Name: Maggie Wilder
Hometown: Washington, District of Colombia
Nationality: United States
University: University of Mary Washington
Degree: Business Management with a Double Major in Theater
Occupation: Staff Accountant at Kositzka, Wicks & Company
Languages spoken: English, French (beginner)
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Marketing and Management with a Drug Rehab Nonprofit in Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 2 weeks
Start month: June 2017
Claim to fame: Maggie has always had an incredibly strong work ethic; she was in the top of her class during school, and now she is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) at the age of 23. Very impressive, Maggie!
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG volunteer for three reasons: the mission was right, the location was right, and the price was right. I knew that I wanted to go on a volunteer trip, and I was attracted to the variety of projects and locations that UBELONG offers. I wanted an experience that would supplement the work that I do on a daily basis back home and would give me the opportunity to visit an area of the world that I was interested in learning more about. The affordability of the trips that UBELONG offers made pursuing the ideal volunteer experience a possibility.
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
During my time working on my volunteer project, I was able to develop two marketing materials for the local partner organization. These marketing materials can be used by the organization to spread the word about its mission and attract fundraising support, hopefully furthering the organization’s ability to carry out its important programs.
What were your major challenges?
My major challenges revolved around the new experiences that I faced during my UBELONG volunteer experience. My trip with UBELONG was my first solo travel experience, so I had a difficult time adjusting to being alone in a new place. I tend to be relatively shy, so learning to meet and interact with new people every day required some major adjustment. Learning to navigate a strange city was also intimidating at times and required some trial and error and flexibility. It was also a challenge to integrate into an organization with a mission and primary language with which I was not familiar. However, in the face of these challenges, I was able to develop the skills to overcome them and grow as an individual.
In a sentence or less, how would you describe the locals you met?
The locals that I met were kind, welcoming, and truly a lot a fun to be around.