Merseyside Expanding Horizons offers opportunities to people from different background to get valuable working experiences abroad, by sending and hosting volunteers and interns. We want to share the stories of some of these brave people, who have moved to Liverpool from other countries. In this second article, we will introduce Vanessa, who is one of our newest team members.
Vanessa, 22, Italy
Which is your qualification degree and what encouraged you to candidate to MEH? Why did you choose MEH?
I am finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. The thing that drove me to candidate in MEH was that I considered this company a great opportunity to challenge my skills and my first chance to get involved in work context regarding my academic studies.
Why have you decided to get an internship abroad?
After my exchange program in Zurich, I decided to come here straight away, focusing on my Internship (mandatory for my Bachelor’s Degree). I come from a little town in Italy, so unfortunately there is low chance for young employees to spread their horizons in a work context, especially in my field of study, this is why I always loved the idea to living abroad.
I would like to travel as much as possible in my life, because one of the most important thing for me is the possibility to come in contact with different cultures all around the world and work/study with them. Learning something new every day.
MEH works in an international context with different employees around the world: how do you find yourself in this context? Which are the differences that you noticed most between English culture and your home country?
As I have already said, for me the interaction with cultures from different parts of the world represents a personal enrichment, so in this sense it’s great to find myself in this environment that MEH reflects.
The differences that I noticed most are that here, in the work context, people are less focused on “shape” but more on the content. In the sense that are less formal, while Italian people at work tend to be more formal, to follow specific schedules etc.
In general, I cannot say too much about the culture itself because my permanence here is just about one month, but I can say that for the moment all the people that I have met seem to be solar and open, available in any circumstance. In contrast with the rumours that British people are rigid and unpleasant.
What is the thing that are you missing most about your home country?
Well, firstly my family and my friends who supported me in every moment during my permanence abroad. Secondly the food, especially the Italian coffee to which I’m pretty addicted.
What is the thing that you like most and the thing that you would like to change about Liverpool?
I like the crazy people who live here, I like the combination between the comforts that gives you a non-metropolitan city (not too big distances, not too busy, etc.) and the stores, utilities and internationality that usually are given by a metropolitan city. In my opinion, this is a perfect mix.
A thing that I immediately noticed was the rubbish on the roads, that after 5 months in Switzerland where everything was super clean, was really impactful. Like, the fact that in the supermarkets fruit and vegetables are wrapped with plastic.
This is sad, and all the countries around the world, not only England, should be more involved in the environmental sustainability.
Describe MEH in 3 words
Human, open, willing
Do you think that your experience in MEH has changed something in your being?
I have been here for only 10 days, but as my first experience in a real work environment I am satisfied and I am sure to think that will change something positive in my being both from a professional and personal point of view.
Do you think that your experience in MEH will be useful in a future?
In my opinion, a useless experience doesn’t exist. All the experiences in life give you something that will be useful in the future. Our life process is the sum of what we have learnt from each experience, this allows us to improve our knowledge and build our future.