Student volunteering - a way to be active
Student volunteering - a way to be active

Mateusz Salach is a student of IT at the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Rzeszów University of Technology. Since November 2012 he has also been a volunteer of the PAFF’s “PROJECTOR – student volunteers” Program, active in Podkarpackie Voivodeship. And soon he will spend  two months in the United States, at Citi in Texas as an intern of the Polish-American Internship Initiative. 

KW: How did you come up with the idea to apply for the internship in the USA?
Mateusz: It came up suddenly. My good friend, also a PROJECTOR volunteer, Oksana, was selected under the same program for the internship at Boeing last year. When she came back, she told me how great it was, how much her horizons have broadened and how well it looks in her CV. I was encouraged by Oksana as well as other volunteers who believed I should apply . So I did it and I succeeded.
KW: Where will you go and what will you do as an intern?
Mateusz: Out of companies I could choose from I was most interested in Citi. And Texas, it is a motivator on the one hand, and a dream on the other. I do not know yet what I will do there. They will tell us during the first week after our arrival. I will work for Global Command Center at Citi Technology Infrastructure, which we call the Center of the World Management.
KW: Your field of study is very demanding and you must devote quite a lot of time to studying. How did you find your time for volunteering and how did it help you win the internship?
Mateusz: I like challenges, I started to like them from the first end-of-term examinations. I think that one day you realize that you want to do something more than just study, you want to stand out against so many students and you start to carry out various activities. In my case it was a student research club where I met mentors who I believe are brilliant. They got me into the world of projects. It is not that easy to  get a scholarship, you have to show your knowledge and activity. I managed somehow to show my knowledge, and I had to work to show my activity. Initiatives such as “Young Nobel”, “Youth Voluntary Laboratory”, “TechClubs” or our undertaking “Robotics in a Library” have helped me a lot. There were many of them during all those years and each time you had to organize yourself. This is the best thing I have learned participating in the “PROJECTOR”.
KW: What will the internship in the USA be for you and what do you think it will change in your life after you come back?
Mateusz: It will be magic, of that I am sure. Such adventures do not happen every day, so I am sure I will benefit from it. It is hard to say what will change. I am sure I will come back full of energy and new, brilliant ideas, for example of new robots and innovations in robotics which I am in charge of.
KW: How would you encourage other students to be active and follow your path of a student volunteer?
Mateusz: We do pretty amazing things, we have a lot of adventures and unforgettable moments. Our team is really unbelievably creative and energetic. You are never bored, it’s always fun. The “PROJECTOR”, as this is the program I encourage people to join, is a broad network of contacts, you meet people living all over Poland, during your holidays you can carry out projects in great places… I have never regretted joining the “PROJECTOR”, and even if I temporarily  lost control over my life, I was happy, because cooperating with such a team makes you feel really happy.
KW: What shall I wish you before you go to the USA?
Mateusz: Passing my end-of-term exams, that is all. Adventures and unforgettable moments are included in the internship package :).
KW: Thank you for your interview and we wish you many unforgettable moments during your internship.
Interview by Kamil Wrzos, Regional Coordinator of “PROJECTOR – Student Volunteers” Program for Podkarpackie Voivodeship
The program’s website: