Marija Stanojević

From: Serbia

Age: 24

Activity: Talent Aquisition Partner

Linkedin Profile

My name is Marija but all my close friends call me Maraja (in English that sounds like Mariah). Since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to work with people. I could always find a way to motivate them and figure out what makes them going but also discover their passions and desires even before they knew it themselves. When I tell people that I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up since I was in elementary school they usually laugh (because even now, when they are in their twenties or thirties they don’t know what they want to do) but I consider that I was quite lucky to be able to discover my passion in such early age. I have graduated from Faculty of security studies in 2015. and the focus of my bachelor studies was human resource management. When I finished my studies I got myself an internship at Société Générale Bank (now it is OTP Bank). I spent 2 months in their HR department where I had a chance to learn from everyone and to understand firsthand how HR works in real live and in big companies. As soon as I finished my internship I enrolled in master studies at Faculty of organizational studies. My main focus was on marketing and PR since I wanted to combine my existing knowledge of HR with that. Along with starting my master studies, I got a job at NCR as a Talent Acquisition Partner.

I consider myself as an ambitious person. I want to develop in the field of HR as a recruiter and after that to focus all my existing knowledge on employer branding. I am fascinated with both HR and marketing and that would give me a chance to combine those two and use the best of two worlds.

The beginning of my professional career had some obstacles. It is hard to find your first job with the position you desire as you don’t have much experience at that moment. But, I was determined and at my interview with my current manager I showed that determination, willingness to learn and love for the job you want to do, can sometimes be even more important than the number of years in your CV. As I started working since I was 15 (many different jobs during the years, sometimes more than two at the same time) I have learned to be patient with people, to understand the way different people think and to appreciate the knowledge I was given, no matter how irrelevant it may seem at the time. All that was quite handy as I was the youngest person in my new job and not everyone wanted to treat me as their equal. But over time, I showed them that my age can just be an advantage for the team.

I can proudly say that I had many academic achievements over the years, but the thing the I am most proud of is the fact that numerous friends and people who were just acquaintances told me that some of my advices and conversations that they had with me, changed their life.  Every time I heard something like that it made me work even harder on myself and to keep fighting for my dreams.

People are quite sceptical about career development here in Serbia and the number of opportunities someone can receive. I can agree that it is hard and that you might have a lot of obstacles, but it is definitely possible to fulfil all your dreams. The only thing that makes a difference is if you work hard enough every day and don’t let yourself give up when things get a bit tricky. I always try to keep an open mind and to use the best of what I have at that moment.

I hope I will be able to grow in my field and that soon enough I will have a chance work as a recruiter. Then I will have a chance to work with people, find what is best in them and help them find a job that will make them happy to wake up every morning.  At the same time I will have a chance to motivate young candidates to show what’s best in them and to break down the prejudices about their abilities. Even though I am 24 years old, I had a chance to travel the world and meet people from different cultures. I hope that in my career I will be able to do the same and also spend some time during my professional development teaching young students about the HR and everything amazing that comes with it.


Tornike Pirveli

From: Georgia

Age: 22

Activity: Student, Data Science Intern

LinkedIn Profile

I am a senior student at the Free University of Tbilisi. I have a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a manor in Computer Science. Currently, I am pursuing machine learning at the Bank of Georgia. Next year I hope to continue my studies in Germany. That is a short description of where I am at and where I would like to end up in a near future.

I think my journey began right after I finished high school and applied for the Free University of Tbilisi. The competition was high here; hence I think of it as an achievement. I knew beforehand that students of this university were quite smart. I am the type of guy that is dependent on the community that surrounds me. If I have intellectually challenging friends, I try to keep up with them as hard as I can; otherwise, I can not challenge myself and improve.

The thing that I am proud of is that I don’t lie to myself and my family about such decisions. From my perspective, it is already too difficult to be successful, at least here in Georgia. I think it is because of motivation. It is hard to obtain. I am not sure if people are aware that the economy is pretty bad. One dollar is equal to nearly 3.3 of our national currency. For me, it is like telling the whole country you will be paid 3.3 times less than is average in developed countries.

I am aware that people are living in a much harsher environment, but that is not the reason to be glad of what we have, at least that is what I think. There is nothing wrong with wishing for better. That is what keeps me motivated – I want more than I already have. Not just for me, mostly for the people who helped me along the way. I simply want to return the favor.


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