Here is our favorite series of blog posts about volunteers of ESN Kyiv. Today we would like to introduce our talented writer Oksana Krit. Oksana joined ESN Kyiv last semester and now shares her thoughts on volunteering, life with and without ESN, and her “extraordinary funny” team. 

Oksana studies the Ukrainian language and literature, and English at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Her passion is travelling around Ukraine and discovering everything related to our country - language, culture, history, traditions, people. Besides, she is interested in learning about peoples of the world and their worldview. Find out more about Oksana and her success at ESN Kyiv in the interview below!

Do you want to become a part of ESN Kyiv? We are recruiting! Fill out this form by 15.02 and become our Communication, Event, or Partnership superhero. 

- Why did you decide to become a volunteer at ESN Kyiv, namely, a member of the Communication Department?

- One of my friends knew that I was looking for new opportunities for self-development and gaining experience. That’s why she suggested that I apply for the position of volunteer here. Why did I choose the Communication Department? It is very simple. I like communicating with people. It is a charge of energy and a source of inspiration and motivation for me. Besides, I am keen on writing. That's why I am here.

- What is your favorite project that you did during the last semester?

- Last semester, I focused on conducting interviews with Erasmus-Alumni and writing recipes for the ESN Kyiv blog. It was not the first time I worked with the interview format, but this time they were not ordinary interviews. First of all, I conducted them online. Secondly, I have never been abroad, that’s why I could find information about life abroad only on the Internet.  When I was preparing questions, I discussed them with my manager, who constantly guided me in the right direction. I asked my friends for advice and searched for information about countries on the Internet. While I was creating the interview, I gradually learned all the details, that’s why it is undoubtedly my favorite project.

- Can you imagine your life without ESN now? What would you do if you had not qualified, and what is your advice to those who are going to apply for the position of volunteer here?

- Yes, I imagine how I live without ESN Kyiv volunteers, funny memes from my department, team calls and team buildings, notifications in Slack and Trello, without those cool people ... And I understand that such life would be boring. I fell in love with our organization and I feel that there is so much for me to do.

If I had not passed the selection, I would have continued to live as before, but, surely, I would have tried to apply one more time, because I think it is my destiny. Therefore, I am glad to be here, to be a part of such a great mission which we are doing - Students helping Students.

My advice for those who are ready to take a step forward and apply at ESN Kyiv:

- be open to new things, be active from the first days of work in the organization. Namely, communicate with your department members, because this is how you can understand the essence of the work and find what you like.
- be brave, try something new. Do not be afraid, that you can’t do smth or don’t know smth.
- immerse yourself within a chosen project. You will not regret that you spent so much time and effort when you see the result.
- be positive and have fun :)

- What do you associate ESN Kyiv with?

- The first association is Erasmus programs. We create content for those who want/plan to apply for these exchange programs, for those who have already done it, as well as for those who love Erasmus and for those who do not consider this as an ordinary event in life. 

The second one is ideas. All of us generate ideas and the team is here to help you bring them to life.

Talking about the team - it is my third association. The team of our department is very friendly. We have our memes and jokes, and online parties. In my opinion, it is precious to be friends with inventive and motivated people and create something grandiose together. For me, our team is a sea of laughter and fun. 

- What have you learned at ESN Kyiv? Perhaps it changed you?

- ESN Kyiv helped me to become more open and confident. It sounds corny, but, step by step, my interviews are getting better. Also, I improve my English when I write something for the blog. ESN gave me acquaintances with very talented people as well.

This organization is a time of pleasure, it is a contribution to my personal development and general benefit for other students.

-What do you think of your colleagues?

- They are extraordinarily funny people. I like their humor and sincerity in communication, even when it comes to holding official presentations. Also, I like that they are attentive and caring. Everyone tries to remember something about the other, because we are appreciated here first of all as people, and only then as volunteers.

- How do you think ESN Kyiv can change or help young people? What are you planning to do for this?

- Firstly, volunteering at ESN allows you to show and improve your skills. If you like writing, then you will be taught how to do it better; if you are good at taking photos, then you will make a lot of successful shots here. As a result, you will have a more “attractive” resume. ESN Kyiv allows you to attend various conferences and training, to work with cool sites and messengers. This organization helps you to realize your projects and take a step towards your dream!

Also, we help foreign students to learn more about Ukraine. We do not take the information from WIKI but tell about our modern country from the point of view of its citizens. Since I am passionate about Ukrainian studies, this semester I set myself a goal to tell about our beautiful country in an interesting way.

Interviewer: Anastasiia Kutafina