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…

Right Way v. Being Flexible

Understanding which projects to implement or specific partners to conduct business with is extremely difficult to gauge for Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova. I have had both incredibly positive and very underwhelming experiences when working on projects with counterparts. All of which have been performed with transparency, integrity, a central focus placed on skills-enhancement, and…

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,…

Timp de Reflectie XVII

Two months of service now remain. I reflect on a day of hosting international guests at the Business Incubator of Leova and detail what life is like in our town.

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…

Hit Refresh

Relationships are construed as finite. They are not. Instead, they need to be viewed as muscles. In order to strengthen them, they need to be flexed and worked continuously. Sometimes working them hurts, but pain does bring pleasure. It took me 26 years to learn this. I have always viewed relationships in my personal and…

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…

#BringAshtoMoldova

For the past year and a half, a group of Peace Corps volunteers and I have been working with startup entrepreneurs and resource strapped NGOs in the Republic of Moldova. It was not until Matt Rutter introduced us to the Lean Canvas that we realized the power of lean methodology. After learning about and working with…

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…

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…

Storytellers

A project which started in the cold, frosty month of February in the capital of Moldova is now receiving its finishing touches as eight volunteers of the Peace Corps in Moldova, otherwise known as the (self-proclaimed) Dream Team, will collaborate with 20 government and business officials to put together the event titled Storytellers. The event will…

Quail Eggs and Trust Issues

Over the past three months, I have been working with a local entrepreneur who is growing a quail egg and meat production business in a poor village in the southern region of Moldova. He came to us at Incubatorul de Afaceri Leova in order to receive financial assistance through a small financial grant program managed by…

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…

Another Has Left

Over the weekend I visited my former host family in Cricova, Moldova. I spent the summer of 2012 studying Romanian and receiving plenty of business and organizational trainings on behalf of the Peace Corps while living there. In that time I became very close to my host parents Slavic and Svetlana and especially their two…

30 Days Straight: #28

– Rise in chicken feed prices will lead to 60% of the Moldovan poultry industry to go bankrupt in 2013. An estimated 15,000 jobs will be lost and $20 million dollar monthly losses will hit the agricultural industry. Reports say that the existing 40% of producers will dominate the domestic market along with increased poultry…

30 Days Straight: #27

“The difference between the individuals that leave a footprint on this world and those who simply walk in those steps is that there is no unattainable goal. There are simply adverse avenues to greatness and smooth roads to mediocrity.” – A pack of cigarettes costs 6.5 lei (approximately $.50). – I spoke with the grandfather…

30 Days Straight: #26

12-26-12 Dear Pat, I dug out these old Christmas cards I bought in 1994, thought you’d get a kick out of it. You were 7 years old when I bought them. Boy have you come a long way. This Skype technology is wonderful. I think I would have a much harder time with you so…