“We know if we want to achieve something we have to do something, and maybe the original action plan doesn’t get you there, but a change in perspective and engaging with experts will bring you closer to success. Expat Spouses Initiative was one such influencer and a collaborator in my professional journey in The Netherlands.”- Andreea Parapuf

I have been living in the Netherlands for nine years. I first came in contact with Expat Spouses Initiative in 2015 at the conference Global City Eindhoven, where I was immediately enthralled by the vision and mission of ESI. At that time I was living in Nijmegen and I was doing an internship at the Ministry of Safety and Justice in the Hague, so I could not take part in many activities organized by ESI.

After finishing my Ph.D. in philosophy and my Master degree in Public administration, I found it surprisingly challenging to find a suitable job in the Netherlands. After a while, I moved to Tilburg and I decided to get in contact again with ESI. I was hoping that connecting with expat spouses and international migrants with similar stories would help open doors for me and motivate me to keep looking for a job. In my long search, I had almost given up the hope for a job that suited my education and experience and had settled for finding a job of any kind.

The thing that most impressed me when I attended the Community evening organized by ESI was the emphasis on following one’s dream path and dream job regardless of how tough and far those may seem at one point. “What would you like to do, what makes you happy?” asked ESI coach to each new member. That Community evening opened my eyes and reminded me to follow my dream. I was impressed with the empathy that ESI has for highly educated and qualified women that struggle to find a job. After the Community evening, I decided to volunteer for ESI. The time spent working with the ESI team was truly precious, it was the ideal combination of professionalism and family feeling.

ESI was my lucky charm. Soon after volunteering for them, I was invited to interviews and I found a job that suits both my ambitions and my experience.