Sunday, July 29, 2012

Endless Summer: Working with the EuroCup 2012 Ticketing Team in Kharkiv

I apologize for being super behind on my blog, but I've been traveling around for the past few weeks. I went to Poland for a wedding of two of my friends from Georgia Tech, then I worked at 2 Peace Corps-run summer camps and I also went to Russian Language Refresher camp in Kyiv. So I've been busy living out of my backpack and I'm finally done with stuff for the summer and ready to blog about everything!

Here are the highlights of my time spent as a UEFA volunteer at EuroCup in Kharkiv! I worked with a team of about 40 people from many different countries, and it was really amazing to be able to work with a lot of friendly and energetic people. I learned a lot about the oil industry in Nigeria, different foods from Cameroon and a few phrases in Arabic : )

Our Ticketing team!
a few of the girls with 2 of our managers - Magda and James!
we love Ticketing!
The Ticketing team was great, we really bonded after working 8-hour shifts together every day in the converted bakery that was ridiculously hot in the afternoon sun. Our main job was to function like a will-call ticket booth so customers brought us their confirmation emails and we either printed their tickets instantly or handed them the tickets that had been delivered to us from UEFA. At the end of the day, we had to sort through all the emails and photocopies of passports to put them in numerical order. We produced something like 30 3-inch binders full of these receipts just for the first game (Netherlands vs. Denmark), then mailed them off to Warsaw for archiving.

Compared to the other host cities, Kharkiv had one of the busiest ticket offices. We had a lot of customers who didn't receive their tickets by the promised delivery date from UPS, so we had to re-print all those tickets. Working with the special printers was at times frustrating because the thermal paper started crinkling a little in the heat of the bakery we were working in, but it was really interesting to see how they produced thousands of tickets each day. Each ticket was personalized with the customer's name and reference number as an added security measure.

our photo for the Kyiv ticketing office :P

While EuroCup was going on, we had different events almost every day in our Volunteer Center such as ping-pong tournaments, arts and crafts classes, yoga, and some professional development seminars. I organized a work abroad seminar and taught about the dangers of human trafficking (with the International Organization of Migrants's 527 campaign presentation), then provided the participants with information about different websites and resources to find work/travel abroad programs.

We also discussed how to write a resume, and the differences in what content is expected in American and Ukrainian resumes - for example, its completely normal to list your age and date of birth on a Ukrainian resume. I think that most Americans wouldn't list that information because it seems a bit strange and we have more equal opportunity employment laws, so companies can't discriminate against potential employees based on their age.

I had about 25 participants, which was a great number for everyone to be active and still get individual questions answered.

One of the best benefits of working as a UEFA volunteer was the gameday atmosphere! We were all inside or around the stadium on match days, and the Ticketing team even got free tickets for the games. We were given tickets which were not sold due to restricted views (like if there was a camera blocking part of the field from view). But free tickets are free tickets, and they were awesome! Here are some photos from the Netherlands vs. Denmark game, we sat in row 15 (right on the walkway, so our view was blocked a little by the railing) with a sea of orange Dutch fans :D

with some crazy Danish guys on stilts!
These Dutch guys were so friendly... I think they sat through over 100 photos because Ukrainians kept coming up just to take photos with them and of them haha. 
getting my face painted!
standing on the railing before the game.
This would have been the best job ever... throwing around a giant soccer ball before the game! Unfortunately, only  Ceremonies volunteers got to do this. 
I have never seen so much orange in my life... and these drummer guys were great with keeping the crowd together chanting and singing!
Stas and I in our seats :)
The opening flag ceremony before the game. 
The Denmark corner of the stadium was all red.
Everyone cheering!


Crazy About Ukraine said...

Welcome back to town! I'm excited to read about your summer adventures :)

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