My name is Valeria Uzun and I have completed my Erasmus for Young entrepreneurs exchange with Gianluca ZIizza, the owner of Studio Zizza that works in the field of European project and consultalting for SMEs, in Lamezia Terme (Italy). It was one of the best experiences of my life, so I definitely encourage everyone to embark on Erasmus for Young entrepreneurs (EYE) programme.

Observing people and my host entrepreneur working and working with them, has been very useful for my personal growth. In Italy, I was surrounded by people who gave me motivation and incitement. I have sometimes reacted well, some other times – badly. I think, I did not spend one minute wondering what to do…but, I have spent so much time wondering, “how can I help?”.

I strongly encourage motivated young entrepreneurs who are willing to learn, work and to open their own business to apply for an EYE grant and to go to another country.

I had the chance to work in an environment where you can help your neighbour regardless of what you might get in return. In most cases, you don’t even have to ask for an advice, because it comes spontaneously. And above all, I have never felt like I was talking to somebody who knows more than I do. Here I was taught I can be whatever I want, or at least, I have all the right to try to. After all, I was surrounded by a self-made successful professional, Gianluca, who knows perfectly that nobody was born with experience, and this is what I remind myself when I face any failure or insecurity.

I dealt with so many things that seemed so difficult and far from me at the beginning, both from the professional and the “everyday life” point of view. I learned how to interact and communicate with people, how to manage the difficulty to communicate in Italian, I managed the preparation of a challenging European project, I improved my writing skills, I learned about communication, networking and social media, I developed a much clearer idea of what it means to have the responsibility of a company. If only I think that some months ago, I was living in a small village in Moldavia where the words such EU projects, grant, call for proposal, SMEs, pilot projects, GANTT, etc.. were completely unknown to me, I could not still believe that I made such experience. Thanks to Gianluca and the EYE programme for allowing me to realize my dream!