“I expect to get better skills for my profession, to get practical experience, that is relevant to put in a CV and to make contacts with people that can help me get a full time job.”

–Viktorija Caviroska, the thousandth intern placed through MyCareer

In Macedonia, where official unemployment hovers at 35 percent, the My Career initiative has passed a milestone of 1,000 interns placed with companies, organizations, and municipalities—of which more than 150 have been offered full-time jobs.

Viktorija Caviroska, a sociology graduate, became the program’s thousandth intern after trying and failing to get work experience through other avenues.

“I looked through all the recruitment web sites, looked for a job in the State Employment Agency, but it was very difficult because there were a lot of candidates, and with no experience I realized that I don’t even qualify for a job interview,” Caviroska said. “(I wanted) not to work as a waitress or some other minimum-paying job but to get relevant experience in my field of expertise.”

After applying through the MyCareer website, Caviroska landed an internship with Mellon Solutions in the Center for Social Works of the Municipality of Karposh, Skopje. She processes data from social welfare applicants and sends it to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies. She expects her duties and contacts she makes to lead to full-time employment.

Since its start in early 2009, MyCareer—spearheaded by the USAID’s Macedonia Competitiveness Project—has hosted a website to match students and job-seekers with employers looking for interns and skilled workers. Over 300 firms, 52 municipalities, and several leading universities have registered on the site, making it an essential source for job opportunities and experiential learning.

MyCareer also offers e-career fairs—online events for employers and would-be employees to review each other’s credentials and chat live—as well as training in CV writing and workplace communication.