Finished study at EFRI and the year of completion: Management, 2008.
Current work position: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Associate Economist
"If you're not doing something with your heart, do something else."
1You have been building a career as a macroeconomist, and in addition you are researching FinTech and blockchain technologies. Did you know what you wanted to do already during your studies? How has your professional path gone from graduation to the present day?
No, of course not. I think that perception that during high school or college we have to know what we are going to do is completely wrong. I look at it a little differently. If I know exactly what I want to do until retirement, I will consider it a success. I also think it’s a great success to try different things and discover what you don’t want to deal with. Personally, during my studies I already worked in corporate finance / sales in one company, where I stayed for three years after graduation because I considered it an obligation for the opportunity provided during my studies. During my studies, I was most interested in public finance and macroeconomics, so in late 2010 I enrolled in scientific studies at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, as I felt it was a necessary condition to dedicate myself professionally to the field. After graduating, I joined the Croatian National Bank (CNB) as a Macroeconomist and for the next six years prepared macro analyzes in the areas of inflation and exchange rates, international trade and developments in international financial markets. I believe that I have made the most progress in business at the CNB, and that this experience was the biggest recommendation for the international experience that followed. In 2017, I became an Advisor to the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a Representative of Croatia and Montenegro. Since I became interested in the FinTech world and blockchain technology here, in 2020 I joined the start-up company Energi, which issued a cryptocurrency globally. I am still with them, although occasionally now, and spend most of my time as a Macroeconomist at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington since the end of 2020.
2What part of your job would you point out as a favorite? What motivates you in your daily job?
I would say that there is one personal and one professional moment to this matter. A personal moment, I like working in an international environment, with people from different cultures, languages, interests, attitudes. For example, in our office, colleagues come from more than 15 countries and speak more than 20 languages. On the other hand, just this week, for example, I communicated with people from Bangkok, Mumbai, London, Kampala, etc. This kind of interaction simply enriches you and makes you a better person every day. And as for the professional moment, it is also the answer to the question what motivates me every day. The fact that with your analysis and advice, at least in one micro part, you are participating in improving the lives of people in countries around the world. I am still an idealist in these matters.
3Do you remember what was the best decision you made regarding your career?
It was certainly a decision to return to Croatia and get a job at the Croatian National Bank after my master's degree in Spain. At the time, my option was to go to the WTO in Switzerland or the CNB. I believe that this decision has significantly contributed to healthy and quality development, although in the short term it was certainly more financially unfavorable.
4To what extent has EFRI influenced your career choices and your current approach to work?
One great advantage of EFRI is that it gives you a wide range of knowledge and skills that you can apply in different sectors, whether in the private or public sector or the scientific community. This also allowed me to spend some time in the private sector, and after that to successfully get a job at the Croatian National Bank in research. This feature of the study is very important because many people at the age of 18 do not know exactly what they want to do later. In addition, the emphasis on excellence was very important to me. Here I would like to highlight the memory of the late prof. Sever who very often used to say, "Whatever you do in life, always do your best." And that is a principle that I adhere to even today, privately and professionally. I would add, if you don't do something with your heart, you do something else.
5What is your advice to other alumni, present and future?
I would say to future alumni that they take care that the business they have in mind now may not exist in 5, 10 or 15 years. And to therefore use the time at the faculty not only as a place to acquire basic knowledge, but to a significant extent also to acquire various skills, networking, participation in courses, exchanges, conferences, projects and programs. You’re a covid generation, and maybe the world looks weird to you right now. But more than ever, the whole world is now your playground, your possibilities are limitless and just be brave in entering that market. In doing so, always be grateful for what Rijeka and EFRI gave you. I want the current alumni to continue to build a better world, better than we inherited it. And, if possible, with their knowledge, experience and acquaintances, actively contribute to the development and strengthening of EFRI Alumni.