A look behind the scenes: project coordinator Felisa Ferroglio

Serve the City is run by an eclectic mix of people from all backgrounds, ages and walks of life. Their common goal? To make Amsterdam just a little better, day by day. But who are they, and how did they end up at this Amsterdam-based NGO? Intern Felisa gives you a taste of what’s going on behind the scenes and what it’s like to be a part of such a warm, welcoming and dedicated team.  

Feeling right at home
When Felisa got off the train at Central Station in September of 2021, she felt at home the minute she sat foot on the platform. Coming straight down from her home country of Italy, she admits that Amsterdam had been a bit of a gamble. ‘I came here to study Communcation Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, but I had never visited before and I didn’t know anyone here. But it’s the lifestyle, the vibes, the international nature of the city that makes it very welcoming.’ Thanks to her studies, and a political communications class in particular, Felisa discovered her interest in working with NGOs. And in September 2023, she embarked on her first non-profit adventure.

Striking the right balance 

During the four months long internship, Felisa gained a lot of first-hand experience in coordinating all sorts of initiatives for corporate volunteering. ‘The team is incredibly kind, supportive and welcoming. You get a lot of responsibility, which shows there’s a great sense of trust. I got to own my projects from start to finish: from the first call with a company that wants to volunteer to ordering supplies for the activity.’ It was Felisa’s first time working in a physical office again after COVID-19. While she admits finding this a bit intimidating at first, it only added to her experience. ‘There are so many young people on the team, I loved it from day 1.’  

A journey of self-discovery 

From the dozens of volunteering activities she organised, Felisa has a clear favourite. ‘The people at care and nursing home De Makroon stole my heart. It made me realise how much I love spending time with the elderly.’ She forged a special relationship with one of the French speaking residents. ‘We could talk for hours! There was so much joy, happiness and kindness. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a smile and some laughter is enough to make someone feel seen and special.’ 

Important hard & soft skills 

Looking back on the past four months, Felisa is most grateful for her team. ‘The collaboration, support and kindness are something I’ve never experienced before. Every person has been, in their own way, a role model to me. There’s no competition, just an amazing support network.’ What’s her most important advice to anyone who wants to come onboard? ‘Don’t see it as just an internship. Invest time in building a network, connections and the initiatives. Going to the different locations and seeing the impact is always worth your while.’  

The hard skills she has gained have opened new doors for Felisa as well. ‘I’ll start another project coordinator role in February for UWC. And that’s thanks to my experience during this internship. It’s a desk job but with a very human side.’ And after that? ‘Maybe Amsterdam again’, Felisa smiles. ‘I can definitely see myself back in the city.’ 

Are you interested in an internship with Serve the City? You can our internship vacancy here or send an email to monica@stcamsterdam.nl for more information. 


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