As a way to promote the incredible work our Host Organizations are doing and to spread word of the substantial impact Atlas Corps Fellows have on their teams, we are sharing a short feature on Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) and its experience with Atlas Corps.
Host Organization: YPFP
YPFP engages, builds, and amplifies NextGen voices to advance innovative solutions to global challenges.
Fellow at YPFP: Dorena Dyrmishi, Class 26, Albania
Originally from Tirana, Albania, Dorena has six years of experience in the nonprofit sector, and earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Science in Business Administration from the University of Tirana, Albania. She has been working as Event Coordinator for around 5 months in a known company in Albania, which organizes big conferences for organizations such as UNDP, UNICEF, OSBE, World Bank, and UN Women, among others. She is responsible for organizing meetings, social programs, conferences, and similar business events in Albania. Dorena has been part of Peace Corps Albania as a short-term Medical Assistant and full time Administrative Assistant for the U.S. Peace Corps office in Albania. She has also been working for three years as Head of Human Resources at Unique Junior Enterprise, a very active student organization operating in the Faculty of Economics. She has vast experience working with people from all over Europe on different projects, since she has been involved in several activities of the Erasmus program part of European Commission, such as training, youth exchanges, seminars and conferences in Albania and abroad. Through her experiences and volunteer work, she has developed strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively in a fast-moving, multicultural environment.
Role at YPFP?
I’m an Executive Program Coordinator and work directly with the President and Chief of Staff of the Organization. I’m responsible for conducting financial and market research, assisting the Chief of Staff to maximize volunteer effectiveness, improving the organization’s HR system and helping manage organizational and program budgets. I work with Executive team to contribute to the development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies, and practices.
Dorena’s Supervisors at YPFP: Alexia and Bunmi
- Name: Alexia D’Arco
- Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
- Role at YPFP: President
- Social Issue/Interest Area: international relations
- Fun fact: I’ve lived and worked on three continents over the past 10 years
- Name: Bunmi Akinnusotu
- Hometown: Providence, RI
- Role at YPFP: Chief of Staff
- Social Issue/Interest Area: Global cooperation and peace
- Fun fact: I have a podcast called What in the World? which tries to make US foreign policy understandable and relevant to everyday people. All my guests are also women and people of color.
YPFP’s Perspective on Hosting Dorena as an Atlas Corps Fellow:
Why did you decide to host an Atlas Corps Fellow?
YPFP is a small organization with two full-time staff and 150 global volunteers. YPFP has hosted Atlas Corps fellows for several years in a row because they bring creative insights to our multinational team and are crucial to supporting the day-to-day operations of our organization. We also believe that Atlas Corps’ mission complements our own, in that both organizations are committed to developing rising leaders who bring fresh perspectives to solving global challenges.
How has your Fellow contributed to your team? How has his or her presence had an impact on your team’s dynamic?
Dorena has assisted YPFP in a million ways, both large and small. In addition to helping execute our annual black-tie fundraising event, she also assists with business development prospecting. Dorena manages our volunteer onboarding process, website, and membership database, and also plays key roles in delivering YPFP events and membership services. She also has tremendous negotiation skills that have helped save our small non-profit a considerable amount of money by always securing the best deal possible!
How will your Fellow’s contributions and insights impact your organization in the long run?
In the long run, Doren’s work related to business development will enable us to grow YPFP’s global activities and presence.
Dorena’s View on Serving YPFP:
My experience in the organization has been one of the best experiences that I have had. I have incredible co-workers and I learned so much from each of them. I have developed new technical skills in IT since I have been working with the website. I also learned to work with three full staff only, in a big organization like YPFP and managing all the staff volunteers around the world.
- How has your experience with your supervisor impacted your perspective? What has your supervisor taught you?
In general, I have had the opportunity to work with excellent management. I have always been able to effectively communicate with them and they would often acknowledge my hard work and dedication. I have learned so many things from them, being able to manage a team with so many people and with lack of financial support is incredible. I also learned a lot from her about how to diplomatically manage people, keep communication lines open between departments and how to advocate for the team.
- How will you build upon the skills and knowledge gained during your Fellowship once you return to your home country? How will your experience in the United States help you pursue your goals in the future?
I am looking forward to sharing and applying all the skills and knowledge I have acquired to my organization and several other organizations I intend to work with when I return home.
I grew both from an organizational and a human standpoint. I put in practice most of what I have studied for five years, allowing me to understand what I can be good at and what I would like to do in my future career. This experience equipped me with many valuable skills, expanded my professional network and prepared me well for the world of work, being confident in what I want to pursue and believing that everything is possible.