Josip Begonja
  RIT Croatia, Class of 2018
  International Business

  Employment:  KK Zadar (Basketball club Zadar)

  Job title: Head of Marketing and Public Relations

Josip, tell us a bit about yourself and your RIT Croatia experience. 

I came from Canada to study International Business at RIT in Zagreb. I graduated in 2018. I fit in great, and it was easier for me considering all classes were in English. In my opinion, the best thing about RIT Croatia was the required co-op we had to do, it was great to build up work experience, and made me realize that the experience you get and the contacts you make are going to make a big difference in your future career. 

Where did your path lead you next, and finally where are you now and what are working on? 

During my final year at RIT Croatia, I decided to work as an intern at KK Cedevita Zagreb, to build up my knowledge, experience, and contacts in the world of sports (it was always my goal to find a job in sports, specifically basketball). During that year I was very proactive within the club while at the same time successfully maintaining my obligations at school. Following my graduation, I managed to turn that internship into a bigger role, and I was with KK Cedevita from 2018 until December 2019. Recently an opportunity opened up to become the new Marketing & PR manager of my hometown club KK Zadar, and I officially joined them last week. This is a big step for my career, much larger responsibilities, but I'm excited to show my worth and what I've learned over the last few years building up my professional experience. 

How important is career-oriented education and gaining work experience prior to getting a job (co-ops and internships during your studies)? 

I think career-oriented education can only be an added benefit. It gives students an opportunity to gain valuable experience and find out what kind of jobs they like and what they want to do post-graduation. Proper experience can open up a lot of doors for aspiring young students, and in a way, it gives them a head start when beginning their careers. 

In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, do you see the changes that are occurring as a threat or opportunity? 

Luckily I was not affected too much. But during the pandemic, I used it as an opportunity to instill some new habits in myself, fitness to professional. I tried to continue to work on myself, to better prepare myself for the future. 

What advice do you have in one adapting to changes all around us – personally and professionally? 

One thing that I can say based on my own experiences it to stay persistent. If you have a dream, a goal, stay persistent because if you work hard at something the payoff will come even when you think there is no hope. It may take a day, a month, or even a year but with hard work and persistence, you can definitely achieve a lot in your professional and personal life. 

What is your message to our current and potential students?

Don't disregard the importance of meeting people. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a quote that really stuck with me "I always tell people you can call me anything you want, but don't ever call me a self-made man, none of us can do it alone". Don't be afraid to ask for help, because of our relationships with others is what made us who we are and brought us to where we are today. Keep building your network and maintain good relationships with the good people in your lives. 

RIT Croatia. Different from Day 1.

We are the right takeoff for your global career.

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