My name is Evelīna and I am an IVY volunteer in Ventspils, Latvia. My host organization is Engineering Research Institute Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre (ERI VIRAC) of Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (VUAS).
I started my volunteer journey on June 3, 2019. Since that day, I’ve been learning a lot about project management, proposal writing in general and spent my time usefully. I’ve been helping my supervisor with different projects our institution is involved in, for example, SpaceTEM (Training the next generation entrepreneurs with handson methods in methods in space STEM) project. In the frameworks of the SpaceTEM project one of the objectives is to link together Estonian and Latvian entrepreneurs through trainings, workshops and events to facilitate the establishment of new businesses and initiatives in space technology and to bring together Latvian and Estonian STEM students to increase entrepreneurial capabilities as well as their marketability to space tech firms. Our institution is also writing a proposal for ESA PECS project. Its objective is to develop a universal system of fixing measurement results, allowing to connect a large number of different sensors, synchronize measurements, perform high-precision conversion of measurement results into digital format, ensure storage or measurement results etc.
Also, I had an opportunity to attend SpaceTEM proposal writing workshop in Tartu, Estonia to learn about Horizon 2020, ESA BIC and Interreg funding programmes and other useful tips for proposal writing. Different workshops and conferences in connection with SpaceTEM are taking place both in Ventspils and Tartu and I have the chance to attend them.
Among all the paperwork I have to do, I also spend time with my new colleagues from Ventspils University of Applied Sciences. I got to organize a Sports Day – my task was to look for interesting outdoor games and necessary equipment, gifts for participants, snacks. The day was very windy, but we all were engaged in fun activities and the day was very well spent.
I have a shared office with other interns and employees, and we are all friendly here. Every Wednesday we go out to have lunch together and that is a great way to get to know each other outside the office walls.