There is one more team member to be introduced in an interview – Kristína who joined the Brno Expat Centre one and a half years ago. You might have met her face to face at one of our events, as she is in charge of organizing them. Extroverted and outgoing, she has the perfect personality for her job.
What made you want to work with foreigners?
I wanted to mingle with people from different countries because I enjoy the multicultural environment. I also wanted to try working for a small organisation after my previous jobs for bigger companies.
What do you like about event organizing? What obstacles do you have to overcome?
People and people. It is the best and worst ingredient of event management. What I mean is that I love meeting new faces and spending quality time together. I think my colleagues who are consultants have a harder job because they are in contact with people who have some kind of a problem. But then I have to deal with people’s lack of punctuality, inability to meet deadlines, weekend phone calls…
Why do you think it is important to organize events for newcomers?
What’s most important is to show we care. I don’t necessarily think foreigners need networking – they can make friends at work, at pubs, on Facebook. But it is good to give them options on how to spend their free time. And I would like to connect foreigners with locals more. So that Czechs can see there is no need to worry just because someone is from a different culture. And so that foreigners can see Czechs are nice once you’ve got to know them.
How would you describe people who usually attend the BEC events?
They are people from India, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan, France, Brazil, just about anywhere in the world. Some are shy and sit in the corner, others ask girls out after a couple of drinks. There really is no generalizing it.
You come from Žilina, Slovakia. Do you see any difference between Slovaks and Czechs?
I think there is some difference when you first meet someone. Slovaks warm up fast to be friendly. We are able to talk about personal matters much faster. We don’t have a problem to show our feelings. And we touch more. In Slovakia what only is “being nice” means “flirting” here. Expats sometimes ask me whether I come from a foreign country, they can feel the difference.
For past eight years Brno has been your home. What do you find enchanting about the Moravian metropolis?
I love the culture here. Somehow Brno attracts active, enthusiastic and creative people. I recommend you try out ballet, opera, summer cinema or some food festival. Local Christmas markets are also great!
And what is your favourite place here?
Lužánky, the Central Park of Brno.
Is there anything you miss in Brno?
Well, you can’t really get good halušky – the traditional Slovak meal – here.
Kristína Babíková is a part-time BEC event manager and a full-time PhD student of public economics at Masaryk University. When she needs to clear her head she goes for a ride on a motorbike or plays some tennis and volleyball. A skilful pianist, she once contemplated pursuing music for a career.
Read interviews with other BEC crew members: Jan Kopkáš, Vlastimil Veselý, Lucia Konôpková, Don Sparling, Anna Sedláčková, Katka Báňová, and Roman Schwanzer.
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