Merilin Kolk: “I feel like I’m in the right place”

Friday, 29 December 2023
Merilin Kolk Merilin Kolk Photo: Kertu Kärk

The always active and ever smiling Merilin Kolk joined the Estonian office of the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) in August 2023, when she took the reins of the Nordic Embassy Cooperation Programme promoting cooperation between Nordic embassies and diplomatic representations around the world and supporting the NCM’s vision for 2030.

Merilin is a highly organised person who takes a thorough approach to everything she does. Moreover, she has known since the moment she started university which field she wanted to work in. She has a Bachelor’s degree in international relations and diplomacy and a Master’s cum laude in political science. She is also linguistically talented, speaking English and French in addition to her native Estonian, and has recently begun studying Finnish.

Merilin has years of experience in project management and is particularly au fait with public procurements: tenders, acquisitions and making sure that purchases made as part of projects financed from structural funds and other external resources are in line with the law.

DSC07868 Merilin 2

Thanks to her self-assurance – and simply to wishing very, very hard – her path and ours finally crossed. “I felt as though I was in the right place from the moment I first met with the team at the office, and I knew that working here would give me the chance to implement everything I’ve learnt so far,” she smiles.

Although Merilin says that it is never a good idea to get your hopes up too high in case you are left disappointed, she admits that her impressions of working for the NCM so far have been nothing but positive. “The team is really close-knit and has been incredibly supportive,” she reveals. “I already feel like I’ve been working with them for years!”

Merilin sets a great deal of store by professional ethics and transparency and deplores corruption. In her work she strives to be conscientious, accurate, balanced, disciplined and reliable, and she expects the same of her colleagues. “I’ve always taken the view that cooperation is the key to success, and in my life I’ve been guided by the principle that quality always trumps quantity,” she explains.

DSC07834 Merilin 3

Merilin is typically Northern European in her love of nature and for recognising the importance of sustainable development, lifelong learning, equality and high-quality education. She also appreciates both classic and modern art. Her refined taste and high standards are something with which her colleagues are already familiar and from which they have already benefitted in the form of some amazing culinary moments and new experiences.

Outside of work, Merilin is currently focussed on her French studies, in which she is preparing to take her Diplôme d’études en langue française or DELF exam at the B2 level. “I spend most of my quality time with my family, and I try to find a week or two to holiday outside of Estonia every year,” she says.


Newsletter sign up

  • news
  • events
  • funding deadlines
  • recent publications