Petra Veselá

Name and surname: Petra Veselá

State, city: Czech republic, Nymburk

Nationality: Czech

Educational and professional skills: Metropolitan university – International relations and european studies – master´s degree

Sector which she represents: social work, sport

Position: Project manager in non-profit organization „Cesta za snem“

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When I was 19, I had a car accident on the highway, because of the driver who wasn’t really paying attention while driving. There was a collision in which our car was ejected out of the road and overturned several times over the roof. In this accident I injured a spinal cord in the 5th cervical vertebrae area, which means paralysis of lower limbs, trunk and upper limbs including all the fingers. I need assistance with almost everything - dressing, moving from and to the wheelchair. After two years I was able to return to the university in combined study program and I graduated obtaining a master´s degree.

After the graduation I was afraid that I am not yet able to start looking for a job, because of my disability. At that time, I got a job offer as an assistant of project coordinator in a nonprofit organization „Cesta za snem “. This company organize sport and entertainment events for people both with and without disabilities. Before, I used to participate in some of these events and I enjoyed them. Therefore, to be committed in something which is related to interesting projects for people with and without disabilities, was the best choice possible for me! Moreover, I have had an experience as a participant, so it was also an added value to the organization.

The biggest problem for me were my health conditions. I need constant assistance and I am not able to be at work regularly.

Willingness to learn new skills and ability to quickly join a new work team, which was very active, were the factors which helped me the most. It was also the possibility to have a home office and working with colleagues who trust me. One of the other factor of success was pure luck - I was lucky to get a job offer in the right time and I had a very friendly colleagues.

Everybody who has a disability and are trying to live actively and positively is an inspiration to me. Due to my job, I see lots of stories like that and there are many inspiring people all around me.

However, I do not have an experience as a coach or mentor. Although, sometimes there are people who have similar problem as me and they are asking me for help and inspiration so not to give up. There is always a way how to do even seemingly unsolvable things.

I try to think in positive way and always be in a good mood, because the other people can see it and feel it. Everything is better with a smile!

I think that the reliability and ability to get things done to the end are some of the most essential skills I possess.

My bad attribute is always to postpone things. I can handle everything in time, because I am able to keep up with the deadlines, but it is energy-consuming and annoying. I also need an improvement in foreign languages and assertiveness.

My advice to other women is not to be afraid of specific needs you have when you are disabled. Go to pitch yourself and prove, that, although you are doing some work tasks in a different way and not so quickly, you are really good in that what you do. Furthermore, difference of opinions often could be very helpful and beneficial.