It felt like yesterday when Matea Grbešić enrolled at RIT Croatia. Our ambitious and engaged International Business student graduated in May 2017. Today, she is in Gdansk, working for the big PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) as Junior Analyst in Financial Crime Unit.
Matea and Ritchie, working on a TEDx event in Zagreb in 2017
I wanted to get an international working experience
„I never knew I would end up here," says Matea: „I was thinking about getting some international working experience. I applied for this job because I liked the job description and decided to seize that opportunity. RIT Croatia prepared me very well for this and thanks to RIT, I had the courage to apply for a job outside Croatia. During my studies at RIT Croatia, we had a lot of projects, case studies, team works and etc., and it helped me learn to think critically, improved my problem solving skills, communication skills and analytical skills. That approach also gave me strong working ethic which is all crucial in my career development in this company."
Moving to Poland and experiencing the coldest winter of my life!
„So, on January 31st, 2018 I moved to the northern part of Poland in Gdansk and experienced the coldest winter of my life. Gdansk is a beautiful city and it’s connected with two other cities Sopot and Gdynia, and they are making one big area called Tri-city. These 3 cities are connected with a 4, 5 km of sandy beaches on the Baltic Sea" says Matea. She joined PWC with a 3 months’ probation period, and thought she would leave Poland afterwards. „My beginning here was pretty tough, I was very homesick, and every day I was checking the prices of the tickets to go home. Winter made everything even harder: it was February, it was really cold, and outside was dark all the time. But as the season changed, days became longer and everything was better." Not only with the weather. Matea was offered a permanent contract. „My thinking changed and I happily stayed here. I don’t have any plans right now for how long I will stay in Poland, and I don’t want to plan anything anymore, because now I can see how everything can be easily changed."
Matea at the Baltic sea in February
Pretty much everything in this type of profession and department is super confidential, so Matea could not share much about her work, but she told us how her working day looks like: „Currently, I’m working as KYC analyst for one international financial institution. My daily duties are to meet all KYC requirements, including reviewing the globally available documents from publicly approved sources and from internal sources. We also need to verify the existence of our client's client through internal and external sources, like registries, Bloomberg, Annual reports and etc. We need to investigate what the client's client does, their nature of the business, the whole ownership chart and etc. Once all required documents data are gathered (identified and verified), we are performing screening, on all verified related parties of the client (shareholders, legal representatives, owners, directors…). During the screening process, if we identify any negative news relating to money laundering or terrorist financing, we would analyze, investigate negative news, prepare the summary on the investigation performed, and report to the compliance manager. The clients are classified under risk categories, and they are low medium and high. The risk is based on the factors like the county of incorporation, politically exposed persons, exposures to sanctioned countries and etc.". Sound interesting, to say the least!!
Thanks to PWC, I'm also learning Polish!
The days in Gdansk, says Matea, are passing by really quickly. She is satisfied with the company, the work and the co-workers as well: „The PWC is offering to their employees a lot of opportunities, like to enroll any language course we would like, for free, so I enrolled Polish class to make my life easier here, and to meet other foreign colleges from work. The great thing is that company is very diverse; we have people from all over the world!"
Matea said that being a foreigner here is challenging but people make up for it: „I was prepared from the beginning that I’m moving from everything I know, all people I know, my family, that I’m going out of my comfort zone. But I wasn’t ready that it will be so challenging living as a foreigner in Poland. People outside work don’t know English, and to a lot of people here I'm the first Balkan person they met in Poland (Gdansk) ever. However, people here are very nice and helpful. Especially my co-workers, from the first day they were here for me and tried to make my life here easier."
“Our experiences are what distinguishes us from the rest,” is the quote I live by. Growing up in the United States, then moving to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to study abroad, really allowed me to learn about a variety of different cultures, languages, and traditions, all while growing as a person.
Dear Class of 2022,
You've probably heard from your parents, older friends and family members that college is going to be the best time of your life; that you should cherish every moment and make the best out of every opportunity and experience that you are given.
It felt like yesterday when Matea Grbešić enrolled at RIT Croatia.
As an International Business senior student I chose Management for my major since I have had a passion towards project management, organization, creating strategies etc., for a long time.