Published: 14.08.2020

Petr comes from a small village in Moravia and did his DofE at the Leisure Centre in Holešov. During his teenage years he dreamed of studying at a British university and learning foreign languages. Many discouraged him from doing so because no one in his family spoke any foreign languages or studied at university, let alone abroad. When he found out about the DofE, he saw it as a great opportunity to start working on himself and learning new things, despite the opinions from those around him.

"When I was 16, studying at a UK university was more of a dream, but thanks to the DofE, that dream has come true. I went from a small-town grammar school in Moravia to the University of Southampton in England and studied three foreign languages. Many people around me discouraged me from this goal and told me not to be a dreamer, that it was unrealistic with my background, but I didn't want to believe them and started working on myself through DofE. For example, I have improved significantly in my English language skills. But most importantly, I learned not to underestimate myself unnecessarily and managed to gain a healthy self-confidence and self-respect. Thanks to DofE, I also understood how fulfilling volunteering and helping others can be. In my time on the programme I have tried a huge number of new things that have pushed me far beyond just sitting in school."

After studying abroad, Petr started a successful career, using his language skills and key competences, which he also gained through the DofE. He now works for a multinational company and is able to pursue things that make sense to him in his work. One of the projects he is working on is reducing food waste in Europe.

"I now work for a multinational company in the UK where experience like this is valued. When I told my English supervisor that I was a DofE graduate, he immediately knew what that meant and appreciated that fact. Everything I learned during the programme and afterwards is now with me every day in my personal and professional life - not just specific skills like foreign languages, adaptability in an international environment, but also more general skills like perseverance, organisation, communication, etc. For example, in previous years I worked closely with food banks to help ensure that food from supermarkets did not go to waste, or developed a grant programme for projects in the non-profit sector in Central European markets.

Life is a challenge and DofE for me was all about challenges. My supervisor constantly reminded me of this whenever I was in doubt about my abilities. After completing the programme I was world ready. The programme has given me memorable experiences and key skills that have given me a good job that I enjoy, but most importantly it has fundamentally changed my personality for the better. I used to be an ordinary village boy who didn't have much confidence in myself and gave up on a lot of things unnecessarily early on, but thanks to DofE I have also learned to overcome challenges, keep working on myself and push myself further."

Thanks to Peter for the interview.

#WorldReady #dofeczech #DofE #matocene

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