Italian IT company launches app to fight violence against women: Ukrainian intern Olga tells how

Annalisa Di Palo

Annalisa Di Palo

Scritto il 24 Nov 2015 in International

buone opportunitàinternshipSpindox

Through the quality label "OK Stage", since 2009 Repubblica degli Stagisti encourages companies to guarantee young people a steady stepping stone to the workplace by offering fair and quality internships, according to the principles of the "Intern's Bill of rights", which was written and promoted by Repubblica degli Stagisti and has inspired several political initiatives and legislative proposals along the way. Amongst the companies adhering  to the quality label is IT specialist Spindox, which tomorrow, November 25, joins the #Metticiilcuore campaign to enlist in the fight for the elimination of violence against women. Intern Olga Parkhomenko, 26, gives an insight on how Spindox technology will help - and how this job experience has affected her.

My name is Olga and I was born in 1989 in the big and beautiful
Dnipropetrovsk, in east Ukraine. I am currently interning as UI/UX designer junior in Milan based IT company Spindox and  I feel lucky to be gaining experience in such a big company, with many important customers, and develop my creative ideas. Something I really like about Spindox is that it is an open-minded and socially active company. These very days it is involved in the #Metticiilcuore campaign - litteraly, "Put your heart into it" - launching tomorrow, November 25, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In partnership with Italian fashion design company OPSObjects, Spindox has developed a smartphone app to help women escape dangerous situations and threats of violence, and has embedded it in OPS!Life, a heart shaped pendant that women can wear as bracelet or necklace, When pressed, it allows them to communicate in real time their location to a selected list of people and ask for immediate help [free download available now for IPhone and Android]. Communication occurs through the smartphone, thanks to Spindox app, via Bluetooth, which is a low energy consumption technology. #Metticiilcuore is the charity campain promoted by non profit organizations Soccorso Rosa along with OPSObjects, under the patronage of the City of Milan, for the prevention of gender-based violence. Personally, I was involved
in the project on the communication side, with the design of a presentation intended for investors [cover above].

At this point I had been part of Spindox for a few months. I entered the company in early 2015, after having divided my life for a while between Italy and Ukraine, as I had also found love in this beautiful country. All my secondary school years were spent in Dnipropetrovsk studying humanities and classical studies, which I think helped me pass the entrance examinations at the local National Mining University in 2008. I chose the Faculty of Management, which at the time seemed a good option to build a rewarding career after graduation - even though I have always had a dream, to become a graphic designer, and painting is my big passion. After completing the first three years of study, the choice became inevitable: was I supposed to proceed with the Faculty of Management or to follow my design aspirations? With the support of my parents, I opted for the latter and took the riskier path. I ended up in a Bucharest based academy, which proved the perfect place to learn graphic design, so in the end I was very happy with the choice. I graduated successfully in 2014.

Since early childhood, and for many years, I have been a student of classic ballet. Despite being such a feminine and elegant art, ballet demands a steel character, if good results is what the student is after, and I am sure this is something that played a big role in my capacity to be tenacious, hard working and patient. Also, ballet gave the chance to travel a lot and see many other countries. Once I visited Italy, I fell in love with it - with its culture, aesthetics, history... And I met my boyfriend!

Ukraine has always been a good country for students and young academics. We have many great, ancient universities and numerous youth organizations, but unfortunately things have changed during these past two years: given the unstable military and economical situation, many young people have left for western countries, in search of better job opportunities. Two of my closest friends, for example, work in Sweden and France. This is a move I made myself in January 2015, wanting to settle in Italy.

I had started sending my cv to several Italian companies, applying for designer positions. Two days after sending the application for interning as UI/UX designer junior, I got a reply from Spindox, with a kind interview proposal. During the interview I presented my portfolio and described my skills to the HR person, and we spoke about the internship details and my desire to acquire experience.  After three days, I was happy to find in my email box a letter from Spindox HR Departement with a positive feedback and a paid internship offer: 600 euro per month along with restaurant tickets. Hence, on March 1 my internship started and today I have the chance to work in a great office based in Milan, with other young interns and many experienced, supporting employees and I really enjoy my work: it is about creating apps, websites and designing graphical communication.

I do face difficult moments sometimes, but learning to manage them make me stronger, and my colleagues are always willing to support me. Fortunately most of them also speak English and I have found many new friends here. The payment I receive is not huge, but it is enough to fullfil my needs and even allow to make presents to my parents, which is a great incentive to work for me. Of course I aim at becoming an employee here in Spindox, and develop a career.

In the end, even if I miss so much my home in Ukraine, I do not regret having moved to Italy and I could give a bit of advice to all young people like me, I would say: don't be afraid of changing your lives, travelling and doing the things you really want to do.

Annalisa Di Palo

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