INTERVIEW v.6 - Tour Coordinator & Assistant tour coordinator: Leonie Lavrova Wolding (Netherlands) & Alza Naci Cretu (Albania)
Walk us through a typical week in your position at IWC EC Headquarters?
Alza: This position is one of the most enjoyable positions in the EC. Approximately twice a month you have to go to a great tour you organized in advance. That is a beautiful day, filled with a lot of new knowledge about an unfamiliar place. The other days you think about museums, mansions or neighborhoods to visit, gather information, decide accordingly and at the end make the reservation.
Leonie: Everywhere I walk or whatever I hear I connect with possible tours. St. Petersburg is filled with fascinating places! I call or email guides or museums and try to make a reservation for an interesting excursion.
What big thing are you currently working on?
Leonie: At the moment we are planning the next tours. Spring is coming, so we plan more outdoor activities. I would love to organize an excursion outside of the city.
Alza: We had a phone call today, discussing ideas and the program of the next tours. To be honest, these are not very big things we work on. To put it simply, we consider it as a social activity we are organizing for friends. We decide on interesting places to visit and we just visit them with our friends. And that’s fun.
Why Is this position available?
Leonie: After two years organizing the cultural tours it’s time to focus on something else. Besides that, I did most things on my personal wish-list (biking, banya, Pushkinskaya 10, painting a matryoshka). Time for somebody else to satisfy their interests and at the same time amuse the ladies of the IWC.
Alza: I have been helping Leonie this year and it was a very nice and interesting year for me. I had a lot of fun and the opportunity to make a new friend. We have a very good and understanding communication which make things work better. This position is available because I would like to give the opportunity to other people as well to go through such a great experience. One year is a very good period to give your contribution to this wonderful club.
What will be the biggest challenge for the person(s) filling this position?
Alza: In my opinion first of all this is a very pleasant and fun position. But of course, as everything in life it has its challenges. While deciding on a place to visit you also very carefully think on the “why should we visit that place’’. The most challenging part is that the answer to this question might be different for people. Of course, thinking about a group of international women from different cultures makes it more difficult. So, you have to think twice before deciding.
Leonie: No challenge in finding an excursion. Options are on every corner. More difficult it is to find an excursion in English. Or to find a translator Russian-English.
Tell us exactly what would be expected for someone who would like to take on this position?
Alza: First of all, interest in knowing more about the city we are living in and desire to understand the Russian Culture more. This will keep you alive during the whole year, including the cold winter as well. Then, the other things are the same that a coordination position requires everywhere. To have good communication, organizational & time management skills and a little bit of energy.
Leonie: Yes, what Alza says, most important is to have an interest in Russia and especially in the city we all live at the moment. You will learn a lot during the excursions. That’s such a great thing!
What would other EC members say is the best part about working on the EC team?
Leonie: Friendship! The people of the EC team are so inspiring and kind. The meetings are beside fun also constructive. It was really interesting to see how the organization of the club works. After many years of membership, it was my first time in the EC. What skilled ladies we have!
Alza: All members in the EC team are very professional in their field and they all have a great heart. Each one of us has different skills, knowledge and talents that we are offering voluntarily for the best interest of this wonderful club. We are a strong team and I think all of us would agree that this is one of the best parts. In addition, behind being so serious we all are very colorful ladies and know how to have fun and enjoy even a few difficult situations we might face. Simply, we are a great team and everyone values being part of such a team.