By Mirsela Gorani (YES 2013-2014, Albania, placed by AYA/AIFS in Pamplico, SC)
As days go by and my term as an Alumni Coordinator is coming to an end, I look back on the last two years, and I feel emotional. I will miss being the Alumni Coordinator of Albania, without a doubt.
When I began working as the Alumni Coordinator for Albania, I had self-doubts and kept overthinking everything. Will I be able to honor the duties and responsibilities of this job? Will the alumni like me? Will I get along with everyone? These and many other questions kept me awake at night during the training period and at the beginning of my term. However, with the support of my supervisor and my mentor, I started to believe in myself.
Being an Alumni Coordinator has been a rewarding experience. One of the benefits of being an Alumni Coordinator is the opportunity to work with a group of individuals who share a common experience. The only people who can understand alumni of an exchange program are other alumni. Being part of this group makes you feel that the exchange experience was even more unique since you discuss, share, and learn from each other’s experiences.
My favorite part about being an Alumni Coordinator is the alumni community in Albania and how supportive they are. It is with great honor that I say I have enjoyed being the leader of such promising young people. Working with alumni who have participated in and organized volunteer activities helped me better understand the importance of giving back and making a difference in our community.
Another benefit of being an Alumni Coordinator was the opportunity to develop and strengthen my leadership skills. In this role, I was responsible for managing projects, coordinating events, and leading teams of City and University Representatives. These various responsibilities helped me build my communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills, which I look forward to using in my future career.
Becoming the Alumni Coordinator in Albania is one of the best things that has happened to me because I have learned so much, have connections and fellow alumni who I can also call friends, and have somehow left my mark on our community with the activities I organized. I am grateful the YES experience led me down this path.
I want to thank everyone from the American Councils team: my supervisor, my mentor, my fellow alumni coordinator, and lastly, all my alumni, for believing in me even when I had lost all faith, for encouraging me to be my best version, and for leaving a mark on my life.