Anda! Tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always been an outdoorsy person?
I’m a Romanian living in Scotland since 2011. I have a somewhat unconventional career path that started with a BSc (Hons) degree in Geography, followed by 6 years working in the Debt Collection industry.
After relocating to Scotland, I worked for the Consulate General of Romania in Edinburgh for 3 years, and joined the VS family in 2015.
I strongly believe that self-development is the foundation to being successful at any stage of your career, so I continued studying. In my portfolio I now have, among others, an HNC Accounting qualification and a CMI Charted Diploma in Management & Leadership.
I love spending much of my free time walking and visiting new places so I guess I’m an outdoorsy person after my standards, although camping and some of the activities we do at VS are way out of my comfort zone! 😊
You’ve been with VS since 2015 – what do you like most about your role?
My first day at VS was 13th July 2015 – I can’t believe it’s been 7 years now! I’ve never worked for an employer for such a long period of time. I’ve joined VS as an Admin Assistant and now I’m Head of Admin and Finance.
Some might think that working in finance is a lonely job…well…not at VS, I can tell you that! Although I don’t have direct contact with young people, I get the chance to know them and join some of the groups for different activities, sometimes residentials. I like my job because is challenging, you never know what to expect…from the stress of not having enough funding to the joy you see on people’s faces when you “just” order a new set of whiteboard markers, not to mention the erasable pens!
Venture Scotland believes that nature and the outdoors are key to maintaining and improving health and wellbeing – what do the outdoors mean to you?
100% agree with this; for me, being outdoors means peace & quiet, time to spend with your loved ones, “me” time and a time to reflect and recharge.
What’s your favourite VS memory?
Hard to choose only one! But one of them is definitely my first “Challenge” residential – I think I was more scared than any young person on that group! The feeling that I had after (what it seemed to me) a long day hillwalking and returning to the bothy to spend some quiet time on a bridge with my bare feet in the river, watching the sunset is unforgettable…
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting the programme?
Changing is not easy, not even when we really want it; but the satisfaction you have achieving something is hard to put into words.
At VS you can take one step at a time; at VS you will find a team that cares about your feelings and most important, they listen. Something it took me a while to learn, is listening… like really listening, not judging, not trying to put words in peoples mouth, simply listening what the person next to you is saying.
If you could only take part in one more activity session with VS, what activity would it be and why?
Canoeing – I always wanted to give it a try but never was brave enough; now I feel it’s something I’m ready for…just need to find some time between reconciling the accounts and budgeting.
What’s your favourite joke?
No thanks, but I’ll take a peanut if you have one