I learned that everything is possible
At first, Maja found Czech people cold and keeping their distance, but after graduation, she found a job in the field of finance, leading a team of sixteen employees, and Brno became her second home. As she says, "It is all the opposite from my hometown Mostar, but that is why it is my second home, and why I keep living here.“
Name and surname: Maja Ahmić
Born: 1986 in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Current residence: Brno, Czech Republic
Study program at FSS: Master Degree in Sociology (2013)
Thesis topic: Interethnic Marriages in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Work and career: After finishing her bachelor degree in Mostar at the department of English Language and Literature, Maja was awarded an Erasmus Mundus II scholarship in 2011 for studying in the Czech Republic. She obtained the Master degree in Sociology from the Faculty of Social Studies in 2013. She has been living in Brno since then and she is now working as an AR and AP team leader for an automotive producer LEAR Corporation.
Why did you decide to study at Masaryk University?
When deciding to which university to apply, my friends who came to Brno year before told me all the best about the city and FSS. I was reading more about the study programs, about previous experiences, and I was delighted about Ms. Navratilova's responsiveness and support when asking too many questions. And that was it.
Can you compare the study here to your previous experience from Mostar?
It's definitely incomparable. Studying at home, from 2004-2008, was far different from studying in Brno. More diverse study programs, more diverse teachers, the communication and opportunities – all this makes studying in Brno and EU in general far more advanced than studying in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I wish all my peers could have same opportunity to see, hear and meet other people and experience various opportunities and wonderful moments as I did.
What is the most valuable piece of knowledge that you gained at FSS?
I learned that everything is possible and if you work hard your effort and work will pay off and there will always be someone who will appreciate you.
What surprised you the most when you first came to the Czech Republic?
If you mean “first” first – it was definitely Hlavni Nadraži (The Main Train Station in Brno – famous for its distinct appearance, ed. note). If second – it was a bit of coldness or distance that people kept from each other, but that is fine. We are not all the same, and if I came to a different culture and city, I should accept that without criticizing or too much thinking about the similarities and differences.
How do you apply your sociological education into your professional life?
This question is what many people ask me. I work in finances, leading two teams, in total of 16 people. I think I use my sociological knowledge to manage people, manage work, but also to analyse my environment and people around me.
What advice would you give to foreign students who are thinking of studying in the Czech Republic?
Prague is not the only city in the Czech Republic. Brno is amazing for living, not too big, not too small, and the Faculty of Social Studies is a greatly organized institution with teachers who give their best to transmit the knowledge they have.
How did the studies at Masaryk University differ from your expectations?
They did differ, since I did not expect much, and I got the best of it.
How did your stay here influence your professional career?
My stay at the Masaryk University influenced my career in the sense that I kept my mind thinking outside the box. At home, I would not think to look for a job in different fields such as finances, administration, IT, etc., and here I applied for several work placements in various different fields and all of the employers were interested in what I had to offer. In the end – finances were the right path to take, and I hope it stays that way.
3 words to describe myself: Hard-working, persistent and challenges oriented.
3 words to describe my job: Dynamic, stressful but joyful (from time to time).
What I expect from the future: I hope to remain healthy, together with my family and hope to go back home. But until then, I plan to further develop my knowledge on financial accounting and use my education to continue managing and leading people at my work. I am also thinking about a PhD, but... we will see.
What comes into my mind when someone says Masaryk University: It is the Czech Republic, it is a long history and then my wonderful two years spent at FSS, and all the great people I met and moments we shared.
What is my “Czech experience”: Czech culture is Czech culture. I think is not grateful to say something negative or to be critical against a culture in which you live and somehow where you live your dream. I like the patience of the Czechs, their care for cultural life, clean streets around me, punctual public transport system, and trdelnik.