A passionate traveler, blogger, marketing coordinator and entrepreneur-to-be, Ieva Zelca (24) looks at her life as one great adventure which will provide her with new challenges that she is craving for. After having left her home country Latvia and having lived in the United Kingdom, France and USA, she calls herself a global citizen who is addicted to traveling. Just because it’s so natural to her, just because it has became her lifestyle.
Ieva has probably been born a cosmopolitan. She seems to be able to adapt and get used to new places in a relatively short time.”I knew that I wanted to move around and live abroad since… forever”, she starts laughing. After she finished her high school in Riga, capital of Latvia, she moved to the United Kingdom. Then afterwards to France, back to Great Britain, to Denmark, United States of America and back to Denmark…
“My first aim was to study at France but my French was not articulate enough to take a full education,so I decided to go to England to study International Tourism Management and go on Erasmus Exchange program to France, just to enjoy the country that I’ve been dreaming living in for a long”, she explains. A choice of going to a Business School in France for the second year of education was made and no other options even needed to be considered. ”I spent the whole year in the South of France. Without a doubt, it was the best studying year ever. It has been a wonderful experience, after which I had to come back to Great Britain to continue my studies”, said Ieva. Unfortunately, not everything went as smooth as it should have. Having finished a degree in International Tourism Management she found that most of her friends from the year above were unemployed for more than half a year “Since the majority of my friends were unable to find jobs a even longer time than half a year, I did not want to waste my time doing nothing. I ended up searching for possibilities to study further and I found a course that I liked: Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Masters in Tourism.”
Road to success
Numerous projects in university has lead Ieva to explore what she likes doing most in her education: marketing, communication and PR. “I was happy I could direct my education at what I wanted to do, so I mostly focused on management, marketing and PR courses that I could take. After finishing the first year we had an option to find an internship, so I decided to try much luck in the Big Apple”, she said.
The application process was long and tiring, yet it paid off as Ieva got a dream internship. “I was very lucky to get an internship in a marketing company in Manhattan. It was pretty much a dream come true… I had fallen in love with New York when I got a bachelor degree finishing trip to US. Certainly a week in New York City was not enough, so I was extremely happy to have gotten another chance to come back”, she said.
Instead of staying for six months, Ieva got an opportunity to stay longer. A couple of days before leaving United States she got an offer to prolong her internship. “I said if you pay me double, I’ll stay”, she starts laughing.
Back to the land of Queen
Ieva said that going back to Denmark felt worse than she had expected since she was missing New York so much. Having spent last month backpacking across US and Canada and returning to the real life was hard, especially being greeted by the long winter after surfing in sunny California just few weeks ago. “Back then Denmark felt cold and miserable… Especially since I wanted to stay in the US a little longer but my VISA was only valid for one year. Yet there was someone who made my return to Denmark a lot more pleasant, so I decided to give Aarhus a chance”, exclaims Ieva who right after she went to Denmark started applying for different positions in Aarhus and Copenhagen. “In around a month I understood that it’s a no-go. There are so many people who apply after having seen the job offer, and I decided I have to think creatively”, she said. “I looked at companies that have international profile and are fun and interesting having potential to go abroad, where I could help with that. I got interested in Hummel, found the HR manager and suggested to meet”, reveals Ieva. “I met the HR manager, and in about 3 or 4 weeks later she wrote to me that they have a position that I might be interested in. She contacted me on Friday evening, on Monday morning I was meeting one of the managers, on Wednesday I had a meeting with another manager, on Thursday I got a job and on Friday I signed the contract. My advice to graduates who are searching for a job is to find the company that you like, not the job openings that companies have”, she explains.
Yet what about that “someone”? “When I was still a teenager, I used to be a swimmer. Once I had a competition in Denmark where I met a Danish boy that I still kept a contact with all the time. We visited each other, went traveling together and became good friends. After I finished education in Great Britain and started studying in Denmark, it had been two years since we last met each other. We only started dating just before I moved to US for my internship so we decided to stay just as friends. But it so happened that during my year away we realized that there was something… And this made my decision to return to Denmark a lot easier”, she explains smiling.
Optimist by nature
According to the German writer: Ruth E. Renkel, you live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted. It seems that Ieva knows Ruth’s formula of being happy. “I am interested in entrepreneurship and marketing, so I recently came up with my own idea. Since I like spoiling myself and back in Latvia I do everything what I can: massage, nails, get a new hairstyle, I thought that such services in Denmark are a little pricey. I think that in Denmark price is too high for a relatively poor service, at least in my standards”, explains Ieva. “Since I wanted to promote my country and my hometown, I came up with an idea to provide good quality, high-end SPA service packages including flight tickets for cheaper prices in Riga”.
Being back in Denmark, Ieva is taking an advantage of what Aarhus has to offer. Either new winds – or simply her lust for challenges causes her to take part in even more activities. “I have recently applied to volunteer position in Tall Ship Race just for fun”, she shares. ”Currently, I am networking and trying to get more friends in Aarhus.”
“Are you happy now?”, I ask. “Very happy”, she replies smiling mischievously only with her lip corners, probably thinking about the new adventures that are still awaiting in the near future.