WYAcademy: Describe briefly what you do

Raphaela: Recently I just started my Master studies in Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets at Maastricht University in collaboration with the United Nations University, which means that currently I am a full-time student again.

WYAcademy: Tell us a brief story of how you ended up doing what you’re currently doing?

Raphaela: I have joined the Academy shortly after Covid-19 hit the world and especially Germany where I am currently residing. Actually different than expected, it was the perfect time frame to do an online internship, since I was in the middle of my Gap Year. Before, I had finished a great internship at the Lufthansa Group, with which I would have done another internship abroad but due to the circumstances everything changed suddenly – That was when I again came across the World Youth Academy since I have already known the programs and loved its contribution – Rather than just participating in one of the Programs I just mailed Ramiro and basically asked him about the possibility to work with the Academy 🙂

WYAcademy: What is one of the biggest obstacles you had to face to get where you are and how you managed to make it work?

Raphaela: One of the biggest obstacle for me, I think has always been figuring out my place in the world, by constantly asking myself “What is going to be the big purpose of my life?” – I wouldn’t say I have already figured that out perfectly by now, but it is so rewarding to see, that somehow even passively, the steps are getting connected with every decision I take.

WYAcademy: What are three things that make you stand up every morning to keep doing what you do?

Raphaela: 1) Coffee! 2)The love I have for live, and 3) my determination to keep learning day by day and apply that knowledge to make this world a little bit better every time

WYAcademy: What are the three things that make you feel proud of yourself?

Raphaela: My capacity to transform visions into actions, my empathy and my hands-on mentality or the results of challenging myself

WYAcademy: What is the biggest impact the WYAcademy had in your personal life?

Raphaela: Being part of the World Youth Academy gives me a constant satisfaction of contributing to a great purpose and challenging myself as a Changemaker.

WYAcademy: What is the most lively/remarkable memory you have from the WYAcademy? Why?

Raphaela: Definitely the Diplomado Internacional for Latin America I co-organized – The richness of backgrounds, nationalities, visions and characteristics of each participant was overwhelming!

WYAcademy: Two advices that you would like to tell youngsters

Raphaela: Quoting Anita Roddick: “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” – Do not be afraid to make an impact – even if you consider it to be small, you have the ability to stimulate change and 2) Embrace your potential and your ideas – always put 110% in everything yo do! As well, be patient with yourself if things are not going the way you planned, everything will connect (the dots, right Steve?)

WYAcademy: Why would you recommend/exhort youngsters to have a WYAcademy experience?

Raphaela: The World Youth Academy is one of the few places (physical and virtual) where you can get a real opportunity to experience institutions and international organizations first-hand. The power of network you can create by directly interacting with each and everyone of the Speakers and well-known International Experts is unique – Our speakers, our participants and the Academy itself are all working towards one common goal: connect and learn with like-minded peers to take action in one of the relevant fields and lift your development to the next level!

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