Daria Muklewicz | Bring Together Lithuania stories
Hi! My name is Daria Muklewicz. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, but I now live in Bradenton, Florida in the USA. I recently graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology & Cell Science, and I will be starting dental school at the University of Florida College of Dentistry this August. This year, I joined Bring Together Lithuania / Jungtis Lietuvai to do an internship with Enterprise Lietuva (Versli Lietuva) to help them prepare for their biennial Life Sciences Baltics conference. Versli Lietuva has taught me outreach, organizational, and leadership skills - all qualities that I will carry with me throughout my education and future career.
I decided to come to Lithuania this summer to travel before dental school, visit my extended family, and practice the Lithuanian language. Additionally, as I have gotten older, I have realized how important it is to preserve and embrace your heritage as a way to guide your life. Being in Lithuania has strengthened my cultural identity, and I am so ready to bring that back home with me.
I chose to do an internship with Enterprise Lithuania for their Life Sciences Baltics conference to gain experience that will help me with my future career. My internship required me to craft emails and display our website in a way that piques the attention of the scientific community. With plans to own a dental practice in the future, I wanted to learn leadership and organizational skills that are otherwise difficult to learn in dental school, and I definitely feel like I accomplished that through my tasks. Stemming from that, something I didn’t expect to learn was how to incorporate a work-life balance into my life. On the days I did go into my office, we ate lunch together, had ice cream to take a break, and even played with virtual reality goggles together. Overall, I truly feel more prepared to tackle my career now due to my experiences working at Versli Lietuva!
Bring Together Lithuania has been my top international experience because of the opportunities, location, and duration. Through Bring Together Lithuania, I have created friendships with people who come from similar backgrounds and have grown so close to these people by sharing so many new experiences with them. Bring Together Lithuania is also unique in that there are so many networking events to better understand the growing political, business, and cultural spheres of Lithuania. As a result, I feel like I have experienced and learned so much here. Finally, this is my third time studying/working abroad for six weeks, and I still believe that being abroad for six weeks is perfect. This length of time allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture before experiencing homesickness. In the end, Kamilė combines these components so well to make this initiative an enjoyable experience for all of the participants.
My time in Lithuania has been more than I ever imagined - eye-opening, spontaneous, and filled with adventures that I will always remember.
My expectations have definitely been exceeded. I was expecting occasional visits to companies and organizations, but Bring Together Lithuania incorporates presentations from a variety of companies and organizations nearly every day. As a result, the participants gain insight that is applicable to any career path. At the same time, all of the participants get to know each other very well after spending so much time together. I never thought that I would have made such close friends over the course of six weeks! I am so grateful to be spending my summer in Lithuania with Bring Together Lithuania.
My favorite moment so far was going to Smiltynes Beach in Klaipeda for an evening swim with the whole group. It had been over a month since I last went to a beach in Florida, so I felt very much at home there. Additionally, not only was the sea the perfect temperature, but I also love to swim and watch sunsets. It was a truly magical moment!