RIT Croatia, Class of 2017
Hospitality and Service Management (IHSM)
Employment: Tourist Organization of Herceg Novi
Job title: Project Manager for regional, national and EU funds
Ljubica, tell us a bit about yourself and your RIT Croatia experience.
I was looking for a quality education that would fit into
my expectations. I could not find what I was looking for in my own country and
heard about RIT Croatia (ACMT at that time) from a friend, so I decided to
apply. Four years later (2017) I graduated from RIT Croatia with a BS degree in
Hospitality and Service Management. The best thing was that I gained a lot of
knowledge from this program and experience from co-ops that I regularly did
during my education at RIT Croatia.
Where did your path lead you next, and finally where are you now and what are you working on?
After I graduated I started working for the Tourist Organization
of Herceg Novi where I am still working. At that time I was on a probation
period for 9 months, which is obligatory in our country if we want to work in a
public firm. After that I started working as Marketing and PR manager. During
that time I was working on social media and Herceg Novi promotions as a yet
undiscovered tourist destination. At the same time I was an assistant in a
sector for International and EU projects (since that was my first interest) and
I got to work on an EU project worth EUR 113,500. Following that success
(beginning of 2019) I was promoted to a managerial position for developing
project applications for regional, international and EU funds. During that
period I got to work on one more EU project worth EUR 100,000 so right now we
are implementing 2 EU projects directly; on one of them we are associate
partners and follow and participate in all important project activities.
How important is career-oriented education and gaining work experience prior to getting a job (co-ops and internships during your studies)?
I found co-ops very useful and important. As students we
were able to get more experience and responsibilities in our main daily tasks.
I believe that this factor is the one that distinguishes RIT Croatia from other
higher education institutions in our region. Students become more punctual,
responsible, organized and team oriented but at the same time acquire skills
that can be a huge advantage in a real business world.
In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, do you see the changes that are occurring as a threat or opportunity?
As a consequence of COVID pandemic situation, a lot of
activities that require personal contact, we needed to organize online. There
were a lot of business trips that we needed to cancel or postpone to some other
time. I would say that COVID for most of us presents some type of a threat since
we aren't so much online oriented and a lot of our activities need to be
implemented in the project area with a lot of participants, stakeholders and
What advice do you have in one adapting to changes all around us – personally and professionally?
We need to be prepared for changes that are yet to come.
I believe that 90% of work will be distributed and organized online.
Unfortunately, the one who can't accept that change will lose the job. We need
to research new opportunities and constantly look for some improvements for
ourselves. Since we all have more time, we can use it to develop some new
skill, learn a new language and improve our own health.
How important is quality education in dealing with unexpected and challenging times? How has RIT Croatia specifically, prepared you for this?
I really need to say that none of us actually was
prepared for this terrible situation. However, education really matters and
knowledge, skills and language are crucial for this new working environment.
Some of my friends lost their jobs just because they weren't so educated and
ready to adapt to a new situation. We now need to be a step ahead and to
demonstrate our employers that we are useful and skilled. For RIT alumni that
is not hard to do.
What is your message to our current and potential students?
If you choose RIT Croatia for your further education, you will not regret it! Just take as much as possible. Grab every available opportunity, learn a lot and always improve yourself in order to one day become a leader. Good luck Tigers!