Eleonora Cordella graduated with a degree in Foreign Trade. She completed a 2-month internship with Start Me Up.

When I applied on the Start Me Up website in December 2016, I was just like any other indoctrinated, task-oriented, European University student.

My future was all mapped out. After graduating in International Trade, I assumed I’d go and work for a big corporation. As far as I was concerned, interning abroad was just a cool way to build my CV and travel at the same time.

What I wasn’t expecting, was to have my career goals and life plan completely flipped upside down after being assigned a placement focusing on social media marketing and strategic planning at a newly founded startup.

What I got was so much more than CV sandwich filler: I got professional and personal development and a deep connection with my brilliant boss and co-workers.

Bali is a beautiful place, but it’s the people who make it special. Being a member of a famous coworking space (Hubud) and working out of a global coliving space (Roam) meant I got to meet talented, creative and open-minded people from all over the world.

For the first time ever, I was getting the chance to explore my values. And ask what I actually wanted to do with my life.

Roam Ubud Coworking Space

No two days at the coworking space are ever the same. Every day you’re sharing thoughts and ideas with innovative, compassionate and bold startup founders. I’ve been to talks on everything from programming languages to spirituality.

Once we found our feet, our weekends started to fill up with volcano hikes, day trips to the beach in Canggu, relaxing weekends in the Gili Islands, and daily adventures around Ubud. We got to discover hidden spots, get to know locals, their traditions (and see plenty of monkeys).

Before long, I was running a Facebook business page, building a brand image and creating new editorial and graphic content. I ran benchmarking tests, did market research and made a strategic plan for future marketing campaigns.

By the time week four arrived, I became aware of the deep change that had occurred within me: I truly knew the big corporation life wasn’t meant for me anymore.

Interning in Bali ultimately allows you to uncover your courage to create, to put yourself, raw and unfiltered, in front of people. It gives you time to develop your own idea, and to realize you don’t need a top position in a big corporation to feel fulfilled in life. And that maybe, it’s quite the opposite, actually.

This internship in Bali was the most life-changing I’ve had so far. I’d encourage any person my age, who is struggling to find their path, to try it.

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