Eszter has been working with us for over two years but some of the details about the motives and inspiration behind this initiative were news to us too. So we looked behind the scenes at Careers in the Common Good with her:
What is CCG about?
The idea of CCG came approximately three years ago. I took a gap year, went travelling and caught up with friends around the world. Upon visiting a high school acquaintance I had not seen or talked to for over a decade, we realised how much we still had in common. Even though we lived in different countries and studied different fields, there were many parallels. On the one hand, that our paths had ended up very differently from what we had expected or what our environment would have expected from us. On the other hand, we wanted to pay forward all the kindness and support, inspiration and knowledge, we have received throughout our lives. Therefore, we decided to organise a summer programme for young adults from Central and Eastern Europe.
Eszter at work
Why a summer programme?
We have participated in numerous international conferences (both of us active MUN-ers in high school), trainings, camps and workshops. We have experienced short and long events and know that even a one-day event can affect us for a lifetime. We have made instant friendships and learnt about ourselves and the rest of the world over tea or coffee, midnight chat, communal cooking, working on the same project or debating about a crucial question. We wanted to bring our network together and build an event to give the youth in the region the same experience we had received.
You said you ended up on a different path than you’d expected. What changed?
Yes, my personal career story was one inspiration to put career paths central to our programmes. I started off with a pretty traditional path for someone who grew up in suburbian Budapest to intellectual parents, and did not stop until I received a master’s diploma in controlling. At the age of 28, with three degrees and four languages under my belt, I got offered a full-time job working in a German engineer office, great benefits, unlimited contract and even with height-adjustable tables. Only then did I realise that this dream job was not my dream. I took off time to reflect on my goals and values, and to visit friends. Through this journey I met many people outside business and academia. I learnt about different understandings and definitions of happiness and a content meaningful life. And shifted my career path.
One of her favourite hobbies is painting
What do you do currently?
I turned away from a full-time corporate job and decided to focus on the values of the companies and organizations I work for. I coordinate CCG’s programme and work-part time as a controller at a coaching academy, leaving time for my other passions, such as painting and hiking. I *love* working with Excel and—as my father noticed it when I was a child—I am good with numbers. I chose the coaching environment for its person-centered approach and since I want to contribute to helping people solve internal dilemmas, conflicts and challenges.
One of the most exciting moments of the gap year
What is your message?
During my gap year, I could tick off an item off my bucket list: I walked the Way of St James, or, as commonly known, the camino of Santiago de Compostela.
People start for different reasons: some want to close a chapter in their lives, others look for inspiration, some do it for sports, others as a spiritual journey, some want a cheap holiday, others as a walk of gratitude, were sent as an alternative to juvenile detention, others had been saving up for it for years, some took a week, others were returning year after year to cover different sections. Yet on the path, everyone was equal. We all wore the same two T-shirts and the shoes gave everyone blisters. It did not matter where people came from, why and how long they were walking. Everyone had their story and was walking the same path. There are as many ways to walk the camino as people walking it. At CCG we apply this to everyday life and to career paths—no two people walk exactly the same path, but each of those paths is equally important and can contribute to the common good.