“I worked as a quantitative researcher in the asset management industry for seven years in London. I developed quantitative models for investments in fixed income markets, using statistical analysis, optimization techniques and programming languages. Working in a highly reputed company, I developed sharp analytical skills, a solid work ethic and a constructive attitude towards challenges. Meanwhile, given London’s multicultural environment and its vast cultural offer, I cultivated my other interests, in particular the history and cultures of the Middle East.
My best friend, a former Iranian refugee who resettled in the UK, was inspirational. He introduced me to his network of fellow British Iranians, invited me to Iranian festive celebrations and gave me an unedited representation of Iranian culture. I was curious and wanted to know more. I took holidays in the region, visiting Iran, Turkey, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. I took Arabic classes and engaged in volunteering activities in support of peacetime initiatives in the Middle East. I leveraged my other passion, swimming, to fundraise for a rehabilitation centre for victims of war in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan: in September 2017, I swam the 6-mile Serpentine swim in London and raised over £1,400.
I came across the EUAV vacancy in Lebanon with GVC in April 2017. It seemed a unique opportunity to visit a new Middle Eastern country, practice my Arabic and gain relevant professional experience in a new industry. Initially, I could not see how my experience in financial markets could be of interest to an NGO. Yet, GVC forward-looking recruiters saw beyond the titles and went to the core of my competencies: I was good at data crunching, an activity that is gaining increasing relevance for accountability purposes. It was mutual recognition. I liked GVC openness and willingness to leverage cross-industry expertise. GVC liked my positive attitude and interest for humanitarian aid.
I moved to Zahle, Lebanon in October 2017. The initial months could hardly be better. Work is very interesting and stimulating. Given the lack of previous expertise in data analysis, my contribution has a distinctive impact on GVC activities and I feel encouraged to suggest appropriate research solutions and tools. Quantitative analysis informs and supports protection activities; often I have the feeling I am conducting pioneering work in the industry. GVC Lebanon friendly staff played an important part in helping me settle down in a new country. Zahle is a pretty city at the feet of Mount Lebanon, I am improving on my Arabic and there is an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool where I can train for my next sport challenge. I look forward to the rest of my experience as EU Aid Volunteer with GVC in Lebanon!”.
Marco Baumgartner is one of our #EUAidVolunteers in Lebanon. Watch his video and listen to his story…E il 5 Dicembre, vieni all'evento Volontariato nazionale e internazionale: nuove opportunità a Bologna. Che tu sia un aspirante volontario o un ente non profit, scoprirai come candidarti e aderire a iniziative come EU Aid Volonteers, European Solidarity Corps e Servizio civile universale. #IVD2017 #VolunteersActFirst European Commission – Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations – ECHO Christos Stylianides – Χρήστος Στυλιανίδης
Pubblicato da Gvc Onlus su Lunedì 4 dicembre 2017
For know more about EU Aid Volunteers initiative and to get involved, join our free webinar next 15th December. More information here.