Name: Anna-Liisa Merilind
University and Study Focus: TBD
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a pro-European young professional who sees her future in advancing the interests of Estonia on the international arena. My interests lie in foreign policy analysis, multilateral diplomacy, and issues of national security. I seek to broaden my perspectives by living and studying abroad but will eventually return to Estonia. In my free time I love doing high intensity workouts and going for long walks in the nature.
What motivated you to be a part of WIL?
The founders of WIL inspired me by their proactiveness and their desire to take action to create something meaningful - a safe space for learning, growing, connecting, and networking. I was attracted to the workshops and the events, and I must admit that every single WIL event has taught me something new and has left me with valuable insights. I am grateful for both the skills that I have developed with the help of WIL as well as the lasting friendships & safety networks I have cultivated with other WIL members.
What is a question (academic, personal, social, etc.) that you are currently trying to answer?
What could be my role in reinvigorating the transatlantic relationship & safeguarding the continuance of the European project?
What has been one of the most impactful experiences in your life?
One of the most impactful experiences of my life so far is undoubtedly the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute that I attended in 2016. This programme has been the beginning for so many wonderful things, including my time at LUC as well as some of the most meaningful human connections I have in my life. I look forward to what kind of role will the Ben family play in my life as I continue to Master's studies and transition into the professional life, but at the same time, I look for opportunities to give back to the community that has inspired me so much.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice was given to me by my mentor. He said: remember, fortune favours the bold. Whenever I have been at crossroads or been faced with a dilemma, he always encourages me to take the step into the unknown and go for opportunities that expand me, since this is where the potential for immense growth lies. And I should go for it because whatever I do, the universe will have my back. This is similar to Paulo Coelho's key takeaway from "The Alchemist" - "And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
What is one way you would like to help or offer support for other WIL members?
I am always available for any kind of advice regarding the field of diplomacy and international relations. I have my own fun experiences with applications, so you may also approach me with questions regarding application processes. I can also just be a listening ear and I would actually be interested in some sort of mentoring or being a guide to someone who is just at the beginning. We have all been there, and I want to give back to the wonderful community of WIL.