Follow-up: What I learned at the vocational school “Third coffee”, 2009.09.24-25, Hobby Caffe

On September 24 and 25, I went to Vocational school “Third coffee“, which took place at Hobby Cafe. Here comes a follow up.

A. Day 1

Monica BRÂNDUŞESCU – event moderator
(, Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter – protected)

George IVAŞCU – About the fear of being yourself
(Metropolis theater,, Cinemagia)
– What’s the risk of technology? Solitude / alienation;
– I’m a failed physicist; My failure went into being an actor;
– life is like an electrocardiogram – it has lots of pulses, and, in the end, they’re the ones that matter most;
– a theory Alfred ADLER: man is born free;
– all our lives we find out about our limits – “You are not allowed to …”, “You shouldn’t …”, “You mustn’t …”;
– (a definition from a student of his) monologue is not what you say, but what you can’t hold within you anymore;
– Our focus should be on:
a. What? Why? – the subject, rather than on:
b. How? – the method for getting to the subject;
– strength comes from being you, rather than wearing masks;
– we are the fruits of our own thoughts;
– there few major events in your life;
– What is art? To enrich the beauty in yourself;
– love is not chemistry, it is alchemy, it transforms you; sure, there is some chemistry too, but you should focus on the alchemy;
– acting with power is a different thing than acting with force;
– E = m*c2 in real life is translated into: m = our bodies; 1st c = our heart; 2nd c = our mind;
– (citation) actors are sculptors in snow;
– for one year he has seen classes from other teachers, only after this he taught;
– there are two ways to reference to the world:
a. Egocentric – everything is done from you;
b. Institution – you are an NGO into a capitalist world;
– all our lives we are children; we need stories; Pro TV won audiences because it told stories;
– I can’t give advices, I can only tell you that I do this or I don’t do this;
– Not having enough money? That’s good!
– today we try to build capitalism with communist tools;
– we have forgotten the meaning of words; we communicate with expressions;
– equilibrium is the key to harmony;
– any kind of excess leads to problems;
– I watch these on TV:
a. News;
b. Discovery channel, History Channel; I think their ratings are increasing;
– a current trend in Romania is soap opera – Why? Because it tells you a story (no comment on the quality of this);
– an actor has the ability of being a permanent child;
– there is no such thing as “You must do …”;
– invitation to Metropolis Theater;
– there are no ugly or beautiful persons; it’s all on how you imagine things; our imagination is very active;
– try to make fun of bad things to overcome obstacles;
– a role has, at its roots, a meaning of vocation / aim – these are more important;
– a character is a mask / a form;
– a person dies when no one speaks about him;
– Romanians still tend to buy, rather than invest;
– (quote) Follow your dream!

Irina WAGNER – The story of the passion for art transformed into a success brand: Wagner – beautiful arts and fairytales
(Wagner Arte, LinkedIn, Facebook)
– it’s great to be very good into your own field;
– although there is a general image we have about our client, the people that usually buy from our store are very different;
– there is little competition in our field;
– branding helped our business a lot;

Radu TUDORACHE- Investment into spirituality
(Montero, Money Express interview)
– I went to a College of Mathematics;
– “Each day we must be able to conquer the ideal” (Arsenie PAPACIOC);
– spirituality is something practical;
– personal development is done through other people;
– it’s impossible to change the population as a whole;
– there are four levels into someone’s life (like a pyramid):
a. Spiritual;
b. Rational;
c. Psychological;
d. Physical;
– on the physical level, there are:
a. fasting;
b. some form of prayers;
c. positions during the church services;
d. pilgrimages;
– Way of St. James is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain;
– on the psychological level:
a. Having a confessor:
i. as a partner in life;
ii. Giving psychological advices;
iii. Knowing the personal / family history;
b. integrating into community;
– there are some very good monasteries in the North of Oltenia: Frăsinei, Bistriţa, Dintr-un Lemn, Iezer, Pătrunsa;
– on a rational level:
a. reading the Church Fathers implies using the mind;
b. recommended reading: Mistagogia by Saint Maxim the Confessor;
c. Gregory the Dialogist has some very good writings: The Rule for Pastors;
– on the spiritual level:
a. Regular praying;
b. Praying whenever necessary;
c. The Seven Sacraments, around which life is centered;
d. Communion with the saints;

Monica TATOIU – Consistency – the enemy of failure
(Oriflame, CV , video interview on Capital)
– I always feel the need to provide examples to what I’m saying;
– when you make a choice, you also assume the responsibilities that derive from it, not only the rights;
– extra authority and rules are not a solution for a better society;
– you have to determine your competitive advantage;
– How can one do personal development?
a. Readings;
b. Being informed also about the fields that you don’t value as much;
– in life you don’t necessarily do the things that you like;
– life is hard;
– you can develop competency by working, not by studying things at school;
– the job for which you prepare in school is not really the job that you’ll end up doing;
– NGOs are launching pads for wise guys; NGOs do great in the US, not that good in Romania;
– you should first focus on your own development, only after this you should care about the persons around you;
– Five life principles:
a. Knowledge doesn’t mean information; the Internet is the biggest weapon through which the new generation is being brainwashed; knowledge is a state, while information is sequential;
b. You should be consistent in winning competencies;
c. You should have convergence – focus on one direction only;
d. Family is important; marriage is a bilateral partnership with rights and obligation and force majeure; The role of the family? To transmit to the new generations the values of the society that generated that family;
e. Belief in a spirit;
– next year, starting with January, the economy will be awful;
– Why should you work in a multinational company?
a. Very clear rules;
b. It is a very large organization;
c. There is a procedures’ manual;
d. There are financial reporting systems;
e. Flowcharts? Yes!
– if you join a certain system, you will learn very good procedures;
– there are bits & pieces you can only appreciate in a multinational company;
– in December 2009 the expenses for Christmas, the bad weather of the winter of 2009-2010 and the end of elections will cause large layoffs in the State system; Why? IMF (International Monetary Fund);
– recommended reading: “Ada or Ardor: a family chronicle” by Vladimir NABOKOV;
– recommended reading: “Clair de femme” by Romain GARY;

Delia BURNHAM – Authenticity and honesty – the secret to professional fulfillment
(CVO Recruitment, LinkedIn)
– I run CVO Recruitment Romania;
– we do specialized recruitment services;
– Why am I in Romania? I wanted to experience another culture;
– the CV (Curriculum Vitae) is not the only thing that matters;
– When you write a CV, you should take into account:
a. Relevancy to the job;
b. Write it correctly;
c. Think of it this way: “What does my CV says about me?”;
– Two types of CVs:
a. General CV;
b. A CV custom made for a job;
– the work experience itself is more important than volunteering;
– Romanian hasn’t yet seen the worst part of the crisis;
– How can you find out things about a company prior to getting hired in there:
a. Ask the recruiting company;
b. Talk to present day employers within the company;
c. Search the Net;
d. Ask some friends (with caution, due to the fact that they’ll emphasis only certain aspects);
e. Read / search the press (but filter the information well);
f. (my suggestion);
– at the interview, top questions should include clarification on the job itself;
– a thing that matters a lot is what you want for yourself;
– unforgivable errors: orthography errors in official documents (not only CVs);
– What’s the process of hiring someone?
a. Long list of candidates;
b. CV filtering;
c. Phone interviews;
d. Face-to-face interviews;
e. Short list for clients;
f. Company interviews (from one to five);
– interviews are crucial to the selection process;
– ideally, employers wouldn’t need to pose trick questions, they are to be avoided;
– you should study things for your own pleasure, but you should pick with great care the value of the things you learn;
– about Master Degrees, think about it this way:
a. Do they bring real value?
b. Is it only a diploma?
– if you wish to get a job to McKinsey Europe, you’d better have an MBA;
– still, there are jobs with flexible approaches;
– what you mostly need in a CV: good job performance;
– rather than doing an MBA, you should consider reading books; still, if you find an MBA with good value – you should take classes at that MBA;
– more important than the knowledge is what you can prove you can do;
– the approach theory – work experience is different now in Romania, but in time this will change;
– recruiting managers may not have the time to see hundred of applications; Reason for this:
a. It’s a crisis, little time for recruiting;
b. A lot of employees randomly apply to a lot of jobs; (and there is a correlation between a. and b.)
– It’s very appropriate to have a direct approach:
a. You should contact the companies;
b. Contact employers on social networks;
c. Directly contact the recruiters – HR (human resources) managers;
d. For a small company, you could even contact the general manager;
– some major multinational companies may have rigid procedures into recruiting;
– there are also companies that don’t appreciate the direct approach;
– Regarding asking for a salary at the interview:
a. Try to be as informed as possible about the salary range for your position;
b. If there is a new field and you don’t know the salaries, you should tell the truth: “I don’t know how much to ask”;
– There are differences between:
a. Large multinational companies (they generally have salary ranges);
b. Small companies (very flexible, but you will have problems asking for salaries much higher than those of the rest of the team);
– if, at an interview, you have a physical problem (you feel sick), you should state that and maybe ask for a second interview;
– it’s important to have a relaxed attitude at an interview;
– it’s great to know yourself – what you like about life, what you do with passion, what you’re good at;
– You’re a company, a freelancer, an artist? That’s fine! Just be authentic; (very difficult to do)
– 75% of the time at work you should be happy;

Daniela FUGARU-KAMMRATH – Be your dream!
(, Radio Lynx, Green Report interview, LinkedIn)
– what motivates you in life?
– a lot of the questions that seem to have no answer, in reality they do have an answer, we’re just afraid to express it;
– These are permanent questions:
a. Who are you really?
b. What do you want to do?
– A SWOT analysis for a personal brand:
a. Helps you see yourself in the mirror;
b. Makes you see the details of yourself, to know yourself better;
– it’s important to analyze yourself, to know what you wish for;
– it’s hard being authentic – ask your best friend for feed-back (he knows he won’t jeopardize your friendship by telling the truth);
– Cinderella had a personal coach;
– we are more scared of speaking in public than we are of death;
– a brand (iPod) is more than a product (generic mp3 player);
– if you build a certain image, you attract certain persons to you;
– any construction, with time, becomes a brand;
– the people around you see you as a brand;
– it’s very important to choose what you know consolidates you as a brand;
– when you make a choice (not decision, choice has a motive) stop making that choice again and again – this is madness;
– a choice defines you as a person;
– it’s important to know you tried;
– recommended reading: “Blue Ocean strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne;
– you can defy the system when:
a. You know who you are;
b. You trust yourself;
– money stops you from making choices and makes you pick a certain road in life;
– money is one mean by which you can get where you want to get;

B. Day 2

Some pictures:

Florin GLINŢA and Anda MARIAN – Career decision: emotional choice or fulfilling your own potential
(, blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ziarul Financiar)
– great place to find a career profile –;
– career is strongly related to motivation;

Alexandru CIOCHIA – Is your dream effective?
(Radio Lynx, LinkedIn, blog, Facebook)
– people help you, you can receive a lot of support;

Andrei POPESCU – We and the community!
– when you want to do something with your life, you are not alone;

Doina RUŞTI – The right decision
(website, Wikipedia,, Ziarul Financiar)
– most people come to conferences to speak, not only to listen;
– when you make a decision, there are a lot of factors (communication, diversity, things to be done) that influence that decision; Therefore, the society around you makes that decision;
– recommended reading: “Les chemins de la persuasion: le mode d’influence des media et de la publicite sur les comportements” – Jean-Noel KAPFERER;
– right now you have the option to place yourself right on the line between two fields, you can postpone the final decision for later on;
– good school: College of Anthropology;
– good school: College of Language (a mix between Mathematics and Letters);
– There are specializations that allow you to:
a. Get rid of society’s prejudices;
b. Take into account these prejudices;
– you should take a decision based on your talent; Any human being has this talent;
– in our genetic pool there are things that someone is gifted to do;
– there are things which you do well, even if you don’t like them that much;
– Based on your talent:
a. Decisions are being built;
b. Your future life is being built;
– if you are successful in one field, and you switch to any other field, you can apply the learned skills from the first field;
– great people in one field only do the thing at which they are professionals;
– What’s important to find out? The small thing, very pragmatic, abilities you can use in your future job; example: being an expert at chopping vegetables, both with speed ant patience; this mix can be easily be transferred into writing books; after finding those small things, you can apply those abilities in other fields;
– When do you take a good decision? When you have a problem;
– in theater you can make all the possible experiments; I recommend this education of emotions, if you have communication difficulties;
– if you look for a solution to a problem, it doesn’t even matter if you succeed right from the start; experimenting in great!
– try to experiment first of all;
– don’t wait for someone to notice you, you should take action;
– any decision you take, it’s a good one;
– a decision implies diversity;
– decisions require a major talent and they are contexts that mean you can take into account prejudices;
– Decisions take into account:
a. Knowing yourself;
b. Knowing the future;
– the most important decision is related to the future job;
– decisions are related to a plan; (make one)
– being persistent is the most dreadful enemy of someone who picks his path in life;
– persistence kills the beautiful essence of life;
– by being persistent, nothing of what you do until the end gives you satisfaction;
– you don’t have to be persistent if you’re not good enough;
– symbols are connected to the education (you can’t be connected to a symbolic area to which you have never been connected to);
– all of the symbols come from education;
– there is a basic character in you, no matter how much you try to model yourself; there are native predispositions;
– when you take a decision, each time you know you’ve either taken a good or a bad decision;
Constantin BRÂNCUŞI said (of his master) that he was a tree in the shadow of which no grass would grow;
– you shouldn’t remain in one activity in which you are even 10% unhappy;
– the only decision/thing that matters in life – having no master; (entrepreneur)
– you should get jobs in as many workplaces as possible;
– learn as much as you can;
– the way in which a job system works within a company – same for all companies;
– you should do a lot of things, in order to learn what you can do very well;

Lia PERJOVSCHI – Free talk around the vocational theme subject
(News in Gândul, 9AM, ICR)
– How do you choose two colors? Generally speaking:
a. The first option is a cultural one;
b. The second option is a personal one;
– it’s good to have two career plans – A and B; optimal would mean having them from A to Z;
– when you accumulate information, you have multiple options;
– art is a great option, if you wish to avoid having rules;
– nothing is easy in life;
– what comes easy in life has a price – you are losing yourself;
– if nothing is easy, you should at least do something you like, it will make it appear easier;
– people don’t have bad intentions, but they can be very little interested in you;
– it is important to be a fighter until the end; equally important is to change yourself constantly;
– you should have an overview of the world you live in;
– It is important:
a. Where do you live;
b. What happens;
c. To know yourself;
– learning never stops;
– each person is important;
– children live in an environment without masks, relaxed, like a pleasant game;
– In order to have a fresh mind, you need:
a. A lot of thinking;
b. Action; (and some equilibrium between the two)
– if you are calm and equilibrated, everything seems to make some sounds around you;
– a mistake in the educational system – we learn rules that are not valid;
– you can do art in lots of ways:
a. Painting / sculpting / etc. – yourself;
b. Buying and selling art;
c. Making theories (writing about art);
d. Organizing events (expositions for example);
– at a very big art exposition, a cook brought a creation – he was an artist;
– I don’t believe in:
a. Bloody revolutions;
b. Provocation of the masses; (even if it is for a good cause, it involves manipulation, and I hate this; I only appreciate the people that think);
– I want to do something? I do some searching! (and from this a career might evolve) From searching, research ma result; From this you can write a book;
– while I was a teenager, I wanted to change the world;
– if something doesn’t work, you should leave it aside;
– our mind has formed some basic patterns while we were teenagers;
– if you are curious enough, you will find answers;
– Monica BRÂNDUŞESCU: if you do your job with a clear conscience, if you give 100%, you will find allies;
– we are forced, for ourselves, to give what we can from ourselves;
– we never lose the information we learn from life;
– (quote) “In the next life I would like to be a rock, so that I will be calmer”;
– we know little not only about the Universe, but also about the small stuff;

Alexandru CIUCU – The influence of family tradition in choosing the career
(Website, Wall Street interview, Facebook)
– There have always been these two things in my life:
a. Costumes;
b. APACA (in Romanian Atelierele Publice Autonome de Confecţii ale Armatei; English – Public autonom ateliers for confections of the army);
– If you work with your relatives, you know:
a. They are very unlikely to steal from you;
b. Even if they do steal from you, you are not sorry about this;
– a downside of mixing family with business – when you come from a club at 2 AM, and the next day you are not fresh at work at 8 AM, some problems might appear;
– in any business you do, you should check if:
a. People understand what needs to be done;
b. Things work great by themselves;
– in taxis as a business, in Romania, beating is often a motivation (you will get beaten if you do some bad things);
– in one business of mine I had this problem: I couldn’t control all the taxis;
– in 1997 there was no Romanian brand regarding costumes;
– in the business world it’s great to have a brand name;
– those who buy a product and assimilate a brand gather experiences (positive, hopefully);
Samric is one of our business with good and not-so-expensive clothing;
– as a personal observation, generally speaking the things for which you work a lot and have a good quality are cheaper;
– Why are we a good brand?
a. It’s a niche brand;
b. We are one of the few who do clothing by order;
c. Good PR (Public Relations);
– business lesson: you do best what you know to do well;
– a brand must always have the same quality; it’s a very bad business if you do things sometimes excellent, and sometimes poorly
– when your clothing is presented at a fashion presentation, you must come either with something extraordinary, or with something innovative (colors, matching accessories);
– custom made classical costumes have the great advantage of details;
– I’m very interested into people liking what I do;
– I prefer people to see me as a friend, not necessarily see me on a pedestal;

Sandra ECOBESCU – How to chose a vocation with your soul and how to do your job as good as possible with your mind?
(yes, finally a long title!) (Evenimentul Zilei and RRI interviews)
– For the major choice in life and career, you should pick with your soul, not:
a. Think too much on it;
b. Follow the family’s tradition;
c. Be guided by the financial aspects of the decision;
d. Go with career patterns;
– Why is the Faculty of Letters beautiful?
a. There are interesting and smart people as students and teachers;
b. A lot of opportunities arise;
– in Greece, half the time there were strikes;
– Why do people working in multinational companies spend money? Because they don’t have time for themselves and they wish to compensate somehow;
– if you do work for a few years into a corporation, you learn how the world functions;
– in big companies you learn mechanisms that you can apply in your own company;
– we have not been thought to discover talents (parents & schools don’t help either);
– one of the biggest qualities a man can have – common sense and politeness;
– joy is a real thing; Happiness? Not that sure it exits;
– Monica BRÂNDUŞESCU: passion is contagious;
– if you are under a lot of stress, you need new things;
– No stress? You need little things;

Cătălin MITULESCU – creativity and involvement in cinema production
(Wikipedia, Mediafax interview, CV, IMDb)
– I had a lot of jobs until now;
– it’s important to have various experiences, to try new things, but you also need the relaxation to be able to give up;
– you can have the adventure to try all sort of new things;
– What is a film-maker? It is a person who likes:
a. To tell a story;
b. To see the reaction of the people around him to his stories;
c. Listening stories is also fine;
– What is a producer? Someone who:
a. Listens to a story / reads a story / sees someone telling a story / reads a book / sees a story on the street and …
b. Wants to share the story with others;
– there are many roles in a filming team, you can do a lot of things;
– What is being superficial? To think about this;
– I dislike culture of a certain level, seeing things from above;
– no one from the new wave of directors would have existed without the Cannes Festival, even if it can be a bit superficial;
– I had great satisfactions from:
a. Going from script writer to director;
b. Events as a director;
– in the fashion industry you can enter a sort of prison as a model;
maneaua is a phenomenon strictly related to creating things (and then selling them);
– sometimes manele singers are authentic;
– listening to a few songs doesn’t transform you into a listener of that kind of music; (doesn’t give you a label)
– my job can get you closer to the things that interest you;
– I like knowing, seeing challenges and problems;
– filming is often mixed with life – you don’t really know the exact boundaries;
– I don’t have a TV and don’t like TVs;
– the first movies you make (no matter if you make them as a director or as a producer), stick to your head;
– in the past it was very easy to meet with someone and see a movie; nowadays, problems arise – “I don’t like that movie, let’s not watch it”;
– I liked best producing the Ryna (2005) movie;
– Romanian audience is very demanding:
a. They feel when you are not natural;
b. They feel when you are exaggerating things;
– in the end, a movie is a show;
– you have to like movies in order to make them;
– with time, people tend to think in patterns, a sort of sclerosis, a lot of clichés;
– there are some people who wish for lesser pessimistic movies about Romania;
– There are two things when doing a movie:
a. What I say? (the story is important)
b. How I say it? (the method of saying this) – nowadays, this approach is more important;
– you can have many stories, but you have to have the ability to transmit them;
– It can happen to you:
a. Have no inspiration at all (blank mind);
b. Have contradictory ideas (think of the two opposite scenarios; which one to choose?);
– in order to create something, you have to help your mind with a concrete thing around you;
– there were some film makers in Romania who had problems with the sound and image in some Romanian movies;

Mihai IORDACHE – Life as a journey
(Punctulzero, Pathzero, Facebook)
– in some Asian countries, you can talk from man to man, or from man to a family; talking from one man to one woman is tricky;
– generally speaking, there are cases in which a woman can’t talk with a man who is not a 1st degree relative;
– we should have no hobbies, in everything that we do we should have the same passion as a hobby;
– There should be a congruency, as a whole, between:
a. Myself, as a human being;
b. Thoughts;
c. Words;
d. Actions;
(going from c. to d. is mostly shaped by education; The rest? More complicated)

C. Thoughts

What have other written about the event?
See messages by: Mihail MUŞAT, Cătălina MURARIU, AEGEE Bucureşti, Florin GLINŢA.

What speakers I liked best?

1. George IVAŞCU – great use of case studies, examples; and, my oh my, so entertaining;
2. Doina RUŞTI – the way in which she played with ideas, the way in which she thought about the world – oh, so great;
3. Alexandru CIUCU – I like him; he’s funny;
(honorable mention): Mihai IORDACHE – for perfect use of you-re-not-here-only-to-listen-you-re-here-to-get-involved techniques;
If you look at the list above, you see that George IVAŞCU did a lot of theater, Doina RUŞTI and Mihai IORDACHE only for some time, while Alexandru CIUCU once dreamed about being an actor; oh, that’s too much for me to bear, I must see what’s so cool about being an actor; Theatrical (amateur) companies of Romania, here I come!

What I took home?
(besides a nice diploma and a hard-anchored into reality symbolic gift)
i. George IVAŞCU said this
“the focus should be on:
a. What? Why? – the subject, rather than on:
b. How? – the method for getting to the subject;”
What I understood from this – focus also on How?, not only on What?; I think the “how?” idea is not as developed on me; yes, you’re right, he said exactly the opposite;
ii. Monica TATOIU said: “in life you don’t necessarily do the things that you like”, and this translates into “avoid eating sweets”;
iii. Doina RUŞTI said: “in theater you can make all the possible experiments; I recommend this education of emotions, if you have communication difficulties;”
I intend to follow her advice;

Some final thoughts on the conference
1. Some speakers were wonderful, some speakers were great; No speaker was bad;
2. I learned a lot both from the content (the ideas that were flying in the air) and from the atmosphere (the way in which things were said);
3. Networking? I had the pleasure of meeting very nice, interesting and kind people;
4. Speakers went home with a small gift; I’ve only seen such a behavior at a HR Club conference;
5. The usual stuff (promoting the conference, catering, schedule keeping, having a good location, asking for feedback afterward, providing a follow-up, creating an online community with the participants) went also fine.

Bottom line: one of the best two-days conference I’ve ever seen.

P.S.: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar events: Conferinte recomandate To join, email and reply to the confirmation email.

You will find videos made by me on my YouTube channel, and photos on my Picasa Web Albums accounts.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of (series of events on SEO & PPC) and (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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