This time, as part of the Staff Spotlight series, we had the opportunity to sit down with Fjolla Bajraktari—Podium Officer at the Lab—to learn more about her and what she does at the Lab!

Could you start by telling us a little about yourself?

My name is Fjolla, which basically means “Snowflake” in Albanian. Every third girl of my generation owns this name. I was born in one of the warmest days of August, so in that sense it’s kind of weird that I was named Fjolla. I’m a remote-controller-switched-ON kinda girl at home: TV ON, Radio On, topics being discussed one after another, a very dedicated family person and an exercising and healthy food freak.

 

What do you do at the UNICEF Innovations Lab?

As a Podium officer, I am in touch with different youth-groups who already have benefited from the Lab’s workshops, trying to reach all the goals they set for their campaigns. As challenging as it might get, that keeps me motivated for keeping youth energized for attaining what they feel is probably unreachable. This is probably what drives me and makes me love what I do at UNICEF Innovations Lab. Outreach for upcoming workshops around Kosovo, drafting e-mails for decision-makers and meeting with them, teaching youth about lobbying, advocating, the importance of their role in the society they live in. In doing all these things, I always try to stay super positive.

When and how did you join the Lab and what was your best experience here?

I joined the Lab in late September, 2016. Recommended by a previous intern, one of my closest friends, I decided to apply and give it a try. I remember the excitement I felt that time I got the e-mail for the interview – Sky high! I knew it the day I went for the interview that I would fit perfectly with the values of the team and the positivity with which they go about their work! Being here is amazing, and meeting youth and adolescents is the best part of it, as I can contribute to making changes in their lives, and that indeed motivates me J.

I came back from France where I finished a Masters a year ago, and as many other Albanians living in Kosovo I was assuming that I will never find a place where I’d feel energized and motivated to work at. But the Lab is different. I get to talk with everyone here, no matter our job positions, and this flat management system blooms success day by day.

What does a typical day at the office look like for you?

Morning greetings, hugs and chocolates! This is a typical way of starting our days at the office. Later, my work consists of many activities, starting from meetings with colleagues, discussing about everything happening during the day, and who gets to do what and who might help. The office is a place where everyone feels free to share ideas and opinions on topics related to what we work for. Meeting youth groups, approving their action plans, etc.

 Favorite and least favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job includes the ability to share opinions and being appreciated for what you say, as there is trust from one another. It’s a great opportunity to work with people who care about the Lab and are committed on making it better and better every day. It is about hard work, integrity and teamwork. My least favorite part of my job is being alone in the office – I don’t enjoy it at all.

Tell us something that your colleagues don’t know about you.

I used to play violin for five years, went to music school and played in a concert.