Nadezhda Mouzykina is a Senior Program Manager with the National Democratic Institute‘s Central and Eastern Europe team. She holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a B.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University. A native Russian speaker from St. Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Mouzyking also minored in German during her undergraduate studies, spending a semester at the Freie University in Berlin, Germany. Since 2009, she has managed in-country and regional programming focused on parliamentary strengthening, political party and civil society development, and minority rights, particularly the Roma minority. Prior to joining NDI, Ms. Mouzykina managed international exchange and technical assistance programs in the International Affairs Department of the National Conference of State Legislatures. She also spent a year in Moscow as part of the Alfa Fellowship Program, during which she worked as a Development and Project Advisor at PH International, a global nonprofit organization that promotes cultural exchanges and people-to-people diplomacy.
Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I am a Sr. Program Manager for programs in Central and Eastern Europe at the National Democratic Institute. My responsibilities are varied. Briefly, I manage the overall strategy, vision and implementation of various democracy development programs, spanning multiple countries in Central Europe and the Western Balkans; develop grant proposals to secure funding; draft reports, memoranda, blogs, and work plans; liaise with a variety of donors and partners in Washington, D.C. and overseas; travel to the region; brief political, civic and business leaders, donor organizations and international community members about NDI activities; and represent NDI, as needed.
What was your experience with the job search post-graduation? Can you provide any wisdom for students who will start their job search?
When I graduated from the MA program, I was interning with an organization that offered me to stay. However, I did explore other opportunities, though eventually decided to remain where I was. I worked for that organization for six years. I strongly advise students to take every opportunity to network while they are in school, find internship opportunities that could lead to eventual job prospects, request informational interviews at organizations they are interested in, and be willing to be a little flexible with the positions they take, especially if you have limited professional experience. From my own perspective, both as an employee and an employer, it is not uncommon to have expectations that, once you get hired, you immediately do grand things. And perhaps, in some smaller organizations and companies, you may. But in general, you have to work from the bottom up and take on greater opportunities as you grow. It’s part of the learning process.
What do you wish other people knew about your organization?
We are not an arm of the U.S. Government, nor are we a cover for CIA activity.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
I would be a cat – independent, smart, and self-reliant, yet soft and cuddly on the outside.
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