Women Leaders in the Digital Age: An Idea Incubator

International Women's Day (March 8, 2023) was celebrated by the British Embassy in Bratislava with a group of young female leaders, for whom they prepared the student market "Female Leaders in the Digital Age: Incubator of Ideas". Among the selected students there was Réka Antalová, a student at the FSŠ UKF in Nitra (studying on the programme Central European Area Studies).
One's greatest project begins at birth. In common parlance it is called life. It is solely up to us how to fill in the blank pages of our own book. The palette is very colorful, we can choose anything, or do specific fields and areas choose us?
Culture and art have always played an important role in my life since childhood. Despite everything, volunteerism was always there, even if it was only subconscious and we didn't call it by name. If a person belongs to a minority, he is closely connected to his roots and traditions. He wants to preserve everything that his ancestors left him. More Hungarians live in our village. In the life of the village, my parents were present at the birth of many cultural events. So it could be said that I was born into the vortex of culture and art. Together with them, I started working actively in this sphere when I was 15 years old. At that time, I did not yet realize that I would be professionally involved in this field. I saw it as a hobby. I did not think at all that organizing and building a community could also be a certain kind of profession. I quickly noticed that my love for music or theater does not end in the audience, but behind the scenes.
FSS Reka1
In 2018, I was selected for a program aimed at students of Hungarian nationality living in the territory of the former Austria-Hungary. Every year, the Rákóczi Foundation in Canada announces a challenge in the form of an essay competition, which is intended for young Hungarians living as a national minority in Transylvania – in Romania, in Upper Earth – in Slovakia, in the Zakarpattia region – in Ukraine, in Vojvodina – in Serbia and in Canada. Based on the essays, the teams of the regions select young people and students who can participate in the Foundation's program called Students without Borders – Hungarian Knowledge Camp. It is not a traditional summer camp, but a 10-day exploratory trip. While traveling, we study and get to know Hungary and young people who also live in national minorities. Those who participated in this program become members of the Rákóczi Family Circle (currently thousands of young people belong to this family, this year the camp will take place for the 27th time).
When the camp could not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Foundation's management knew that it must not be inactive even in such a difficult time. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, an essay competition was announced for members of the Rákóczi Family Circle. In one month, more than 100 essays came from young Hungarians living outside Hungary and from Canada. The book Friss hangok a perifériáról is a selection of these essays. It was published in Hungarian, translated into English, published in Canada and Hungary. Presented in Slovakia, Budapest, Transylvania and Canada. We try to spread it because it really only makes sense if it reaches as many readers as possible. It contains our thoughts about what it feels like to live as a national minority in any country, what obstacles we have to overcome every day. Promotion of the book and the program is, of course, on a voluntary basis. We have created a team of young volunteers in each region, we are trying to reach as many young people as possible with the help of the Canadian and Hungarian leadership. We organize book presentations, we visit schools, we are present in the press, we organize meetings with other members of our Family Circle. Of course, the work of the Foundation does not end there; there are always tasks that need to be solved, what we do with great joy and commitment.
In September 2022, I completed my professional internship as part of my university studies at the international festival Divadelná Nitra. When I chose this event, all I had in mind was that I wanted to work among people from whom I could really learn something. I wanted to gain experience, watch from behind the scenes, remain unnoticed and still be useful to the organizers.
FSS Reka2
I knew that flexibility is the most important feature when organizing and implementing such an event. I tried to be everywhere. By working in the sphere of culture and art, we want to help, ensure good and comfortable conditions not only for the audience, but also for ensembles and performers. The success of the event is largely influenced by how the performers and the audience feel there. Ensuring a pleasant atmosphere is also the task of the volunteers who work at the given event. Another important factor is the harmony between the organizers and smooth teamwork, since they are the driving force behind this machine. On the last evening of the festival, I was chosen as the best volunteer of the year (the number of volunteers working at this festival varies between 50 and 100 every year). Thanks to this, Divadelná Nitra Association nominated me for the Srdce na dlani award, which is an award given to exceptional volunteers for their voluntary activities carried out for the benefit of others in various areas of social life, carried out without the right to a financial reward or any kind of honorarium. The commission of the Nitra region chose me as the volunteer of the year in the field of culture and art. The story does not end here, as next week the nationwide Srdce na dlani round will be announced, where the volunteer of the year will be chosen.
A person never knows where fate will lead him, but he must always have goals and plans for the future. In the future, I want to work in the field of culture and art. Because it is possible to live without culture and art, but the life has no meaning.
Based on this, I was able to participate in the program of the British Embassy in Bratislava (Female leaders in the digital age: Incubator of ideas), in which 15 Slovak students were selected and given the opportunity to present their works/projects to current Slovak "leaders" and the British ambassador. These projects will subsequently be included in the program's virtual brochure.
Text and photo: Réka Antalová, FSŠ – 3. grade Bc., Central European Area Studies

Contact information

Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra
Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 949 01, Nitra
phone: +421 37 6408 111
ID: 00157716
VAT: 2021246590
VAT ID: SK 2021246590
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