A group of five FESS students have embarked on a volunteering journey from the 13th until the 28th of June in Turda, Romania. Their goal was to design a business plan for the Ratiu Center for Democracy based on the «Merkato Metropolitano» concept originated in Milan.
This concept primarily aims to provide good, affordable food, yet also emphasises the importance of entertainment, interaction and communication. The interns (Vladislav Beliaev, Daria Peshnikova, Maxim Khlystalov, Igor Yarmomedov, and Natalia Nalivaiko) dedicated 2 weeks for the project, coming up with all the essential financial projections and a marketing plan.
Specifically, they calculated the initial capital for all stalls with various cuisines, determining the business performance indicators for the whole structure, as well as assessing the location in order to define the number of potential customers. To accomplish that, the students attended several meetings held by the foundation. Locals, accountants, managers and even an investor assisted, yet it was the group who bore the brunt of merging all the ideas, recommendations and predictions from the collaboration into a single pitching document. Not only students’ entrepreneurial and management skills were put to the test, but their language skills as well — all the presentations of work progress, sessions and general talks were in English. Undoubtedly, the final presentation left an impression and the foundation's team was pleased with the work.
Of great help was the guidance received from the foundation’s managerial team and especially from our FESS lecturer, Dragos Dorobat, who provided the essential information regarding the project.
Nevertheless, apart from the tasks at hand, it would have been a shame not to delve into the Romanian culture and spend several days outside the office, enjoying the local cuisine and mesmerizing landscapes. Observing the town’s population and their food preferences provided a solid understanding in defining the target market and the proposed stall ideas. Therefore, due to the pleasant leisure time, painstaking research on the topics and follow-on revision, the final presentation went without a hitch. After the presentations, the Executive Director of the Ratiu Center for Democracy — Pamela Roussos Ratiu — granted students the volunteering certificates as evidence for their hard work. The overall impression could not have been better and every student thought positively about this captivating experience.
Vladislav Beliaev: «This volunteering caused a tremendous impact on all of us — not only our management, math, and language skills were developed, but the intercultural experience was invaluable, yet unanticipated. Thank you for providing this opportunity, we were glad to work at your side».