Meet the Mentor: Anna Spiesova

This week marks the final week of the wonderful Anna’s internship in Glasgow. Read our latest #meetthementor (or more like #meettheintern) interview to find out all about who she is, what she’s been doing and what she’d say to anybody thinking about getting involved with Citywise!  

So Anna,

Tell us a bit about yourself – where you’re from, why you’re in Glasgow, what you study?

Well, I’m half Czech, half German, but having lived in Scotland for almost five years now, I almost feel more Scottish! I initially came here to study Spanish and Economics for a year, until I got accepted for a Business course in Germany. I ended up really enjoying my third subject, Sociology, so I eventually switched to a degree in Sociology. That’s where I then met my prince, and here I am four years later, and planning to stay in Scotland!

What got you interested in mentoring with Citywise last year?

I spent the third year of my studies working on a community development project in Colombia. Based in a local school, I worked closely with children from a very poor neighbourhood on a range of projects designed to improve their life prospects. After returning from Colombia, I wanted to continue doing something similar in Glasgow, and that’s how I came across Citywise, where I then applied to be a mentor.

Why did you choose to apply to intern with Citywise?

Well, I was first a Citywise mentor for a year. I enjoyed working with my mentee and found it very rewarding to see how she developed over the course of the mentoring programme. I absolutely loved the work of Citywise as well as being part of the Citywise family, and so over time I wanted to become more involved and contribute more to the charity.

“I love that Citywise is like one big family. Everyone is very supportive and caring, and I genuinely love going to work!”

What sort of things do you get up to on a Citywise internship?

I’ve done so many different things! I started off helping to organise a team-building event, then I helped find and plan some fundraising events for the #Citywise214 campaign in May. Apart from that I am looking into new ways to involve our mentee’s parents more and I am also developing a  community for mentor alumni to stay in touch with Citywise. Besides that, I have worked closely with a group of five students from Strathclyde University, who are carrying out their work experience with us. Together we have been working on the PR and social media of Citywise and setting up a new Citywise society at Strathclyde University. 

That sounds like you’ve been busy! What have you enjoyed the most about your internship?

I love the fact that the internship is so multifaceted, and that I have learnt loads in a variety of fields. Also, I love that Citywise is like one big family. Everyone is very supportive and caring, and I genuinely love going to work! I  have also enjoyed being given the responsibility to make decisions on my own and to be as creative as I want. 

What skills have you learnt at Citywise that you hope to use in the future?

Working on so many different tasks, I feel that I have learned a variety of new skills. Being in charge of managing a group of interns, I got the experience of delegating and managing different tasks. I feel that this not only strengthened my independent working skills but also my ability to communicate with different parties.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking about getting involved with Citywise?

My time with Citywise, both as a mentor and an intern, has been one of my best experiences here in Scotland. Arriving to study in a new country is not easy, but Citywise has helped me settle in, find new like-minded friends and at the same time contribute to a good cause. Also, not being sure which road to go down in life, volunteering at Citywise helped me gain more clarity. It’s a great experience, and I would, for sure, recommend it to everyone.