Finished study at EFRI and the year of completion: Business Economics, International Business 2020.
Current work position: Trainee in the Monetary Analysis Department - Directorate for Economic Analysis, Research Sector, CNB
"Believe in yourself and your abilities"
1You found your first job after graduation quite quickly. Recently you started to work at the Croatian National Bank. What is your experience so far in the workplace? Are you facing any challenges?
That’s right, I’ve been working at the CNB since October last year, and my story with the CNB started in 2019 when I saw their scholarship competition on the EFRI Facebook page completely by accident and decided to apply, honestly without any expectations since I knew that only two economists from the country can receive the scholarship. Already during the first round of selection, I faced challenges that I didn't face anytime before. Namely, the selection process consisting of three rounds was quite stressful for me, as I really needed to do my best and show myself in the best light because the competition was very strong. For that reason, my happiness was immeasurable when I received the scholarship. Then, in fact, all my previous worries about how and where I would get a job after graduation fell into the background.
At the beginning, of course, I felt a small but positive fear of how I would cope in my job and work environment, but colleagues are willing to help and I gained a lot of new knowledge in these five months. Also, pre-knowledge from the Faculty helped me. The areas we deal with in our department are mostly related to loans, deposits, interest rates, exchange rates and international reserves. In general, the job is dynamic, I encounter new things every day since I am still in the process of learning the job, but it is a job that is constantly being learned, something new is constantly coming, and everyone needs to upgrade and expand their knowledge. In the circumstances of the pandemic, work in the Bank is organized in such a way that you work for a week in the Bank, and three weeks from home, so I have not yet experienced the working environment as it really is under normal conditions, most of my work days start at home in my pajamas.
2During your studies you were active in some of the projects organized by EFRI. How do you look at that experience, did you gain any additional knowledge and skills?
During my studies, I tried to get involved in as much as possible, of course for as long as my college obligations allowed. Each activity and participation in a particular project has enriched me as a person with some new experience, knowledge and skills that meant a lot to me during college, but also now in business. Since I have heard many work and life experiences at conferences, I have often started to think about what my path will look like, but also that success requires a lot of effort and sacrifice.
3How has studying at EFRI affected your career and approach to work?
EFRI is a faculty that undoubtedly provides its students with many opportunities, especially additional activities in which all students can participate. During my studies I had the opportunity to be a demonstrator in several courses, and this experience meant a lot to me considering that I could share the acquired knowledge with other students, but also generally practice working and communicating with a larger group which can be quite a challenge. In addition, while studying, I had the opportunity to improve my speaking skills, as well as performing in front of other students, given that we often held certain presentations. During my studies, I realized that in addition to dedication to what you do and striving to do the best you can, approach to a particular situation is even more important. Overall, I can say that the five years spent at EFRI have significantly contributed to my professional path and readiness to meet challenges at work and in the work environment.
4What motivates you in your job? Which part would you point out as your favorite?
I must say that the great motivation is that I have the opportunity to work at the CNB, in an environment that is stimulating in itself due to the fact that the CNB is an institution that employs professional staff with a high level of expertise. I am aware that I can gain professional experience and knowledge here, and it means a lot to me when I get feedback from my superiors about a job well done, which is also a motivation for further efforts. In addition, once the pandemic situation calms down, I hope to have the opportunity to participate in various educations and seminars around the world and, with the acquisition of new professional knowledge, get to know the world.
5What is your advice to other alumni, present and future?
Believe in yourself and your abilities, take advantage of the opportunities that come your way while studying and try to get the best out of them. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to give your best, try to upgrade your own knowledge and skills and success is guaranteed.