part of your UNV assignment?
Being a UNV Volunteer, I have the opportunity to have gained a holistic point of view on all the UNESCO unit’s activities. I am trying to develop my UNV assignment and I have access to the many activities that UNESCO does here, and the chance to get involved where ever possible.
What is the least favourite part of your UNV assignment?
I often have the feeling that what at a first sight seems to me something useful and able to best stimulate the host environment, it’s not tailored to the host country needs and, mostly, priorities.
Has your UNV assignment reached/not reached your expectations?
It’s too early to answer to this question.
Would you recommend the UNV programme to other people and why?
At the moment I can’t give a proper evaluation of my UNV assignment to date it is still early days. In any case it has already stimulated so many different points of my personality and it has touched so many aspects of my life that I would recommend it in any case to other people. I firmly believe that you can learn a lot both from good and bad experiences if you feel committed and involved, even when your expectations are somewhat high.