Marianna Budaragina (Budapest, HU) works as an Environmental Analyst at Schneider Electric specialising in climate change and energy efficiency regulatory consultancy. Having obtained academic background in the area of development economics and environmental policy, Marianna is currently working with businesses all over Europe helping them to improve their sustainability strategies, energy management and GHG emissions accounting in line with European legislation and best business practices. Additionally, she is involved in a number of research projects with Central European University and sustainability-oriented NGOs.
How did you learn about the PiP Programme?
Last year I participated in the Journey, and after the event I met some PIP alumni in a Journey alumni meeting. They explained to me how great the programme is, told me how beneficial it was for them and convinced me to apply.
Did you find different ways of working at your domestic placement?
Yes, definitely. I work for a consultancy and this is my first job. During my domestic placement I started working for a big industrial company. It was a totally different kind of work: you have a bigger responsibility for your project, because the result stays within your company. Different attitude for work, different workplace, different relationships within the team, very diverse expertise specially compared to my previous workplace, where everybody have basically the same background. Here I worked together with an engineer, a financial specialist, a communication expert and many others; which was a really interesting experience. Now in my international placement I work for a public body which again is something of a totally new approach for me. It broadens my knowledge on how different companies are working. At a beginning of someone’s career it is a really beneficial exercise. You can learn which one fits you better without actually engaging for a long time.
How was it to work in a different place with different kind of people and different profiles?
At my host company there was much more interaction within the team. Working together with specialists means you are not so easily replaceable. You can’t ask anybody, not anybody can provide an answer to your questions. It was a big difference for me. A diverse experience.
How is the main difference you have found comparing other European Innovative initiatives?
The PIP is totally different from everything else within the EU. Basically this is the only professional exchange program within this field. It is quite unique. It would be really beneficial to have something similar like this in other fields as well. To get some insight from another company, from another structure gives you a lot. It gives you new knowledge, new contacts, new ideas, new networks, new possibilities. It is highly advantageous at the early stages of your career. It can be a good start for your start-up as well.