Year of Graduation: 2008
Current Position: Executive Director, Citizens' Association ''Nešto Više''
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
Before I came at CSB/SJU, I was working with Nesto Vise (NV), the same organization where I am now; I mainly handled finance and administration. Upon my graduation from CSB/SJU, I returned to NV as a Business Consultant and Adviser to Executive Director. After a year, NV the Assembly asked me to take a position of Executive Director because the organization was struggling. It was a challenge for me so I said yes. My predecessor is still working with NV, and we are friends of many, many years.
Please provide a brief description of your current position and what your work entails.
I am currently Executive Director of ''Nešto Više'', an NGO (non-governmental organization) located in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When I began in this role, I had a limited developmental budget, very few activities and one donor. Over the last 8 years, Nesto Vise implemented over 50 projects supported by different donors such as: USAID (United States Agency for International Development), EU (European Union), the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Swiss Embassy, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), and more.
The last 9 years we also have the internship program with CSB/SJU; this year we will have four students. I follow just one path and my mission has only one purpose which is to support my colleagues to be successful, and when they are successful, I am too. Now NV has its own business company, possesses the farm close to Mostar and all this happened just because I am a small part of the great team. We are a small organization: 10 people work for NV and four of us are Jonnies and Bennies, and three were NV executive directors.
What skills are important in your field?
Negotiation, making a network, and be constantly on the move.
What are the rewards and challenges of your position?
Working with an organization like NV, the main reward is satisfaction of our beneficiaries; we work with marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities, youth, and rural populations. Also what is very important for me is that we are fully independent, meaning we do not have connections or dependence on political structures in our complicated country, which is very, very hard here.
Why did you decide to work for an NGO?
Truth be told, after the war ended here, that was my opportunity to have a decent job. In the beginning, work with an NGO was purely existential, but later on when I realized that I can change something, things changed.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
Skip the war part. Make people feel successful when they are not.
To learn more about the Balkans Summer Internships visit http://www.csbsju.edu/global/find-an-education-abroad-program/short-term/summer-2017/bosnia-herzegovinanon-profitinternships-x48786.