21,2% of Romanian youth between the ages of 15-24 were unemployed in the las trimester of 2017 – according to the National Statistics Institute.

The percentage is due mainly because on their way to becoming responsible adults and choosing a career, Romanian youth face many barriers – from financial instability, lack of access to quality and specialized education, adapted to their needs, to the lack of professional development and employability opportunities.

In order to meet the actual needs of Romanian youth, especially of those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, United Way Romania, together with ROI Association have launched the “YEEI! –Youth Entrepreneurship & Employability Initiative”. The project is implemented at a regional level, in both Romania and Hungary, in 2018-2019, and is financed by United Way Worldwide, through the generosity of the Citi Foundation.

One of the important parts of the programme is connecting the students with professionals, mentors and trainers from whom they can learn necessary basic things about the entire hiring process. What are the mandatory abilities for getting a job; how to develop and implement a business plan; how to attract investors, access funds and manage a start-up.

                The new generation needs skills and information that are relevant to the world we live in, shaped by innovation and the latest trends in technology.

Therefore, during a workshop delivered by Citi Bank specialists, the students had the opportunity to connect to the reality of working in one of the most important banks worldwide. They learned, in an interactive manner from professionals, what happens beyond school and studies and how they can enhance their potential. More so, they learned about the new approach in regards to human resources, about the 5 trends shaping the future of work – from new behaviors shaped by social media, to accessing opportunities through social networks, as well as globalization and its impact in all fields, information and workforce mobility.

Andrei Gheorghiu, Citi Bank employee, aged 29 shared his experience of working within Citi Bank, as well as all the opportunities a multinational can offer development wise through trainings, travels and multiculturalism. He further encouraged the students to seize such opportunities and then to come back in Romania, as they can bring a more valuable contribution here than anywhere else.

Additionally, the students had the chance to find out about the challenges that arise when leading a team and a company, about how to overcome obstacles and the importance of adaptability and continuous development from Ivan Vrhel, CCO Citi Bank Romania. Beyond the attributions and advantages a position like this holds, Vhrel shared stories about commitment and taking responsibility, about having a vision and believing in oneself and people around you. In addition to that, the students found out how a typical workday looks like, what are the tasks and the job description of a leader, Ivan even encouraging them to do what they are passionate about and explore new activities to further develop both professionally and personally. Claudiu Bortea, a 16 years old student from Snagov has organized, along with his colleagues, an event on entrepreneurship and is now planning a festival for high school students. Claudiu wants to continue his studies at the Academy of Economical Studies, International Economical Relations and explore the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur.

After the Citi Bank workshop I was impressed of how open people within the banking field are and with how hoy they talk about their jobs. I was also impressed by the fact that they look for students and encourage them to work in the banking sector. I discovered what is the work of a leader, a CCO – the person that has to find the best solutions for situations that arise. Thus, he must face quite a stress, as he has to take decisions that will not affect the business, but to take it to another level.

Claudiu Bortea


Irina Diaconu is 16 years old as well and she organizes, in her spare time, non-formal education workshops for children. After she graduates from high school, she wants to become a designer.

The meeting from September 4th was a beautiful experience. For me it was something new that convinced me even more of what I want to do with my future and YES, all these after just one meet. Thank you for the possibility do develop even more

Irina Diaconu