Marie Swaenepoel – PR intern in Brno

Marie at Crater Lake National Park, OR
Marie at Crater Lake National Park, OR

What do you do at Foreigners.cz?

I am the Public Relations intern at Foreigners.cz Brno. I have to do this internship in order to complete my Master’s degree in European Studies specializing in Communications and Public Relations in Europe. So, basically I am in charge of the social media pages on which I post various things related to the Czech Republic, our agency or our events. I help to organize the different MeetUps we arrange and I write some articles for the blog. I also support my colleagues and achieve random tasks when asked.  

When did you start working at the agency? How do you remember your first days?

I started to work at the agency at the beginning of March 2015, so I haven’t been here for so long. I arrived from France the day of the monthly MeetUp so I got to know a lot of people on my first day in Brno, it was really nice but I remember feeling quite overwhelmed by moving to a new country, I was thinking: “This is it! You were looking forward to coming to the Czech Republic. Now you’re there!” I needed some time to realize. When I started working at the office, I was a bit confused because I had to settle down and process all the things I will have to do. Fortunately, the girls were very welcoming and made me feel part of the team from the beginning!

  What part of your job is your favourite?

I like creating graphic designs for posters or Facebook posts. I also did an infographic about foreigners in the Jihomoravský region and it was interesting to do, from collecting the data to doing the design. I will certainly do more of them as soon as I find a good topic!

And the least favourite?

If I have to choose, I would say that the least favourite part of my job is when I have to post several accommodation offers on different websites in a row. More than two and it starts to be boring because it is repetitive. But I have to do it, so I just do it and then I work on a more pleasant task!

  What did you actually want to become when you were a child?

When I was a child I wanted to become a vet because I love animals. The best would have been to work with exotic animals! But later, when I had to bring my cat to the vet because he had some injuries and needed surgery, I realized I could never be able to perform surgery on an animal nor even a vaccine. So I figured I would do something else but I’ve stayed undecided for a while…

Where are you from? Have you ever lived outside the Czech Republic?

I was born in Dunkerque, a city located in the North of France very close to Belgium. I’ve lived there almost my entire life but I moved to other cities in France to study: Lille and Nancy. I also lived in Dublin, Ireland during my Erasmus exchange.

What is your favourite country? Why?

This is a tricky question because I haven’t visited all the countries of the world (hopefully, one day!) and from the ones I have visited, there are so many I like. But I will have to say Ireland because I have experienced so many things there! If I’m asked the same question in a year, I might change the answer for the Czech Republic, who knows?

  What is your favourite spot in Brno?

I haven’t explored the entire city yet, but I like wandering in the city center because if you look up, you will see beautiful facades!  I also like the 3TROJKA bar, I like the atmosphere there. Talking about bars, I like the fact that a lot of them are underground and arched.

  Can you share a funny story from your workplace?

I don’t think I have a funny story to tell yet. Well, maybe: once, Liduska were asking me for a stapler. So I told her it was in the cupboard, she reaches to open it and I said ‘not this one, the other one’  and she replied ‘this one?’ and I said ‘no,no the other one’ and I pointed out the place because it was confusing but we laughed!

What do you like to do outside the office?

I like exploring the city! I also enjoy going out and attending all the different meetings organized for foreigners here. There are plenty of them and I think it is a great thing.

Is there anything you absolutely cannot live without?

I cannot live without traveling. A wise man once said: “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”. I totally feel this quote!

Is there a language that you haven’t learned but you would love to do so?

Of course, there is the Czech language. Some people are telling me it is pretty useless to learn it because I am not supposed to stay here that long. But I think it is an interesting language and I think learning a a foreign one opens up your mind and you see things differently!

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Nadya Dyakova