The day we say goodbye has come. I don’t know if I am happy or not, but I am for sure, grateful that we were together 5 years.
Thank you for the most amazing time of my life. Thank you for funding me 5,000 euros to study in Portugal and The Netherlands, thank you for sending me to the USA 3 times. Thank you for making my holidays more beautiful with the summer schools. Thank you for all the moments I spent with my colleagues in the dorms. Thank you for transforming 3 colleagues into 3 friends for life. Thank you for giving me access to free education and to some amazing teachers.
Today, I rushed to you, for our final date. On my way, I remembered how hard it was in the beginning to get your attention. I was never a 10…You let me believe that I need to be one, in order to make a difference in my life. You let me struggle with Economic Informatics exams, you let me struggle with projects that I did not like…You even sent me a “Notice of Exmatriculation” because you forgot I was studying somewhere else. You almost killed my parents with that notice. You, my dear FSEGA, were a pain in the a**.
Until one day… When you opened your heart. And WE made wonders. It was April 2012 when you told me I can travel & study even if I am an 8. It was probably that day when you inspired me unconsciously to create Word Traveler and show all the students how they can go abroad with exchange programs.
Today I came to you to introduce you to Word Traveler. You were supposed to give me my Master diploma, but you gave me more. You gave me valuable feedback…
When I entered your room, my teachers were amazed to see me back.
D.L: Ioana, why didn’t you come to present your Thesis in June 2016?
Me: You will find out why, in my presentation.
I instantly got him hooked and curious about the presentation. And then it was the President of the Commission, the oldest and most skeptical lady. How was I supposed to explain her about online marketing, growing a community along a brand, social media?
A.B: So, I understand you are an entrepreneur, Ioana? the President started.
Me: I am happy you think that. The project is developing and launched, I am not yet an entrepreneur. One day, I will be. Let me explain how.
And I started my presentation. They noticed my passion and the fact that I want to help as many students as possible to do what I did. I showed them some market data about Erasmus out-going in Romania. I explained to them how students are asking me every day about these scholarships. I pointed out that an Erasmus Coordinator has usually 4h/ week allocated for this activity and he/she usually helps the students with the paperwork.
It was clear. Students need personal guidance when studying abroad and Word Traveler will be more than welcomed online. Dear FSEGA, today your teachers made me think and challenged my clarity. They made me prove that I know what I am doing. Here are the most important questions they asked me in their evaluation:
1. Can you please explain me again how Word Traveler will make money?
I explained the 3 income streams and the Brand Architecture. I showed them this conceptual slide.
2. Will this be a hobby or a full-time job?
I couldn’t say it will be a hobby. This was mindblowing for me. I could not lie to myself. This is too inspiring to be just a hobby! It will be a way of life which will bring me money + help me travel + make an impact in people’s lives. So I answered…
It can be a full time job when I decide to register Word Traveler as a company or a travel agency. For now, it is a hobby. But what I noticed is that, when I meet my old friends in the street, they believe I already make money out of it. So this is a good market sign for me. People see it bigger than it is!
3. You can’t travel with Erasmus for the rest of your life. What is your plan for growing Word Traveler?
Guest posts + create a community. I will make blogposts from people who already had these experiences. I already have proposals for guest posts and requests from students who want to post on Word Traveler.
You are all invited to share your experience with Work & Travel + Erasmus. Please contact Word Traveler on Facebook if you want to post an experience.
4. How would you check the truthfulness of the information you receive?
I have the best Erasmus mentors + the ladies from the Erasmus Office in Cluj who can always answer my questions + I have myself. You know the saying “Been there, done that.”, right?
15 minutes later…the skeptical President thanks us all (we were 3) for our great ideas. She tells us it is amazing to see how young people want to make a chage in the world they live…
After leaving the room, she runs after me on the corridor.
A.B: Ioana, I have an invitation for you. I would like you to present this idea, and how you will grow it to the management students in 2nd year. In the last years, I invited Bogdan Pandea from “Captain Bean” and Razvan from “Razvanarie” to introduce their business ideas to the students. You are my guest to my course and hopefully you will inspire my students to do what you did.
I was speechless. The skeptical lady was impressed.
Getting feedback is priceless. It is more valuable than your Diploma with 10.
So dear FSEGA…Thank you again.
It was a nice break-up.
Thank you for inspiring me to travel and for supporting me with Word Traveler.
P.S Please fix your Internet connection for all floors and rooms! We are living in 2017!