Interview with Grace Goulding, our 2018 Communications Intern Alumna
Grace’s connection to Hungary has started from birth. Having grown up with a Hungarian mother and an American father, she is lucky to call both Budapest and Washington D.C. home. She has been fortunate to spend her summers and winters in Hungary, spending quality time with the “Nagy Család,” as she calls it. She also has a particular love of languages, growing up in a Hungarian-English bilingual household and studying Spanish and German in school. Grace is an alumna of American University, where she studied Communications and International Relations. We caught up with Grace to see how she’s been doing, since her internship with us in 2018.
Grace, where are you on your career path now?
I am currently living in Budapest, Hungary and working at the International Judo Federation (IJF). I have been working here for almost one year, as the Broadcasting and Media Rights Manager. My job consists of coordinating the live television feeds for international judo competitions, as well as developing the digital media, YouTube, Facebook and other relevant media and marketing for the IJF. Over the course of this past year, I have had the privilege of working in over 10 countries across Europe, Asia, and South America.
Which achievements are you most proud of since we met?
My proudest achievement since my time at HIF has been graduating from American University Magna Cum Laude with a dual degree. I am also proud to have been able to learn so much about the world of Judo in such a short amount of time.
How did your experience with HIF in the US help you reach your goals?
My internship at the Hungary Initiatives Foundation proved to be fundamental in my career development. Not only was it my first professional experience as a young adult, but it also introduced me to working in an international environment. Furthermore, by gaining hands-on experience in a communications position, I was able to confirm that I wanted to stick with this career path.
“On a personal level, my internship at HIF taught me valuable insights into Hungarian life, language, and culture that I carry with me everyday in my new life in Budapest – including the friends I made! “
What challenges did you have to overcome to reach your goals?
Starting at the IJF was one of the most demanding learning curves I have experienced so far. I had not only moved to a different continent, but I also jumped headfirst into the world of Judo and TV broadcast, about which I knew very little. With the help of my colleagues, I was able to immerse myself completely and learn about this entirely new discipline. Another challenge was learning how to communicate across different cultures. From Brazil to Japan, judo competitions take place all over the world, and I had to learn very quickly how to adapt and communicate with locals as well as with my international colleagues. Having had these experiences, I am confident that I can take on any new challenge, better manage culture shocks, and take my career in many directions.
What impact did your US experience have on your overall journey?
As one of the only “half Americans” in the IJF office, I often find myself providing different perspectives from “across the pond” on a variety of topics. My childhood in Washington D.C. helped me grow into someone who sees things in a bigger picture and is comfortable in international settings. Furthermore, mastery of English language is essential in an international work environment, so keeping those language skills sharp is extremely valuable.
What are your plans for the future?
Moving forward, I hope to continue to work in the international sports media landscape. One of the highlights of my job so far has been producing a video series on athletes in their home countries preparing for the Olympic Games. Through this series, I realized how much I enjoy employing creativity to capture a person, sport, and culture in a comprehensive short film. Telling someone else’s story is a privilege and a responsibility, and has been the most fulfilling experience so far.
What words of advice do you have for future recruits?
First of all, try new things! You never know if you like something until you actually try it, so embrace the unknown and try to learn about as many things as possible while at HIF. Second, and most importantly, I recommend that you keep the connections you make at HIF. You never know, the people you meet might just end up becoming your friends when you decide to move to Budapest.
What books are currently on your reading list?
The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead and Deception Point, by Dan Brown.