Internship story: Alumna Ivana Pejovic

It is Monday, October 2nd 2017 today and while I am discussing tomorrow’s event organized by German embassy with my alumni I can still feel the positive vibes from the weekend we spent in Ohrid. Once again, we had a great and unforgettable time. Ah, I love everything about this Program so much.

This story started in June of 2009.  I had literally just graduated at Faculty of Economics and the next day I moved to Germany for my four-month internship. I still clearly remember those days and how frightened I was. Even though I had had some experience studying abroad, this was the first bigger step in my life when I was all by myself. While my friends were preparing for the summer time holidays, I was on my way to Germany.

From this perspective all that fear looks silly but you should know that at the time international schools and internship programs were rather an exception than a rule and really hard to get into. I am mentioning this because many of us, especially from Montenegro, had not had so many opportunities to go abroad.  So on one hand, I was more than happy that I had been chosen, but on the other, I was wondering if I would be able to survive this. Yes, survive. From the very beginning, I had so much on my mind: starting from thinking how to get here or there, what my working day would look like, if I would know what to do, if my English would be good enough  (since I do not speak German), how the colleagues would accept me, and so much more. I remember how confused I was, especially due to the fact that my company was settled in a small town where people barely spoke English. Thanks to Maja from Serbia, also an alumna, who speaks German very well, I felt secure. She was really supportive and thanks to her I succeeded in adapting to my new environment. Actually, there were four of us in the same company divided into different departments. We had a chance to share experiences on a daily basis and I found that as a mitigating circumstance.

The professional part is always individual and in my particular case every day at work had some specific moments. I was in International Procurement department in charge of collection of offers for different categories. What was really surprising for me was the fact that from the very first day I was accepted as a regular employee and was always treated with respect. I had a mentor and we started to work on a project where I was in charge of some operative tasks at first and afterwards my responsibilities were raised to a higher level. Unfortunately, some unexpected management change happened while I was working there and my mentor left the company. However, I continued working like nothing had happened but the workload and responsibilities became significantly lower. Still, I tried to learn as much as I could in order to get most out of it. However, I did not continue my career in same direction immediately but after different working experiences, I started working in Procurement area and I am currently a Strategic Sourcer in Crnogorski Telekom, part of Deutche Telekom Group. You can imagine how important a reference was my internship and how good a basis for my further professional development. After Germany, I went to Shanghai as a member of Expo Montenegro team where Montenegro was participating in Expo World Exhibition 2010. The next step were Master Studies in Novi Sad and afterwards I finally got the opportunity to get a serious professional job in Crnogorski Telekom where I have been developing my career since 2011.

I had nothing but benefits from my German experience, not only professionally, but even more personally. Besides the fact that it helped me develop my personal skills, improve my way of thinking, get a taste of a different life style, I met the most interesting people ever and made life-long friendships. I cannot imagine my life anymore without Vladislava, Nikola, Rade, Muncan, Davidovic, Catovic, Dzale, Miki, Vera, Sofija, Marko, Mata, Jasmin, Sasa, Maja, Gavrilovic, Vlahovic, Kosta, Milos, Sanja, Petar… Numerous seminars, conferences, private tours, weddings, parties with my alumni have happened to me since then and I believe it will continue in a “happily ever after” manner

Ivana, Generation 2009