This week we’d like to introduce Julia Schubert, who was first a Research Volunteer before later joining PROJECT-E’s Management Board.
What was your involvement in PROJECT-E (department, main tasks) and for how long were you with PE?
I joined PE as a Research Volunteer in 2014 to conduct research on the possibilities of starting a second project in Ethiopia. When coming back to Germany I established the Research Department and later became part of the Management Board. Throughout my different positions within PE, I was deeply involved in building up the PEHI.
In three words, how would you describe your experience as a volunteer at PROJECT-E?
Unique, inspiring, instructive
What was the most memorable experience with PROJECT-E?
The most amazing experience was the “Welcome Day” for the new students of 2016, an event which I was able to take part in as Managing Director. The students and their parents were introduced to PEHI on that day. Meeting them, and seeing them being so grateful for the chance that PE was giving them showed me that all the effort the whole team was putting into the project was paying off, and that it really made a difference to the girl´s lives.
What do you think sets PROJECT-E apart from other “international aid“ projects?
From the beginning, I loved the idea that PE doesn’t only provide students a professional education, but it also empowers the girls in their personal development, which is an important requirement for being independent. Another unique quality is the fact that PE is run by volunteers, making it possible to not spend huge sums on administration, but instead investing the majority of the budget directly into PEHI in Addis.
Why did you have to leave PROJECT-E?
I had to leave because I finished my Masters degree and started my first job, which made me realize that I would not have enough time to appropriately fulfil my responsibilities with PE anymore.
What are you doing right now professionally?
I am working as a Process Manager in the Finance industry whilst at the same time doing my doctorate in Public Finance.
Do you follow PROJECT-Es activities on Social Media or are you still involved in any way?
I am still feeling very connected to the project and the team. I am following PE´s activities regularly and keep in touch with other alumni.
What did you learn from volunteering at PROJECT-E?
My time with PE and its wonderful team taught me various things. I am extremely grateful for the experience of building up a project from scratch. I learned to not give up, and to not get too frustrated by external circumstances. I saw the huge difference that a bunch of motivated and inspiring people coming together can make. Not least, I fell in love with Ethiopia and its amazing people.
Why would you recommend someone to volunteer for PROJECT-E?
PE offers the unique experience of empowering women, making a real difference to their lives and giving them the chance to develop into independent women. Furthermore, you can take over responsibility and challenge yourself in an inspiring, international environment.