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EMC experience

Twenty two years dedicated to music, bachelor in arts, bachelor in Public Relations in Kiev, Ukraine, master degree in Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship at Erasmus University, number of workshops and lectures in cultural management, four spheres of culture theory, creative economy, value frameworks, research and networking – many more. And eventually summer internship at European Music Council to face all these subjects in real life. 

It started with a backyard of Haus der Kultur in Bonn. I was supposed to be at the office at 10. Quarter to ten, Monday morning I was standing behind a huge building at Weberstrasse, 59A still a bit tired after the late night trip all the way from Rotterdam. Before I realized that I actually did not have a clue about where to proceed next, I noticed two busy people arranging a place for a newcomer, in a big window, one meter away from me. 

“Julia?” – I said. 

“Heey! Welcome, Maryana, we arranged a place for you.” – Julia answered with a sincere smile on her face.

“Just like that? Through the window?”- I responded happily. While I was saying this all my doubts and concerns about moving from the Netherlands for a two months internship in Germany vanished completely. 

Julia laughed “There is a door around the corner. It should be more comfortable to enter.”

My first day at EMC overwhelmed me with all sort of information. Five A4 pages of handwriting: passwords, schemes, lists, names. It was Alexej`s last day at the office after a one-year-volunteer programme for the youth. He introduced me to the basics responsibilities and duties he had to accomplish on a daily basis till now. From now on I was the one to do that – website content management, e-mailing, EMC Facebook page maintenance, mail correspondence, fresh Sounds magazine by EMC, European members of the organization, EMC database. German organizational skills always enraptured me – by six in the evening I had a pure vision about where I was, how it worked, I could already work with html (something I never did before), I had a clear idea about the structure of a rather complex EMC website tree and custom CRM programme. Moreover, that evening I carried home a 5-kilo bag with printed publications, books and papers. So you can imagine, how I usually spent my after-work time at home, reading about values, cultural/musical programmes around the globe, forecasts in the field of culture – to stay simple, everything I learned I could feel now so real. The immediate responses to my e-mail to the board members made me learn and value that no matter how busy you are there is always space for being thoughtful, nice, polite and supportive.

I had no other option but to integrate fully in the EMC tight knit team within a very short period of time. I came right in the busiest time of the year since in 23 days from my first day in Bonn     me, Julia and Simone were heading to the European Forum on Music, organized by the EMC annually. This year it was taking place in Bern, Switzerland in Yehudi Menuhin Forum. Hundreds of participants, registrations, speakers, respective authorities and even the president of the Republic of Croatia – EMC was there to make it happen. In cooperation with our Swiss partners we organized, planned, coordinated and finally successfully produced the Forum. In addition to the great experience of producing such a big scale event it was a great chance for me to meet professionals from all over the world to get to know many initiatives, ongoing projects and even get involved in some discussions in regards to development of new projects, find out about valuable information sources and get in personal touch with people who would help me realize my own projects. I also got to know a lot more about my specific field of professional interest and work, Eastern European cultural integration in particular.

Networking is our all. We live in Informational society and our mission as professionals is to find out the source of information we can trust. Today I can say confidently EMC is doing a great job in this regards and, which is the most important, it lives the real cultural life of Europe, following all the essential issues, news and developments. 

Thank you for this amazing opportunity and experience, dear European Music Council! I am sure we will meet again soon!

Maryana at the EMCs annual meeting in Bern.