EURES – my path to Italy

16.02.2009

An Italian company which specialises in animation looking for motivated personnel and a Dutch student who had just completed her studies in sport looking for a job that matches her expectations – step in EURES! Born and raised in ‘s-Heerenberg, a small town in the Eastern part of the Netherlands, Eefje Ronhaar, 23, was not looking specifically for a job abroad after her studies. Instead, she wanted to find a job where she could gain experience in sport and leisure management, which she studied at CIOS in Arnhem. EURES helped her find a perfect job in a campsite in Piani di Clodia at Lake Garda in Italy, working for a well-known company in the field of tourist animation.

“It’s just the kind of job I was looking for!”

Eefje got to know EURES by looking for jobs on the net. “I always wanted to explore another corner of the world, so when I saw the opening on the EURES website I did not think twice about applying”, says Eefje. She sent off her CV and asked for more information from Hannie Eilers, her local EURES adviser who explained that Wintour, the company offering the position, was looking for a person capable of working with children and at the same time able to conduct sports animation and night shows. Eefje thought that it sounded like an incredible opportunity for her, despite having little knowledge of Italian. A multicultural working environment coupled with the support EURES provided once Eefje settled in Italy greatly reduced the obstacles she might have encountered due to her limited knowledge of the language. EURES fully supported Eefje, who explains: “Ms Eilers was very helpful. She helped me throughout the selection procedure and we were in touch during my stay in Italy as well, to make sure that everything proceeded smoothly”.

A fruitful cooperation with EURES

Not only did EURES act as a bridge between the potential employee and the employer, the service helped Eefje to settle in Italy as well. Once Ms Eilers received Eefje’s candidacy, she organised a phone interview with Mr Marcadella, founder of Wintour. The feedback was so positive that just a few days later, Eefje moved to Italy to start her new job.

“I was aware that there was a margin of risk,” confesses Ms Eilers, the Dutch EURES adviser who took care of the selection process. “There was a very short time notice which did not allow me to set up a face-to-face meeting between the two parties. However, thanks to the well-established collaboration between EURES and Wintour, I knew already what the employer could offer and which skills were required to work as an animator in a campsite. As a result, I was in a position to act as a mediator between the two sides.”

Mr Marcadella confirms the fundamental role played by EURES; indeed, he often relies on it to select the right entertainers from various European Countries. “I have been working with EURES for several years and I always found very co-operative staff,” he says. “When Ms Eilers told me she might have found the right candidate to work as an animator within my company I trusted her fully.” Once the season starts it is not so easy to find qualified staff quickly, but thanks to EURES the selection process was both fast and fruitful.

Eefje’s successful story is an example of the unique opportunity offered to young Europeans like Eefje to work easily in an international context while gaining valuable skills and experience for their future careers. Indeed, once the contract with Wintour ended, Eefje found a fulltime position as a circuit coach back in the Netherlands. She provides fitness programmes to a variety of clients, mainly adults. This position requires a sound ability to interact with people and, thanks to her experience in Italy, Eefje greatly increased her self-confidence in this area. She still does not know what the future will bring, but looks back on her time abroad with enthusiasm: “Italy did so much for me – I met some great people and would love to go back there at some point. I love the job I’m doing at the moment but I’m also eager to continue exploring the word!”

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