This past month, we had the pleasure of having a virtual coffee chat with one of our previous Experteers, Ali Schmidt-Fellner, who supported an award-winning social enterprise in Lebanon, shareQ.
As with our other stories, Ali’s gives you a better idea about what it’s like to go Experteering.
We recorded our conversation and put it to pictures on this short video. We hope you’ll give it a full listen as Ali has some really wonderful thoughts about Experteering in the Middle East as a single female, as well as how experiences like this can be used to make a positive impact while developing new skills.
Here are just a few snippets from our chat…
What were you doing before your Experteering trip?
I was working at a tech startup in New York City leading its marketing efforts, but was at the start of a career transition. I had also applied, and been accepted, to graduate school for a Master’s degree in International Business – a hybrid of Business and International Affairs with a focus on Social Enterprise.
What did you do on your Experteering trip?
I worked for a social enterprise called shareQ, primarily with its flagship project, Mommy Made. Mommy Made provides skills-based training to underprivileged women and refugees for jobs in the catering and hospitality industries, and then helps them find permanent jobs.
What was the highlight of your Experteering trip?
As amazing as the food was, it was the people I got to work with.
What was one thing you wish you knew before you went volunteering overseas?
You have to sit back, learn, and really absorb information before you have the context to actually help. As much as you want to hit the ground running, you have to be patient and learn first.
What advice do you have for people thinking about international volunteering and/or Experteering?
Just go do it – it was life changing both personally and professionally.
Ali want Experteering through MovingWorlds.org May – July, 2015.