Hi, my name is Deborah and I’m extremely happy and excited to be joining the _SocialStarter programme in Rio. From the minute I read about the opportunity on Escapethecity I was hooked.

I had been considering a volunteer mentoring programme for a while and I knew that I wanted to sign up, but I also knew that it would mean walking away from a well-paid job. I have to say it was a little scary and it took me a bit longer than planned but I did it!

I was particularly drawn to Rio having been in London during the 2012 Olympics and experiencing the very special buzz of the city at that time. I’m hoping that Rio also has that positive feeling of anticipation and celebration; certainly something that I think will add to the whole experience.

The majority of my working life has been spent around high tech startups; mostly in disruptive, innovative, fast-paced environments where Silicon Valley companies have been looking to expand into Europe. My expertise is in marketing, business development and project management. For the past 25 years or more I have built European marketing teams and run marketing campaigns and operations across multiple countries. I may come back to this when I return to London but for now I am so very happy to be walking into the world of social enterprise, a world I know very little about, but a world that has beckoned me for some time. I know it’s a bit of a cliché but I really do want to be involved in something that is more rewarding; where I can make a positive contribution and a difference as well as learning and sharing new experiences along the way.

 I really enjoy thinking on my feet, learning new skills, being creative, agile and figuring out how to get things done in the best possible way, especially in a collaborative environment. I’m sure that my time in Rio with _SocialStarters will provide a great opportunity to meet new people, see things from a totally different perspective and enjoy doing some really worthwhile work. I can’t wait to get started!

If you’d like to #JoinUs on our next Immersion Programme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil we’re recruiting another cohort of professional volunteers just like you, to start late October 2016 and finish up in December. Find out more by visiting our website. We will be extending the original application deadline until August 27th 2016, but places go on a first come first serve basis so don’t delay!