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Transcript episode 10 Sonia Peña from IUCN

Author photo

by Impactpool

Intro quote: “It’s not only about nature. It’s the connection between nature and people and human well-being. We’re all part of the same planet and, if we destroy it, then we’re destroying ourselves.”

UNjobfinder: Hi there and welcome to the tenth episode of the UNjobfinder Career Podcast by INTALMA. My name is Magnus Bucht and, for those of you listening to this podcast for the first time, this is a show for people who are interested in a career within the international development sector, working for international organizations such as the United Nations, European Union, development banks, intergovernmental or nongovernmental organizations. We’re talking to people who are having a remarkable career in this field, trying to get their stories about how they once entered, choices that they’ve made, challenges that they’ve faced and, not least, to hear what kind of advice they can share with us. Until now, you’ve been hearing interviews with people in senior management positions, but now we’ll also start hearing some stories from people who are on the operations side and doing the work in these organizations. This is of course to hear more examples of what their day looks like, what it is that they are really doing and things that maybe frustrate them but also excite them. We also make sure that we touch upon how they started their career and their personal tips. Today, I have the pleasure to talk to Sonia Peña from IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In episode five, we had Sajid Ali, who then was the Global HR Director for IUCN, as a guest. And now Sonia will give us a complementing perspective of IUCN and, in the beginning of 2016, there will be more to follow. IUCN is the world’s largest environmental organization and they are really covering the environmental challenges from every angle. What few people maybe know is that IUCN is not only the largest environmental organization, but it was also the first global environmental organization founded already back in 1948. Today, IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff members in 45 offices and they have hundreds of partners in the public NGO and private sectors all around the world. Their headquarters is in Gland, Switzerland, and this is also where Sonia works as a Senior Policy Officer and where she has to deal with the complex challenges of reaching global policies in the area of biodiversity, which are relevant and directed to and for decision makers around the world. So you will hear more about her and IUCN’s work in this area during the interview. Sonia has also written some great blog posts about her work, which you can easily find on together with the show notes and the full transcript of this episode. So, without further ado, let’s get right into the interview!

UNjobfinder: Today, I have the pleasure to talk to Sonia Peña from IUCN. Sonia, welcome to the UNjobfinder Career Podcast!

Sonia Peña: Hello! How are you?

UNjobfinder: Great. Thank you for being with us.

Sonia Peña: No problem.

UNjobfinder: Sonia, you’ve been working, starting your career with the governmental offices in Colombia and now you’ve been working with IUCN for 13 years. So tell us, what is it that you are doing?

Sonia Peña: So just to go back a bit to the Ministry of Environment of Colombia, my job there was mostly related to liaising with national entities willing to propose international projects for corporations let’s say, presenting projects on nature conservation, environmental conservation to international donors. So I was pretty much helping them put those projects together. It meant a lot of travelling around the country. It also meant liaising with lots of people internationally and also nationally. And then, that lasted only two years. My decision was to study abroad. I came to Switzerland, did my master’s degree on international relations and then decided to stay over to find some good practice in the international world, in the UN perhaps, in an international organization, and I found a job in IUCN 13 years ago. I started as an intern and here I am, still in IUCN.

UNjobfinder: You’ve had a long journey with IUCN.

Sonia Peña: Exactly.

UNjobfinder: So if we go back even further, how did you get interested in international development or international relations?

Sonia Peña: Well, and the environment as well. I think it all comes together as a personal connection with social issues and at the same time with nature itself. I’m a political scientist by training. So de facto I like social studies, I like politics, I like policy, but also I find that a lot of the problems of today’s world are connected to the lack of, and then that’s going to sound strange, but the lack of connection with nature or the lack of linkages with our natural world. So it all gets into a mixed bag of interests, of expectations about what you can do to change some of the situations you see on a daily basis. So yes, I connected everything and I studied actually political science and languages because of my interest to connect to the world as well through literature, through culture, etc., the language itself. And then, also, on the side of the environmental issues, it’s worth mentioning that my father actually worked, when I was born, he was working in the 70s for Colombia’s environmental agency at the time. There was no Ministry of Environment at the time. There was just like a national institute for environmental issues or nature conservation and just as a kid I grew up with that example let’s say and I guess it’s somehow influenced my choice in life afterwards. And I really enjoy that mix of the connection with nature and with social issues, with human beings.

UNjobfinder: So you moved from Colombia and you came to Switzerland for your studies. You said that you found IUCN, you got an internship. How did you actually get that internship with IUCN?

Sonia Peña: Like a lot of things in life, through other people. So at the time, a good friend of mine was working for the WTO, so the World Trade Organization in the Colombian mission. And she knew already, because of her work, other people, other Colombian people working for other international organizations. So she said well now that you’re finishing your master’s, if you want, I can put you in contact with so and so. And so she did. Several people that were placed in different organizations in Geneva. And one person in particular put me in contact with another person in IUCN. And because of my job in the Ministry of Environment before, I already knew what IUCN was. I was actually managing sort of or following the dossier of IUCN in my office in the Ministry of Environment in Colombia. So I already knew that it existed, that it was here in this region. So I said, why not? That interests me. It’s really that connection that I want. I had another contact in a trade related organization and I really didn’t want to pursue that avenue. I wanted to stick with environmental issues. So I went ahead and contacted the people in IUCN. And one person called me back and said hey, if you’re interested come over, let’s have a coffee, you know the place, and if there’s something, I’ll let you know. So I did that. I went over, met this person, had a coffee, and so he said well actually if you’re interested, you can start tomorrow.

UNjobfinder: So was that during your studies or had you already graduated?

Sonia Peña: No, I had already finished. I was about to finish, formally receive the diploma and everything. So I was actually heading back to Colombia for Christmas. It was at the end of the year. And so he said well when you come back, just come back, if you’re interested you can start right away. So I started in February or March 2003.

UNjobfinder: So what did you get to do as an intern?

Sonia Peña: Lots of things. Not only photocopying. I’m joking. Interesting enough, I didn’t start in the Policy Unit at the time. Because of what I was doing before in the Ministry of Environment, which was this international cooperation unit, dealing with donors, etc., I started in IUCN in the, by then it was called Donor Relations Office. So I started there I think 8 months to 1 year, not more than that. Then moved to the Policy Unit because that’s the one that I was mostly interested in and where actually my skills are. So what I started doing as an intern, following a lot of bits and pieces of donor strategies for instance, putting together the profiles of the donors IUCN was already working with or potential donors to approach, so doing a lot of research let’s say to investigate who were they and who was a contact person of interest so that whenever we approached them, we would go with the right foot let’s say, present things that they would fund because they were matching their interests. So I did a lot of that. I helped put together like a database with that background research, online, so that it can easily be tracked back, etc. And preparations, like lots of documents preparations for meetings that were held in IUCN with donors or partners. I think that was basically it. A lot of support for the people that were working on that unit.

UNjobfinder: But it gave you I guess also a good sort of understanding of IUCN and your different stakeholders.

Sonia Peña: Exactly. And also exposure to those different types of people that we deal with at IUCN.

UNjobfinder: And then you moved into the policy arena.

Sonia Peña: Yes.

UNjobfinder: So tell us what is it that you do? You started as a Policy Officer and now you’ve moved on to being a Senior Policy Officer.

Sonia Peña: Exactly.

UNjobfinder: So what do you do as a Senior Policy Officer?

Sonia Peña: Well, I do lots of things, but among the things that I do and most of the things are linked to coordinating people. So liaising with people, with experts. IUCN has a vast network of experts on different issues, on different environmental aspects. Since my job is liaising with these people, bringing in like the signs or the expertise that they have, translating that into a policy or a position paper that states what IUCN as a whole thinks about an issue in particular. It means a lot of learning. My day-to-day is in that liaison or in the linkages with other people. It’s also learning about different issues. I’m not a specialist on marine issues, I’m not a specialist on water issues, on forest issues, but yet, somehow to communicate to these experts, I have to learn about those different issues, of course not into great detail, but as much as I understand it and I am able to translate that and put that into a coherent policy document that talks to policy makers and decision makers, then that’s fine. So it means a lot of that interaction. Also, a lot of let’s say preparation for meetings. In the policy world, there’s lots of events and meetings and processes that are ongoing. And so you have to track what happened in the past to inform what you’re doing in the present moment. And so, you inform also or you can change or influence what happens in the future, the decisions that are made around the issues that you’re working on. So it is a lot of keeping track of things, things that are ongoing, but not forgetting what happened in the past as well.

UNjobfinder: Who are these policies for? You said decision makers. Could you give more of an example? Who are the ones using the IUCN’s policies?

Sonia Peña: So for instance, a lot of the work that I do as a Policy Officer or Senior Policy Officer for biodiversity it’s in the context of the convention on biological diversity. This is a convention that has up to now 196 parties, so governments that adhere to the convention and participate on the meetings of the convention. And so, as IUCN, we take a seat as an intergovernmental organization, as an observer to the meetings of this convention. And every time the parties to the convention meet in different settings, in the different meetings hosted by the convention, we participate, we propose decisions to be taken by the parties, by those governments that are meeting there on aspects of IUCN’s work. To give you an example, on species conservation for instance, because of the work that IUCN does in monitoring the status of biodiversity and species in the world, we are realizing that we’re losing a lot of or we’re losing much more than we anticipated in the past and the rate of biodiversity loss is accelerating really enormously. So if we want to convey that message and to say well we actually need to do something and really do it quickly because if not, then we’re going to lose it all, and if we want to stress that message, we have to stress it in the right moment, so meaning that it has to go packaged in a certain way but also proposed during an agenda item that is being discussed and it’s relevant, so that it’s heard, it’s taken on board, it gets into the actual text of the decisions that are being taken. So we negotiate a lot in terms of how the language states what we want to say and how decisions that inform how action will go are in our best interests. And I say our, well collectively it’s not only IUCN’s interest, of course we’re talking about nature and this is our life support system let’s say. So it’s putting the right information, inserting the right information that comes from the science and the expertise that I was talking about, but telling it in a way that people don’t shut down and just say you’re talking nonsense or say this is too complicated, we don’t understand what you’re saying because that can happen as well if you talk only in jargon, scientific jargon or policy jargon, then nobody understands. So it’s crafting the message so that it is understood by the right people. And so it triggers some action, being it an action plan for halting the laws of biodiversity for instance, how does that look like, what does it have to have, what are the timelines, etc.

UNjobfinder: Very important work of course.

Sonia Peña: Yes. It’s very interesting. Very difficult sometimes as well.

UNjobfinder: That’s interesting to hear. I can understand that this is exciting work. You’re trying to change major policies that will have an impact on the world. What are the frustrating parts?

Sonia Peña: Well, one of the biggest challenges when you work on this issue and when you coordinate people to have a greater impact and, in an organization like IUCN, it can be frustrating sometimes that you feel that you’re herding cats, like sometimes people don’t want to be coordinated, they don’t want to speak in one voice, they just want to do their own stuff and they are not team-players. That’s a fact. So sometimes that is challenging. It’s challenging to be in a position wanting to get everybody in the same page, get everybody coordinated and producing something that is collectively developed and yet sometimes you face some reticence and some push-back that some people, even your colleagues sometimes do have this attitude. That can be a big challenge and really frustrating. And another side of the frustration could be… I was talking about language and how we want to see some things in the decisions that are taken. Sometimes we don’t achieve what we want to achieve just because there are a lot of politics behind those decisions. So what comes out is not the ultimate and perfect outcome. So that can be frustrating. If you want to say something and yet it doesn’t go through and if the language in the end doesn’t reflect the urgency of the matter for instance, then that gets frustrating as well.

UNjobfinder: And how has that affected you? You’ve now been doing this for a couple of years. Can you keep your passion and energy into this when you have to deal constantly with political, diplomatic processes?

Sonia Peña: Yes. I have had that comment from many people, like how can you stand it? But I still find it fascinating. That exchange based on place a comma here, change that word for this one, that type of thing, but it ultimately goes back to what’s behind it. And I learn a lot. I learn a lot every time I go to these meetings. Sometimes, as I was saying, it’s frustrating but at the same time you learn to live with that frustration and catalyze it through different avenues so that it’s made positive in a way. If you play with the rules and if you know that things are like that, you learn to live with it. I think it’s still an enriching experience in the end. I said I studied languages so I also enjoy that fact that some things can mean some others in other languages or in the same language they can mean different things. So it’s that playing with words so that you get the best outcome possible and interpreting that.

UNjobfinder: So what does a typical work week or a month for you look like? I presume that you’re travelling a lot.

Sonia Peña: Yes. Well the typical work week or month, and this won’t go as a surprise, has to do with a lot of e-mails. It’s disturbing how we depend a lot on communicating by e-mails and exchanging with people back and forth through these means but that’s nowadays I guess. So there’s lots of that, exchanging in that way, but it’s also exchanging directly with people: calls, meetings, conference calls, learning and sharing with people and experts, especially in the preparatory phases of these meetings I was talking about, there’s lots of that coordination and that liaising with people prior to the meetings, during the meetings, and afterwards to prepare the report and the follow-up after. So that is a constant in my job. Also, as I was saying before, it’s also a follow-up of ongoing things. It doesn’t mean if I go to a meeting, I come back home, then I forget about what happens there, I prepare the report, I release it and that’s it. No. You still have to see what was adopted in that meeting that will inform what’s going to happen next, how do I influence or change that? Do I do something to follow-up to certain of the decisions that were taken? IUCN, as an institution, does any decision mention us? And if it does, how do we coordinate so that we deliver on what we’re called to do? So there’s a lot of that. And also, as you said, travelling. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less, but it means a lot of airports, a lot of planes, a lot of hotels, a lot of different food, different people, different experiences, climates, weather, etc. Sometimes it’s hard. It is tough especially if you have a family life, it’s tough when you travel a lot. But also I enjoy it. I enjoy knowing the world like that and if I wouldn’t have been working in this field, I wouldn’t have gone to the many places I’ve visited so far and known the wonderful things that are out there to visit and to know about.

UNjobfinder: So what would you say is your proudest moment during your career in policy?

Sonia Peña: Well, I was saying that coordinating people is not an easy job. It is not an easy thing to do. And yet, that’s a big chunk of what I do. It’s coordinating. And coordinating for participation at meetings. So back in 2010, there was the Convention on Biological Diversity, had its tenth meeting of the conference of the parties. So all the governments that formed part of that convention were meeting and it was a very particular setting, there were a lot of things that were at stake. The meeting was set to adopt a big plan to halt the loss of biodiversity altogether through a series of 20 different targets. We call those the Aichi biodiversity targets, Aichi because that was in the Aichi prefecture in Japan where the meeting was taking place. So there were lots of things at stake, lots of things that were unresolved up to the moment that the meeting was taking place just a year before. So this was 2010, but the year before there was a conference of the parties of the Climate Change Convention that was a complete, in international terms, in international policy terms, it was a failure so to say. A lot of people got that as a big failure in terms of multilateral environmental issues. That was the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference of the parties. And then we came to Japan to this other meeting. This was on biodiversity, but yet people had that in the back of their minds, what happened a year before, they were questioning whether the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity were up to the expectations of adopting this big and ambitious plan and whether everything will go as planned. And IUCN was participating in that meeting really strongly. We even opened an office in Tokyo to help in the preparations, help the government of Japan in the preparations for that big meeting. We had a lot of ourselves at stake in the preparatory work, in doing the meeting, we were intensely involved. I must say we were 97 people wearing the IUCN badge. So if I go back to the coordination, coordinating this amount of people for a meeting like that where there’s lots of things that are at stake and big expectations wasn’t easy, but yet, and I was in the let’s say back-office with all the preparations and the release of the… I think we did like 10 position papers, meaning with the key positions, policy positions of IUCN and key messages for that meeting. So the coordination of the preparation of those documents, the preparation of the delegation itself, the day-to-day life of the delegation there, we didn’t have much sleep. Sometimes the negotiations were up until 4 a.m. or more. So it was hard in every respect. At the end, when we came back, or even there when the final plenary ended at 3 a.m. and everybody was clapping in their seats and it was a very joyful moment in the end because everything that we wanted to adopt was adopted in the end. It was a big relief and when we came back to the office and everybody recognized that that was a job well-done, that was really wonderful, that was really good. Experiencing that over there, there were moments when we said okay this is going to be a complete failure again, we’re not going to make it. Up until the very last minute we didn’t know if it was going to be over with a positive result or not. And when it happened, it was very good, it was up to the expectations let’s say for IUCN and for me personally it was a very good proud let’s say moment to be part of that and to know that what I did somehow helped to have that positive result in the end.

UNjobfinder: Wonderful. I can imagine. You said that you were 97 from the IUCN delegation.

Sonia Peña: Exactly.

UNjobfinder: And how many different stakeholders are actually part of these final negotiations?

Sonia Peña: Participants or delegates to that meeting, I think that the actual number was something around 8,000 or something like that, really crazy. But in the final let’s say discussions or actual negotiations, I don’t think that there were more than 200 people, something like that. But we were not 97 there. By the end, we were only a few.

UNjobfinder: The core team.

Sonia Peña: Yes. Exactly.

UNjobfinder: I can understand the challenges and I think that our listeners can also understand really the challenges that you face in trying to get these policies through and implemented and decided. Hearing you talking a lot about coordination, what would you say makes a good policy officer?

Sonia Peña: Well, I think it is being very organized. You have to anticipate a lot of the things that will happen next and, as I was saying before, track what happened before so that you’re able to inform others that this is the way that things will go or most likely will go. So being very organized helps keeping track of everything and being able to liaise with others with some certainty that what I’m saying is actually what it is. I think that it’s also planning. It’s linked to the organization, but having a plan of where you’re heading, what are you going to do, by when timeline, that helps a lot especially when you… For IUCN, for instance, we have as part of the IUCN internal policy we have everything that we do and we release normally has to be in the three IUCN official languages for instance. So you have to count in the time that it gets to translate our position papers for instance. You have to count that in your time line for preparation of the meetings. You have to put everything online at least one month before the meetings for instance. So planning and being organized helps a lot. I also think that it helps being open to hearing others and simply learning every day by everything you do or through everything that you encounter. It might sound simple or silly but I think that for a policy person or somebody that is working in this field, it is important to keep always an open mind that things, even if you plan them or if you think that they are in one way or another, you also have to be somehow flexible and adapt to how the conditions come or how other people behave and what they think and what they bring into the mix. That is important as well.

UNjobfinder: So in your job, I mean you travel a lot, working with policy, is that something that… Because I know that you are based in the IUCN headquarters in Gland, do you have policy officers in other regional or national offices as well?

Sonia Peña: Some do, some don’t. It’s interesting because us, as the Policy Unit based in headquarters, we’re sent to coordinate with others in the region and in the different thematic programs within headquarters for policy delivery let’s say. So sometimes it facilitates the job or the linking up, the exchanges if there is already somebody that is working on policy issues directly in the regional offices or in the different thematic programs. But that doesn’t happen all the time. Although if you go around IUCN and ask do you work on policy, everybody would say yes. A lot of people have a sense that they do work on policy and probably they do, but it’s not their day-to-day work.

UNjobfinder: So would you say that they’re more contributing to the main policies?

Sonia Peña: Exactly. And as I said before, sometimes coordinating with people that do not want to coordinate poses a problem in terms of policy coherence because we might be perceived as saying things that are not completely aligned with other things that we’ve been saying elsewhere. So to give you an example, within my work in the Convention on Biological Diversity, there are lots of issues that are addressed within the convention that are addressed also elsewhere. So inland waters for instance is also addressed in other conventions and by other IUCN programs, so the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands for instance, thus a lot of work of course. That’s the core of their mandate on that issue and the water program of IUCN also works within the framework of the Ramsar Convention but not that much in the Convention on Biological Diversity. So they don’t necessarily link up with me that much, but link up with other people that deal with that same issue. So yes, sometimes it’s tricky.

UNjobfinder: It’s tricky because you’re dealing with lots of issues.

Sonia Peña: Exactly. And sometimes the message doesn’t go in the same format or it might be confusing for people if they see IUCN sets so-and-so in the World Water Forum and yet we didn’t say the same in the Convention on Biological Diversity about water issues. So sometimes it can be confusing also.

UNjobfinder: And how do you deal with that?

Sonia Peña: Well, again, it’s trying to reach out to colleagues and say this is happening or somebody mentioned that you guys went ahead and released a policy statement saying so-and-so and we weren’t informed or could we avoid this in the future. Just let us know if you’re heading there, we can give you actually some inputs to that or inform you about this and that. And sometimes it does work, sometimes it doesn’t.

UNjobfinder: I guess it shows the complexity of the different issues that you are dealing with also.

Sonia Peña: Exactly.

UNjobfinder: So what would you say are the most exciting things about working for IUCN?

Sonia Peña: Well, I think that precisely the breadth or the scope of the different issues that IUCN deals with. If you talk about the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there’s lots of things that get involved and sometimes people don’t think that we work on people also. It’s not only about nature. It’s the connection between nature and people and human well-being. We’re all part of the same planet and, if we destroy it, then we’re destroying ourselves. So one of the most exciting things about IUCN is actually its mission, its mission statement. We do what we want to do. But also the expertise that it brings about. There’s people that work for IUCN either as part of the staff, we’re around 1,000 I think or more staff around the world. The different issues is one thing, but also the geographical spread also where we have offices in many, many countries in the world, regional offices I think in eight regions, like placed in different places. So you get to, if you’re lucky in a way, you get to visit some of those places but also exchange with the people that work there. And it’s a different perspective of everything altogether when you travel to these regional offices or country offices. They face other challenges and that’s part of IUCN. Also part of IUCN is the expertise that the commissions bring. We have six expert commissions. This is around I think 12,000 people or something like that. You of course don’t meet them all, ever, but this is like the volunteers that work on behalf of IUCN on the science behind what we say, like the knowledge really.

UNjobfinder: So contributing to your work as policy officer then.

Sonia Peña: Exactly. So that is also very interesting. And also the governance of IUCN, like the structure itself where we have members that are from the states or governments and we have members that are from the NGO side. So that combination is very interesting for a policy person also. Sometimes it can be really frustrating because you cannot say things that you would like to say because you could “offend” one side or the other. Like you cannot say this because this government will be upset and probably if it’s a donor government, then we’re in big trouble. You can also be saying something that is not aligned with what our NGO members think for instance. So that can be also really challenging but interesting as well. You have to learn to play around with that.

UNjobfinder: A broad question. You’ve been seeing basically this broad policy arena which is of course have lots of different stakeholders. Like you said, you have states, you have other organizations. For people who are interested, you mentioned a number of competences or areas that you need to be good at. If you look at IUCN, I know that lots of our listeners would like to have some tips and advice on how to get a job with IUCN, especially now when they realize all the exciting things that you are doing. So what kind of advice or tips can you share with them?

Sonia Peña: To get a job, I think the tips are starting with the basic that would go for any type of organization. I guess you have to monitor regularly the official vacancies like what comes out in the website as being advertised so that you can apply formally and go through the process if there is something that interests you. But also, I would say, connect to people or do some sort of background research if you’re interested in environmental issues, what is it that you’re interested in? Do a bit of self-analysis let’s say of which areas of the work of IUCN would be interesting to address, tackle, work in and connect with the people. I think that most, if not all of the contact details of the people that work under the different issues are posted online and you can reach out to these people. Sometimes of course they can respond back, sometimes they won’t because people have lots of things to do and sometimes they don’t catch up on their e-mails and stuff. But you can only try. And connecting with people helps because also it gives you… If you get to talk to somebody, if you have the chance to interact with somebody that is already working for IUCN, then that would give you more of a sense of what the work of this person and working for the organization entails. And I think that also don’t be afraid to first of all ask is there something that I could do? Is there a vacancy that hasn’t been advertised and probably we’re looking for people? But also don’t be afraid to start in a learning position. Sometimes people get discouraged because they only think that they are offered when they knock on the door is an internship or a trainee position. And yes, depending on where you are, it can be a bit frustrating of course to say I’ve done so many studies in this and that and I’m going to start just in the lowest part of the levels let’s say in IUCN. But it is a really enriching experience and it can help move upwards with the right foot. Chances are that you won’t like it once you’re inside. So probably that’s the best way to notice that actually this is not what you were looking for. So yes, a learning position or a trainee position or an internship is always a good start.

UNjobfinder: And you are a good example of that.

Sonia Peña: Exactly, yes.

UNjobfinder: You found your internship through your network and they were actually there to ask the questions. Thirteen years later, you’re a Senior Policy Officer.

Sonia Peña: Exactly.

UNjobfinder: Great. So thank you so much Sonia. This has been really a pleasure to hear all the things that you’re doing as a Senior Policy Officer with IUCN, the challenges that you are facing, the frustrations and the rewards of course. So is there anything final that you would like to share with us or any final advice to our listeners or anything?

Sonia Peña: No, just thank you very much for the opportunity actually to share some of my stories with you and definitely if you’re interested, don’t hesitate to ask and go for it. If this is something that is interesting for you, it’s really rewarding in spite of the challenges that you face.

UNjobfinder: Excellent. Thank you so much, Sonia.

Sonia Peña: You’re very welcome!

UNjobfinder: I hope you enjoyed that interview with Sonia Peña. Sonia, thank you so much for joining the show. I want to remind you again about checking out Sonia’s own blog post and read more about her work. You’ll find all this plus the show notes, transcript of the whole show and, not least, some pictures which will also give you a flavor of how Sonia’s professional life looks like. All this is easily available at Thank you so much for listening, bye for now and see you in the next episode!


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