Could you tell us a little bit more about KINESIS project?
Kinesis is all about a network between institutions, organizations, professionals and academic professors. The aim of this network is to help communities, students and also municipal authorities to deal with the problems of our communities like depopulation, less economic growth and decline in tourism sectors. Kinesis integrate with institutions in a way that they create vacancies for students who are interested in working for a specific cause by understanding the problem of specific communities or institutions. That's not all, Kinesis also provides opportunities for students who are interested in new modern problem-solution fit, with new modern tech related solutions. So, any student who wants to go abroad for traineeship must look into the open vacancies and select what is best for them as per their experience, skills and also preferences.
How you decided to travel to Spain for KINESIS research-internship?
I chose Spain for my traineeship because that project was very interesting for me. I am a student of social entrepreneurship and my interests are helping small communities who are struggling for their economic growth, stability of their population and wants to create an impact among communities. I chose “Fitero” because I knew with my skills and experience I will be able to put something forward that will help them in their ongoing efforts.
They were working on outdoor tourism, gastronomy and cultural heritage and all of them are directly related to the economic stability of their town. So, I was very motivated to be a part of this great project. AND I DID!!!
What you have learned during this 3 months’ experience in Spain?
I’ve learned so much from this traineeship, I would like to start from the Spanish language and culture. For me, learning about new cultures and people is so fascinating that I would like to spend my life in exploration and working as an expat. I love being with Spanish people, especially with those who live in remote areas. They are very kind and friendly; you don't feel like you’re not one of them.
Secondly, during my tenure I’ve met some great professional people who shared the same objectives like helping communities, creating an impact and also stability of economic activities in remote areas. Here I would like to mention Maitena Ezkutari (Director General of Tourism, Trade and Consumer Affairs in the Regional Government of Navarra, Spain). It was a great pleasure meeting this lady and discussing the pioneering role of Navarra in rural tourism.
Lastly, I’ve learned how to work on different things at the same time which helped me polish my multi-tasking. And I also learned how to do research and collect data for specific problems.
How KINESIS network supported you in this journey?
I would like to mention a few people who really helped me in this Journey and just because of them I got this experience. Dr. Audrone Urmanaviciene provided me this opportunity and helped me get into Erasmus Traineeship through Kinesis Network at Tallinn University. She invited a student in our lecture who did traineeship abroad and gave us the idea of how this traineeship can help us build our professional life.
Dr. Prof. Ruth Breeze from the University of Navarra helped me with every required document and she supported me in every possible way no matter what. She took me to the International Symposium of Tourism where I met the Director of Tourism and did networking. She hired someone to make a video on my experience and also invited me to a couple of lunches and dinners just to make sure I am doing great in Spain.
Lastly, Dr. Prof. Ana Maria Fernandez from the University of Navarra helped me settle in that town called Fitero where I was working. She was the person when it comes to practical and moral support. She picked me up from the terminal and introduced me to the whole town and just because of her the whole town knew that Nasir was in town and working on a project. She took me to social gatherings in the town and found a place for me to live in for three months.
I am glad that I took this opportunity and found these people who helped me in every possible way !!
Would you recommend other students to join KINESIS project? Why?
I would really recommend students to grab this opportunity and get the experience of a lifetime. You know what's the best part? Your net worth is actually your network and if you go for such projects through kinesis you will surely make huge contacts and connections among different communities. Like I did, I met professors from the University of Navarra who were very interested in my master's thesis project and also guided me if I want to pursue PhD under their umbrella. And as i said I met the Director of Tourism who gave me her card and also added me on her social media. You won’t get such incredible exposure if you don't take a chance!!!
Here I would like to share the best part of this whole experience. After coming back from Spain I put this experience on my resume and applied for a couple of jobs here in Estonia. I was invited for an interview from a well-known company. The HR head was very interested in my traineeship experience and listened to the whole project & experience. She also spoke Spanish with me and hired me as a Marketing Assistant.
What are your future plans?
I was born and raised in Pakistan. And currently I am in my second year of Masters in Social Entrepreneurship in Estonia and at the same time working as a marketing assistant. My future plan is to create and establish a startup in Estonia in the marketing field and in ten years create incubation centers in Pakistan which will help youth of Pakistan to execute their digital business ideas like we have incubation centers here in Estonia.
KNowledgE alliance for Social Innovation in Shrinking villages (KiNESIS) is a three – year-long project (2021-2023), co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union