Zydrune Galdikaite is a Business Development Coordinator at LCC International University. After spending almost seven years at her previous workplace, working with cruise ships, Zydrune had a change of heart and decided it is time to try something new.
What is your story? How did you end up working at LCC International University?
In my third semester at university, I had to do an internship and at that time, I chose the tourism sector with the cruise ships here in Klaipeda. After the graduation in 2015, I stayed and worked for almost seven years in the area. Recently, due to the pandemic, tourism business decreased. Instead of waiting to see what would happen next, I decided I would just make a change in my life. After all, there is a saying that things change every seven years. It is interesting to think, I started here at LCC and now I have come back. It was an easy return, because I was here before. I knew Marlene (LCC’s President), I knew the process, and the whole system here. That is how I ended up returning here.
Personally, I always strive to learn something new. After working for almost seven years in one company, I felt like I had learned most everything there was to learn. Here at LCC, with things always evolving I have a chance to keep learning new ways; laws are constantly changing, the infrastructure develops, and the customers are changing too. Even with what I had experienced and learned before, I am relearning everything again. Three years ago, I took a Web Design course here at LCC. I also took Russian language classes to help me keep up with the world. I have worked in business. This new position at LCC is slightly different to what I have done before.
I have been working since I was 14-15 years old and never stopped for a break. But this year, I chose to dedicate some time to my family, friends and to myself. Taking this break proved beneficial, in fact, everything turned out better than I expected, because afterwards, I started this new job at LCC.
What are your responsibilities here at LCC International University?
My official title is Business Development Coordinator. I will work on expanding LCC's brand and reputation locally in Klaipeda and throughout Lithuania in general. I will work on making internal and external connections with businesses, institutions and people individually, spreading the word about LCC and opening opportunities for cooperation and business partnerships. I am also responsible for alumni engagement with the university. I believe it to be very valuable to current students.
You graduated from LCC in 2015, what was the focus of your studies?
My degree is in International Business Administration. I also had additional interests here while studying business. I enjoyed exploring psychology as well. I even started doubting if I chose the right major. I liked accounting but I also liked psychology, but they did not seem to go together. In the end, I realized I preferred business.
Do you think being an LCC alumna somehow contributes to the quality of the workflow here and your current position? Is it beneficial to be an alumna to fully fulfill this position?
I do not think that you have to be an alumnus for this position, but it benefits you in some ways. I know what happened here in the past, what the systems are like, how students may feel here, and how the student council operates. I went through all of this myself and I can relate on a personal level. Of course, I graduated five years ago, but it is essentially the same.
Do you have a favorite thing about LCC?
I actually have too many favorite things about LCC. Around campus, there are many areas I enjoy. I like the downstairs commuter lounge. It used to be a coat room and now it is a new, modern lounge for local students to study and gather or just take a coffee break. Our little pond brings back so many good memories also. We had many barbecues together with friends. There was this fun competition we did every year, where each would build their own tiny boat but only from sustainable materials, then place them in the water and compete with each other to get to the other side. I also remember the cozy moments me and my friends had in the kitchen cooking and sharing food together, drinking coffee, enjoying each other‘s company. A perfect portrayal of the LCC community together.
I would encourage our current LCC students to enjoy every moment - the classes, the teachers, the community. Try to learn as much as you can and take in every little detail of it. The majority of professors come here from across the world to do what they love the most and engage with students. Be careful not to take it for granted, instead use this amazing opportunity. Also, have the best time with your friends and do not be afraid to make new friendships and connections.
Surprisingly, you are not the only Zydrune here on staff at LCC International University. Is there a specific way that you would like to be called?
I was surprised by this too as it is an unusual name. (laughs) I like when people call me Žy, it’s just the beginning of my name. It stuck with me for many years, ever since I was a child. My family, friends and colleagues call me Žy. I think it is the best way to distinguish me from Zydrune that was here prior to my arrival.
How would you describe yourself to other people? What kind of person are you?
It is a difficult question. I do not think there is only one side to everyone. For instance, I might act in one way when I am with my family or friends, and another when I am with colleagues. However, the core of personality remains the same. I like to think of myself as a polite, friendly and warm person. I enjoy people, but I also need to have my alone time to recharge my batteries.
What are your hobbies outside work?
I like to draw and paint a little bit, but not professionally. I do it once every three months or so. I also love animals. I volunteer in animal shelters, also I contribute either financially or by helping out in the facilities. My love for animals led me to create a vacation home for dogs and cats at my own house.
Can you tell us more about that?
I started this about three years ago, thanks to my former boss. Once he asked if I could take care of his dog while he is away. I agreed and brought the dog back home with me. After that, I helped my coworker out with the dog sitting, and took care of my cousin's dog too. Then I realized there must be more people who need assistance with their pets and I decided to create a Facebook page offering my help. Most of the customers contacted me based on people's recommendations. The only condition I have is that the dog or cat must be well trained and friendly. While I was working with the cruise ships, the busiest time was summer, but during the rest of the year, occasionally I could work remotely and take care of the animals in my home at the same time. I did not count the total number of pets I have cared for, but would guess it was well over 30. But now, I am working full-time and can only accommodate four-legged fellows on weekends or make an exception for a long-term customer.
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