“I want to be helpful for my country. It’s a mission I have.”

Olena Biedova, a state expert at the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers in Ukraine participated in SI Summer Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP) and attended a two-week training course at Linköping University on the topic of e-governance. In her mission to be helpful for her country she now has new insights on e-governance and a wider network. 

Why did you apply to SAYP?

SAYP seemed like a very interesting programme and an opportunity to get more knowledge and understanding about e-governance and the digital sphere as I work for the government of Ukraine. And the opportunity to meet new people from other countries and to network.

Is there something you will do differently in your work as a public servant because of what you learned at SAYP?

I would say that I really understood that I need to digitalize myself, follow trends when it comes to digitalization and to use new tools in my personal and professional life. It is important to follow the development and don´t miss this opportunity and get behind. This insight and understanding is worth a lot.

What are your learnings from SAYP? Can you share some examples? 

During SAYP I learned that if you continue to work in the old way you will not develop professionally, and you will not be needed in the future. I have learned a lot of things about other countries such as Estonia, Lithuania, Georgia as we have been able to share good practices. It has been interesting to get to know how things work in other countries and to understand where Ukraine is in the field of e-governance. I can see that we are moving forward and have good practices.

What are your recommendations to anyone thinking of applying to SAYP?

I can´t understand how people can miss an opportunity like this. Don’t have any doubts about applying to SAYP if you meet the requirements and are able to see how this is related to your work and personal interest. It is of much use in your professional and personal development. SAYP has helped me understand many things. When you go abroad for this kind of programme, you broaden your mind, you get an understanding of different lifestyles and can compare them, and you start thinking of what you could implement when you get back. It encourages you to do something in your country.

If you had to choose one thing that you liked about SAYP, what would that be?

Only one? It would be networking. For me people are everything and the most important value in our lives. And of course, the topic of this module in SAYP. We have really lived with topic of e-governance as we all the time talk about it. We that have participated in the have become friends and can visit each other which creates new opportunities in our lives.

Where do you see yourself in the future – what’s your goal?

I want to be helpful for my country. Ukraine is now in a process of transition and I really want to contribute as much as I can. It’s a mission I have. It´s difficult to say what will have happened in five years but I am sure that I have achieved my mission.

How has SAYP helped you develop as a change maker?

When you share experiences with other countries you take in good practices. And even if you don´t start to think them immediately you have them with when you get back and have to deal with something related to e-governance I will have the opportunity to contribute a lot with my thoughts, ideas and expertise. SAYP gives you a variety of practices from different countries, both good and bad ones. As a change maker you can try to something new but it even better to implement something that already exist.

Anything you would like to add? Any last words?

I am very thankful for the opportunity to have participated in SAYP. It is one of many seeds that will grow and contribute to my professional and personal development.

For more information about SAYP and how to apply.