My name is Arnoldas Remeika, and I graduated from LCC International University in 2003 with a degree in English Language and Literature. I am originally from Klaipėda, but I live in Vilnius now. I guess I am a writer deep in my heart, though I have been doing many things professionally that are not necessarily related to writing. But interestingly enough, I have always come back to writing after taking breaks of several years to engage into other professional activities. I feel I have growing desire to write a book someday, and I am preparing myself for that with many years of writing news articles, promotional texts and complex brand strategies.
Photo by Guoda Jucevičiūtė
Could you please introduce yourself? What year did you graduate and what was your major?
I graduated from LCC International University in 2003 with a degree in English Language and Literature. I am originally from Klaipėda, but I live in Vilnius now. I guess I am a writer deep in my heart, though I have been doing many things professionally that are not necessarily related to writing. But interestingly enough, I have always come back to writing after taking breaks of several years to engage into other professional activities. I feel I have growing desire to write a book someday, and I am preparing myself for that with many years of writing news articles, promotional texts and complex brand strategies.
We know that you have been involved with many projects and have pursued various professions and interests since your graduation. Could you please tell us more about your personal and career path and how it has evolved?
My entire professional experience is related to the field of public communication and its many faces like journalism, public relations and promotion, though in recent years I have worked with business strategy a lot, too. I started working as a journalist for the newspaper “Klaipėda” right after my graduation. I spent five years there writing on a great variety of topics, and I also edited a weekly six-page digest for a young audience for more than three years. That was a very intense period for me as journalism is a very demanding job if one takes it seriuosly. And I did, especially having in mind it was my first real job.
I spent another seven years at LCC as Director of Corporate Communication, being responsible for representing the university to the public, taking care of its public relations and reputation. For almost two years I was involved in LCC Admissions’ recruitment work and travelled a lot presenting LCC to people in countries that I probably would never have visited otherwise – Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Moldova. These were truly genuine experiences, and I am thankful for the fantastic places I have seen and the great people I have met while on the road.
While at LCC I realized I wanted to study public relations in depth; that is why I started studying at Vytautas Magnus University’s Institute of Political Science and Diplomacy in Kaunas. I graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Relations in 2012, and continued supervising the Corporate Communication Office which had grown to five people by then.
In 2015 I left for Vilnius to work for one of the most successful Lithuanian fashion brands Julia Janus in the capacity of Director of International Sales. In that position I was responsible for this company’s global expansion, including creating sales strategies for new markets, maintaining clients and engaging new clients. I have travelled a lot to fashion events, business meetings and scouting trips all across fashion capitals like Paris, New York, London, Milan, Berlin, and Dusseldorf. It was a very busy time, and fashion truly is a tough business. At one point I realized I need to slow down, so I did. I even designed and produced my own clothing line for women and men called “I am the city” in collaboration with well-known fashion brand OHMY. It is still available to buy online.
Fashion truly interests me a lot, but I have never stopped thinking of writing. Finally, my two passions came together in a very unexpected way. In January of 2018 I came back to journalism, but this time in the more strategic role of Executive Editor for the only fashion magazine in Lithuania, L’Officiel Mada (a franchised version of the international L’Officiel magazine that is almost 100 years old). I have just published my first issue of the magazine, and I am happy with the results. I guess this is as close to my dream job as I have ever gotten, but I never make promises to stay for good. Life is full of wonderful opportunities that are still to be experienced, so I am not gluing myself to one chair for a lifetime.
I have also been writing my fashion, style and lifestyle blog for a couple of years now,which has also given me some public attention. Obviously, I have not lived a boring life since my graduation fifteen years ago.
Photo by Vaidas Jokubauskas
What was your main motivation in seeking new experiences? Did you have any doubts and insecurities while changing jobs?
Naturally, changes are always stressful, but that is when one gets the taste of living. Learning new things, meeting new people, visiting new places, adding to one’s professional and personal experience – changes obviously pay off. It is never easy to leave and say good-byes, but staying sometimes can be even more destructive, so as hard as it can be, I have never been afraid to move forward. Changing jobs and places does not mean one is not devoted or stable enough. It only means that some people feed on security and other people feed on changes. In my case, it is not blind risk-taking, but rather very well-calculated decisions. I have made some radicals decisions in my life, but I never was a job hopper. Staying for as long as one is motivated and growing is a normal practice for me; I have a rule to stay no less than two years in one position, especially when it applies to leadership roles.
Leaving my life in Klaipėda might have seemed like a huge change, especially having in mind that I left my job and my home town in one week to start a new job in a new city just several days later. I have never regretted this decision, though. I believe that the choices we make build us into who we are in the end. I do not have a final destination, but I enjoy watching my life taking different routes that sometimes might not make much sense. Deep in my heart I have a safe feeling that it will make sense eventually, so I do not need to worry, but rather enjoy the process. The puzzle is getting fuller each day, and I trust God knows what this puzzle will look like for me.
What are your best memories from LCC as a former student and employee?
It is indeed a very special place. LCC feels like home, like I have always belonged there. I have been given many opportunities to grow while there and have been thankful for them ever since. I feel I made a difference with what I was doing at LCC as an employee, and that was a very motivating and rewarding feeling.
Photo by Vaidas Jokubauskas
How do you think a liberal arts education has influenced your professional life?
I think it made me flexible and equipped me with the capacity to adapt. While at LCC, I have studied many different things that made me see a broader picture of the world. I have learned a language I have been using a lot, I have boosted my creativity which I have been using a lot since then, I have made friends I am still with, I have gained more self-esteem, which I had some problems with before LCC. I have worked in different industries, on different levels of responsibility, alone and in teams, in Lithuania and abroad, with strict deadlines and with no deadlines at all. And everywhere I have managed to perform well in every position. So, I guess LCC prepared me for that on many levels. Yes, I have done some good studying after I graduated, and life has taught me many lessons, too, but I have never doubted it was LCC that gave me the basic skills and knowledge to play with further.
What would be your advice to current LCC students, especially those who are graduating in a few months?
Dream, and when you do, make some efforts to help make this dream come true. Work hard, because hard work does miracles. If you do, you will eventually be rewarded. I started as a running boy in the newspaper right after I graduated from LCC, covering topics that were too small for big names in journalism. And even though I have never particularly dreamt of becoming an editor, some fifteen years later here I am editing a magazine. Also, we live long lives, so everyone has more than one chance to get it right. If you do not like your job, get up and go find one you will like more – your are not a tree with its roots holding it back. If you feel you need to study something else because your major does not inspire you enough, choose something more engaging and become happier. Do not be discouraged by failures. They are essential in making us stronger and more prepared for adventures to come. Finally, listen to your heart and remember – whatever happens, it is not the end of the world as we can get up and get going again.