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Simona Chmelíková

2020 Alumna
BA International Relations

Hey everyone, my name is  Simona Chmelíková, and I’m an AAU Alumna with a BA in International Relations, graduating class of 2020. During my studies I’ve worked in internships at a variety of organizations around Europe. Today, I’d like to tell you more about the work that I’m currently doing at the BBSK vaccination center.

In March 2020, I applied for the position of Second Assistant to the Vice President of the BBSK region and I was happy to be accepted. However, my start date was postponed due to the increasing COVID-19 cases during the first wave of the pandemic. It was a tough period but I actively kept in contact to express my deep interest in pursuing the position until, almost a year later, on January 13th 2021, I was again invited for an interview, accepting the role as the Coordinator of Vaccination Centers in BBSK region a week later. The work we do is in close collaboration with an event agency whose job it is to ensure all Covid-19 measures are applied. 

Before the first vaccination center was built, I was mainly serving as an assistant to the Project Manger but now, I coordinate the vaccination of disabled people around our region.  This involves management skills, scheduling, keeping in contact with doctors, as well as maintaining a positive attitude! Seeing the disabled unable to move on their own is hard but the greatest pleasure is seeing their happiness upon receiving the vaccine.

Our region, Banska Bystrica, was the first region in Slovakia to open vaccination centers with a capacity for vaccinating 1,000 people per day. Our actions inspired all other regions in the country to do the same and as such, have sped up the vaccination process in Slovakia. To make it even more accessible, we introduced vaccination ”on wheels”, where we go from village to village to vaccinate as many people as possible. 

While it takes a lot of effort and experience, rolling out the vaccination plan and coordinating the center is such an amazing and rewarding project. Truth be told, I was, at first, a bit overwhelmed in my new role however, I’m very honored to work on this project and feel passionately about helping the world go back to normal. 

Overall, I’m very grateful for my experiences at AAU as they taught me valuable lessons about the workplace. I am now able to deal with hardships, and have learned that failure is a stepping stone to success- when something doesn’t go as planned the first time, you can always try again, and achieve it by putting in more work and effort. I felt this while waiting to join the BBSK team and now I couldn’t be happier in my role.

Stay healthy, everyone!