Finished study at EFRI and the year of completion: Economics, 2020.
Current study: .Sc. Economics, University of Mannheim
"The better the question – the better the answer – the better the world works."
1You have completed your undergraduate studies at EFRI - have your expectations been met?
Going to college is a significant change for many high school students. So it was in my case. Although the Faculty of Economics and Business in Rijeka was my first choice, in those years it was difficult to be one hundred percent sure of that choice. But today, looking back, I can say with certainty that the choice of the Faculty was a complete success for me. At EFRI, I came across topics that really interested me and encouraged me to think further about economics as a science. Undergraduate study at EFRI for me was exactly what it should be, a place to broaden horizons and acquire basic knowledge of economics. Professors are there to awaken scientific curiosity in us, to start thinking about economic topics outside of University obligations. And that’s exactly what the undergraduate professors did for me and I’m eternally grateful to them for that.
2You are the winner of the Dean's Award for Excellence in the 2018/19 academic year. Did that recognition motivate you to make additional efforts in terms of education and further advancement?
I was extremely honored to receive the Dean’s Award for Excellence. This recognition was not only a confirmation that I am on the right path, but also motivated me for further training. During your studies, it is difficult to remain persistent to a goal that is five or six years away from you, but this kind of recognition motivates and reminds you that you are getting closer to the goal you want to achieve.
3How did you decide to continue your education in graduate school in Germany? Share your impressions of the University of Mannheim with our readers.
After my second year of undergraduate studies, I began to think more seriously about going abroad to study. There were numerous options not only in Germany but throughout Europe. But the University of Mannheim has stood out especially for me in that quest. Not only is it among the best Universities in Europe, but it pays great attention to economic research and is associated with various research institutes. Mannheim as a city is relatively small for the German term and is pretty much connected to the University, from sports to cultural events. The university itself is a small world because students come from all over the world from China through Lebanon all the way to Brazil. Otherwise, the lectures are held in the Mannheim Baroque Palace, which is an experience in itself.
4What does studying in Germany look like at the moment, at the time of the coronavirus pandemic?
As in most European countries, stricter restrictions were introduced in early November. Until then, we had classes at the Faculty, which is extremely important to me personally, and I believe to many other students who are getting to know the Faculty for the first time. We know that today contact between students and professors is not possible at the level at which it was possible a little over a year ago. So even the first few weeks mean a lot to get to know the environment, colleagues and the whole system. This new normal, of course, accompanies the entire life of the student. For example, in my dormitory, most students did not even come to the place of study because there was no need for it. Despite the current situation, the University provided students with access to the library and all Faculty halls in compliance with epidemiological measures, such as mandatory wearing of a mask, compliance with distance and registration for the faculty application. Socializing in small groups was allowed for students until mid-December.
5Where do you see yourself over the next 10 years? What are your goals and desires?
A lot can change in ten years, we see how only one year has turned our lives upside down. However, I set out on this journey with the aim of gathering as much knowledge and skills as possible, and eventually returning to Croatia and passing on my knowledge to younger generations. In Mannheim, I started working as an assistant student at the Department of Macroeconomics, which is a great challenge for me, but also a great pleasure, because I really enjoy working with the younger generations. I am a sincere supporter of the idea that knowledge is multiplied by sharing. So for now I would like to develop in an academic direction, and later what time brings.
6What is your advice as a member of the ALUMNI EFRI community to future generations?
My advice would be to make the most of the opportunities provided to them in college. Don't hesitate to further research and question things outside the given framework, because professors are an inexhaustible source of information. So don’t be afraid to look critically at the world. To end with a saying dear to me: "The better the question - the better the answer - the better the world works".