“I recommend internships to all my fellow graduating colleagues, as a tool to earn valuable practical skills and remain employable on the market. Even if I don’t get employment at this company, I’m expanding my employability skills, and increasing my future options. Graduates who are not interested in taking internships, and wait at home for the ”real” employment risk ending up completely unemployable.”

– Aleksandar Mitrev, My Career’s 2000th intern

In July 2011, My Career, spearheaded by USAID’s Macedonia Competitiveness Project, has placed over 2,000 young people and

graduates in internships throughout the country—hundreds of which have gone on to full-time jobs.

Intern No. 2000, Aleksandar Mitrev, a native of Kavadarci, Macedonia, graduated from Computer Systems and Technologies University in neighboring Bulgaria and returned to his home country to search for a job. Through My Career, Mitrev found his first internship opportunity in Bitola-based company X3M Labs, specializing in software development and software consulting. He is in the second month of his sixmonth internship.

“Since I joined X3M Labs, I received valuable on-the-job training, and I got the opportunity to work on real-world projects in a real working environment,”Mitrev said. “I’m developing new technical skills, I feel I’m contributing to the team, and I’m learning teamwork.”

When X3M Labs joined My Career, the company’s co-founder Pece Angelkovski also subscribed to the program’s communication skills trainings, seeing them as an important tool in building a functioning team. X3M Labs is a small yet rapidly growing company with 10 employees, with plans to expand to address orders of its overseas partners in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

“We learnt about the My Career program through another Bitola-based company who has used My Career services and recommended it to us,” Angelkovski said. “We took two interns, and we are hoping to be able to recruit five new employees in near future.”

Since its start in early 2009, My Career 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. To date, My Career has facilitated 2,147 internships and 348 jobs for young Macedonians.