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Success Story of Iryna Podolyak (City of Volodymyr-Volynsky)

Ukraine | Getting Down to Business | 12 Dec 2017


Success
Iryna Podolyak from the city of Volodymyr-Volynsky shares her story: ‘One fall day in November 2016, randomly wandering around the World Wide Web, I by chance encountered a proposition to participate in a project called Getting Down to Business.

Overview
Iryna Podolyak from the city of Volodymyr-Volynsky shares her story: ‘One fall day in November 2016, randomly wandering around the World Wide Web, I by chance encountered a proposition to participate in a project called Getting Down to Business.

I have long dreamt of and seen myself as the leader of my own business. One could say "business owner," but I prefer a slightly different formulation "own a business." This underscores the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills, the ability to translate ideas into action, the freedom to operate at one’s own pace and style, the chance to gain financial independence, and ultimately, the prospect of discovering many other opportunities.

My timid thoughts about owning my own business would have been waiting in a queue of “to be continued for contemplation” for a long time, if not for the Getting Down to Business Project! The project gave me enough knowledge to click the "Start" button!
In 2013, I graduated from the Faculty of Philology at Ivan Franko National University in Lviv. I earned a diploma with honors; I had the chance to continue my studies in graduate school, but I realized that I am more of a practitioner than a theoretician. Moreover, my profession as a teacher of Ukrainian as a foreign language is intensely interesting and extraordinary! For several years, I have been working as a specialist at a private language school. During this time, I have worked with students from various countries around the world including the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Estonia, and Poland. By communicating with these amazing people, I managed to overcome the barriers and borders between Ukraine and often distant countries (imaginary ones of course).

Life in a small city such as Volodymyr-Volynsky has many advantages over large cities (for me personally). Many young people think that it's hard to succeed in one’s profession in a small town. I once thought so as well, especially given my rather exotic profession (teaching foreigners). My opinion changed after participating in the project "Getting Started." The project kick-started a series of happy coincidences, or rather logical events unfolded in my life.
Thanks to a highly informative project coordinator, Natalia Lytvyna, and cooperation with the Lutsk-based public organization “Veles+,” the students in my group learned about an International Organization for Migration project to support and grow entrepreneurship among internally displaced persons in the local communities of the Volyn region. The project included a two-day training and a business plan competition to start an entrepreneurial business. I was fortunate enough to be among the beneficiaries who received grant support. The grant funds covered the costs of technical and educational equipment as well as furniture (computers, printer cartridges, magnetic boards, desks, shelves, chairs, etc.) My business idea was to provide tutoring for people desiring to study Ukrainian language and literature along with the services of an online teacher (Ukrainian as a foreign language). Currently, I conduct both types of services and activities from home. In a few months, I will return to work after maternity leave, and my child will start attending kindergarten. From now on, I will be able to more actively and quickly develop my business: renting office space, registering business activities to expanding the format of my activities – culminating in a complete tutoring center. My efforts have already resulted earning a profit! I spend some of the income to purchase textbooks and study materials, the rest - on personal needs.
Foreigners reside in our city! And this is the second fortunate opportunity! Thanks to one of the Getting Down to Business English language tutors, I met a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. I am currently teaching her Ukrainian.

The project coaches are not only business professionals with charismatic personalities; they are also socially active citizens. During the project, we spoke a lot about community activism. Recently, USAID offered a training event on writing project proposals and budgets for the Strengthening Local Financial Initiatives (IMF-II) implementation project. I am now preparing my public benefit project for registration in the electronic system and its further expansion and promotion!
I hope that positive happenstances and unexpected events continue appearing in my life! I advise people hesitating in life, at the appropriate place and time, with the words of a well-known politician: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are," which in Ukrainian translates to "Роби те, що можеш, з тим, що маєш, там, де ти є" (Theodore Roosevelt)’.

Staff

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Success Story of Iryna Podolyak (City of Volodymyr-Volynsky) | 12 Dec 2017

Iryna Podolyak from the city of Volodymyr-Volynsky shares her story: ‘One fall day in November 2016, randomly wandering around the World Wide Web, I by chance encountered a proposition to participate in a project called Getting Down to Business.

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