Moving on: Interview with Elena Duvalkina, Departing Program Officer at the JVI

August 23, 2022

Elena Duvalkina worked as a Program Officer at the JVI for two years. On the occasion of her departure, she spoke with JVI Newsletter staff about her experience.

Elena, you have worked for two years as a Program Officer at the JVI. Can you give an overview of your role and key activities during this period?

In my role as Program Officer, I administered various virtual courses and webinars offered by the JVI. I started with preparations for my first face-to-face course that was scheduled for August, but I was not able to greet the participants due to my departure.

How would you describe your work experience here? 

Having heard a lot of positive feedback about the JVI from its former employees, it was my goal to join the organization at that time. During two rewarding and yet very challenging years due to the pandemic and then the war in Ukraine, I have grown both professionally and as a person. As a team, we have managed to keep the courses running by offering them virtually, we have implemented new technologies and also introduced webinars on various topics. I am very grateful to the management and my colleagues for being very supportive during my work at the JVI.

What was your most memorable part during this period?

The excitement before my first assigned online course. And the JVI events in the garden, of which there were only a few, due to the pandemic, but they were all very pleasant. These were some of the few occasions where I met with my JVI colleagues in person.

How has the pandemic impacted you, personally and professionally?

I learned to appreciate my family, friends, and social life more than ever. Thanks to the ability to work remotely, I was able to spend more time with my parents in my home country. Professionally, I learned how to organize the courses, webinars, and other meetings using various online platforms and tools; how to find digital solutions to problems and, finally, how to feel confident while attending or presenting during online events.

What are you looking forward to after the JVI?

I am leaving the JVI to join the United Nations Office in Vienna and I look forward to my new responsibilities and the team. I also hope to keep in touch with my JVI colleagues in the future.

Rilind Kabashi, Economist, Joint Vienna Institute

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