Doing Business in Moldova: Sandra Cavallo

Sandra has worked for almost 20 years in digital communications – first as a freelance consultant, then in the communication departments for many European Union institutions and others organizations across Europe. She is passionate about knowledge management, adult education, and IT as a tool for democracy, transparency, and participation. Since 2013 she has been based…

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How to Use Odnoklassniki for Business

Odnoklassniki is a social network for classmates and friends, comparative to Facebook. It was created in Russia and has extended into Eastern Europe. In Moldova, Odnoklassniki is king. In June 2012, Odnoklassniki was reported as being the most popular social network in Moldova with more than 720,000 registered users. There are two strong reasons why Odnoklassniki is first in Moldova. First,…

Doing Business in Moldova: Valentina Brega

Valentina Brega is the owner of TLC Language Center in Chisinau, Moldova. The center provides English courses to adults. Valentina graduated from Wofford College in South Carolina, USA in 2009, majoring in Finance and German. Over the past two years I have had the pleasure of consulting for TLC Language Center and building a strong professional relationship with…

Doing Business in Moldova: Abayomi Ogundipe

Abayomi Ogundipe is the co-founder of TEKEDU, which is empowering institutionalized children for inclusive ICT education and development in Moldova. I have worked with Abayomi over the past year and become motivated by his outstanding efforts with TEKEDU. He has a knack for networking with Moldovan professionals, harnessing IT and business development talent, and is an excellent…

How to Utilize Facebook in Moldova

I have now served two years in Moldova as a small enterprise development volunteer with the Peace Corps. Social media has been the key instrument for marketing and advertisement of any of the institutions, programs, or projects I have worked on, but particularly Facebook. I utilize it to create pages and events; post videos, pictures,…

Paștile Blajinilor: Remembering My Grandparents

Today we celebrated Paștile Blajinilor (Memorial Easter) in Moldova. In the spirit of the holiday my host mother Rima gave me this thoughtful bowl of sweets in memory of my grandparents on this day. She told me that the gift was in honor of each one and that I should take a moment to remember their…

On His Way to the States

Playing basketball with the guys one day after work, I was approached by Alex. He and I were acquaintances through a family I spent quite a bit of time with in town. He waltzed over to me on the court and asked if I could help him to improve his English. Based on trial and error, I…

Radical Transformation

It is crazy just how lost I became in this week. Coming in from Moldova, I had a plan to structure each one of my days around the trainings and knowledge I could extract from each topic. I wanted to meet as many participants as possible and discover their skill sets. Something special happened. I…

Life Changing Advice

With only a few weeks left of spring courses at DePaul University in 2009, I was eager for the summer to arrive. Sitting in Global Marketing Management one morning, our class was interrupted. In came two of our professors from the honors marketing program, otherwise known as Integrated Marketing Education (IME). One professor, a short,…

Social No Man’s Land

Since June 2012, I have embarked on an incredible professional, cultural, and personal journey. The decision has given me so much strength in all three domains of life, which I felt were weak upon departure from Chicago. More than halfway done with the four year program (which started at the University of South Carolina and…

5 Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

Over the past two years I have been living abroad. In 2012, I spent four months in Guadalajara, Mexico learning intensive Spanish and for more than 1.5 years I have been volunteering in the Republic of Moldova learning Romanian. In this time, I have been able to study both languages to intermediate and advanced levels…

All-American Dream Date

I went on a date with a Moldovan girl last spring and could not get over what happened. The realization I came to that night has stuck with me for the past eight months. It shined a great light on the cultural perception of the United States and what we embody as Americans to the…

From Italy with Love

Business development is one of the most difficult obstacles Moldova must tackle in today’s unstable environment. Approximately 45% of Moldovans currently work abroad, due to a lack of employment opportunities in country, and transmit remittances home to help support their families. In 2012, remittances totaled a whopping 38% of GDP, which is the second largest…

3 Essentials of a Great Counterpart

Working in a different country and culture, especially given the socioeconomic landscape of Moldova, provides many challenges. Over the 18 month span of living and working abroad, I have encountered a diverse group of businessmen, entrepreneurs, government officials, volunteers, teachers, and students to partner with. Many have looked for the easiest route to success, yet…

Education standards need to be raised in rural Moldova

On November 13, 2013 my business partner and I held a 1.5 hour training for 25 local high school students on communication and negotiation skills. The first segment detailed proper communication skills when interviewing with an employer, greeting someone in business, and negotiating terms of a business deal. From the start I felt these topics…

8 Ways to Change Your Approach

I had been struggling through college and thereafter to limit the distractions in my life and find true direction. It was not that I was an epic failure by the least. I managed to earn high marks in college, dedicate myself to all responsibilities, and make financial ends meet. The one thing I did not…

Watsi Providing PCV Motivation

Clearing out my locker at Peace Corps’ headquarters last evening in Chișinau, Moldova I found two WorldView magazines, a National Peace Corps Association publication, sitting in my mailbox. I grabbed them, along with black track pants, iPod speakers, and laptop and tossed them in a green backpack found in a nearby storage closet as I…

What Lies Benneath

The strangest, most awkward partnership assembled yet a thing of beauty. The day started off with a powerpoint project working with my business partner. He recently won an opportunity to participate in the Open World Leadership Center conferences in North Carolina, which provided only five other Moldovan leaders with invitations. September 7th marks the first…

Combining Peace Corps with Masters

Peace Corps  The first motivating factor of my decision to look into graduate school programs was directly linked to our organization, the Peace Corps. In June 2010 after graduating from DePaul University in 2009 and accepting my first job with Vibes Media in Chicago, I realized that I wanted to serve others, learn a new…