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,…

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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…

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…

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…

Twenty Five

25 years old, thank you. An incredible year that started in the Chi, took me to Istanbul & Paris, and allowed me to set up shop with the Peace Corps in Moldova. Thank you for teaching me how to feel like a minority, to experience incredible lows get crushed by incredible highs, to develop a…

Bring Your Words to Life

I have a very strong need to communicate with others, more than most. I enjoy hearing people’s voices, seeing faces, learning from others, and getting my point across. Admittedly I can be a pest, though I have acknowledged that many of my colleagues and friends are alike. Over time I have realized that many people…