May 15, 2020
As we all know, the current pandemic left no one unaffected – people, businesses all over the world are adapting to, what many refer to as "new normal”. Sure, as measures are easing up (at least in Croatia), we all are trying to adjust to new experiences in primarily service industries. Talking to our students, and alumni, as well as our own circle of friends, one thing everyone noted was the importance of adaptability. One thing we have surely learned is that changes are a constant. And yes, some take time to take root, but others (like the one brought about by COVID-19 pandemic) happened so quickly and impacted our lives.
Our alumna Eni Lea Hoyka can testify to that. She graduated in 2018 from the International Business program delivered at our Zagreb campus. She is versatile, curious, extremely creative and thirsty for new meaningful experiences. So it was not surprising that she gathered immense working experience during her studies, venturing into different industries, looking for an environment and a job that would fulfill her. What she had discovered is that she particularly likes working as freelance as it gave her options to choose jobs and projects that are in line with her own passion and vision.
"My favorite part of the whole program and RIT Croatia’s educational system was how much I got prepared for all of my potential next steps – knowledge and experience wise. Therefore, I managed to establish my desired freelancer career even during my undergraduate studies, which continued until now. Working as a business analyst, I am involved in projects from different industries - from rural tourism and development, to behavioral finance,” says Eni.
Once she graduated, she decided to continue her education, pursuing and successfully finishing her Master’s degree in Financial Management from the University of Buckingham in Hungary. We took this opportunity to talk to her about her RIT Croatia experience as well as her current working experience.
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted you professionally? Do you see this situation as a threat or opportunity?
The current pandemic outbreak has struck my professional life hardly, but as RIT has taught me – opportunities can be made even from worst situations, so I am adapting to it currently, along with all of my project colleagues. Since tourism stopped in its entirety and other industries are lacking financial resources, we are mainly looking for potential sources of income in order to keep our businesses viable, i.e. a silver lining. Personally, I am using this time to take free online courses and build on my knowledge, in order to come out of this situation with some advantages, and also to keep my workaholic-self busy. Nonetheless, I see this as a great opportunity for each one of us to question what we did and did not like in the life before COVID-19, and accordingly work hard to change everything we disliked before. Now is the time to reconsider many previous choices for which we frequently found excuses before.
Q: How did you and your business adapt to this?
We are discovering new fields of operations that we can tap into, considering the great change in the range of possibilities – we all need to adapt now! We are facing a big transition phase now, so it is highly unpredictable as of yet, in terms of what we will end up doing, but we are not losing hope. From a personal perspective, I am open to all possibilities, and if necessary, I will switch between industries, depending on what is lucrative and sought on the market.
Q: How did your education, RIT specifically, prepare you for unexpected and challenging times?
RIT has taught me to be eager for knowledge, as we can capitalize on merely any new skill or expertise that we acquire. Nobody expected a situation of even close proportions to this one, but us - RIT alumni - are definitely well equipped to make the most of this and come out of this battle as winners. Our programs have given us adequate depth and breadth of knowledge to adapt to any desired industry, so if someone shouldn’t worry – it is us.
Q: What is your message to our current students?
Don’t spend your days in despair, it isn’t easy for anyone during these times, but if we keep our spiRITs up, everything will turn out well for us eventually :)
With the start of the new academic year higher education institutions are facing unique challenges that stand to swiftly, thoroughly, and permanently reshape them. When academic year starts with key messages focused around safety of students and faculty, it is clear even to a common observer that students and faculty alike are embarking on a journey like none before.
Quality and excellence have always been embedded in RIT Croatia's DNA. As a global campus of RIT, we are committed to deliver exceptional studying and learning experiences for our students, we well as working experience for our employees.
RIT named by Princeton Review as among nation’s best universities for value and career outcomes for students
In addition to RIT Croatia Freshmen Orientation that took place last week, School of Information from RIT's Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences held an online Global Orientation for its Web and Mobile Computing students in Dubrovnik and Zagreb, Croatia, and Dubai, UAE on Monday, August 31.