Some thoughts before departure! PULSE assignment at American Red Cross of Puerto Rico.


I am so thrilled my PULSE assignment is about to start…all the paperwork was not easy but here we are…I finally got my visa: I will be Volunteers Intake Process Lead at American Red Cross of Puerto Rico in few days and for six months’ time.puerto-rico

A bit of background for you: on September 2017 Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, which caused massive infrastructural damage to the island.  You can imagine that the role of NGOs like the American Red Cross became crucial for the recovery of Puerto Rico.  An important part of their job is to process all the volunteering applications, and guaranteeing that the right person with the appropriate skills is allocated effectively to ease the reconstruction process. Here my role: I will volunteer exactly with their volunteers’ services team, helping in the selection process and coordination of Red Cross volunteers.

At GSK Vaccines in Siena I work as Administrative Assistant at Preclinical R&D, the volunteering activity is part of my life since more than 10 years and I love the way it gives me the possibility to learn always something new, and from different perspectives.  You can imagine when I knew about the PULSE program I could do anything else but applying!

When I proposed to my line manager, Davide Serruto,  I would have liked to apply to the 2018 PULSE program his answer was “this program is very cool!” and he encouraged me since the beginning. He was the person who called me to let me know I passed the first interview in the selection process, as the communication arrived after I left the office. One of those cases you are happy if your manager calls you at 6 pm on Friday!!! Eheheheheh… thanks Davide! Here my first two reflections before departure: In order to be successful in the selection you need motivation, motivation, motivation…and the support of your manager!

Before Departure the amazing GSK PULSE team reunited all the 2018 volunteers in training in London. In that occasion I understood all the hard work behind this program and I felt the great passion that Denn, Florencia, Lucas, Clement, Josephine, Renu, and Ahsiya have for this project. A huuuuge thank to them!

I keep the fingers crossed for me, I want to get the most out of this professional experience and I am sure I will have the full support of the PULSE team, my manager, the Red Cross, my colleagues, and all the other PULSE10 Volunteers community! Good luck to you as well guys 😀


  1. Enjoy this amazing experience Michela!! I was part of the program last year and I can assure that it is really a development opportunity for you as individual and as employee 🙂
    Stay foolish, stay hungry!!!
    I wish you all the best and looking forward to read your blog!

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