ERMA Career Day

ERMA Career Day 2018

On Wednesday 18th of April, at the premises of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Sarajevo, the ERMA – European Regional Masters Programme in Democracy and Human Rights/Global Campus South East Europe, together with its ERMA Alumni Network (EAN) organized the ”ERMA Career Day” event. This event represented the first of this kind for the Programme and was shaped primarily with the aim to bring to the ERMA students and to a wider audience the success stories of its alumni, therefore to share suggestions and advise on how to pursue a career in the field of human rights in Bosnia Herzegovina and the region of South East Europe. The event gathered a number of accomplished ERMA alumni, current students and the representatives of stakeholders.

The event, moderated by the ERMA Coordinators Ms. Mariana Hadžijusufović (UNSA) and Mr. Adriano Remiddi (UNIBO), was opened by the co-Director of the ERMA programme Prof. Asim Mujkić, who greeted the audience and shortly illustrated the aims of the meeting and what ERMA means to him personally. Subsequently, Ms. Amila Madžak, EAN Focal point, herself being an ERMA alumna, provided an overview of the role of the ERMA Alumni Network, and presented the results of the first census of alumni career achievements conducted by the Programme in 2017. Later, she passed the testimony to Ms. Carla Miranda, the Secretary-General of Global Campus Alumni (GCA) who joined the gathering from GCA head office in Brussels. Ms. Miranda explained what are the developments and potential the largest network of human rights professionals worldwide, counting over 8000 members and working closely with the Global Campus of Human Rights to maximize its impact.

As the event has been organized also thanks to the Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Embassy of Italy, Dr. Jan Snaidauf, and H.E. Nicola Minasi also joined to addressed the guests and faculty members. Both of them stressed the importance of having a programme such as ERMA in this region, both because of its educational impact on the single individuals who graduated from it, but also on the transfer they have on their respective societies as active citizens once they have successfully graduated from ERMA through their engagement and work.

Following these introductory speeches, the event entered into its core part thanks to the participation of five successful. The session saw graduates coming from different areas of expertise, to showcase the employment potential of ERMA graduates, as well as the widespread alumni network and potential. They have all shared their inspiring stories and experiences related to the impact ERMA had on both their personal and professional life since the graduation. Moreover, this occasion provided an opportunity for a visit of the national delegates of the EU- funded and fast-growing Western Balkans Alumni Association, to whose launch in March our EAN was invited by the European Commission – Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture.

Ms. Una Bejtović, CEO, and founder of Bejtovic Communications graduated from ERMA in 2003, took the floor first. Ms. Bejtović explained how ERMA changed her life, and made her a more socially responsible person, always striving to give back to the society. Ms. Nina Šeremet followed up. Ms. Šeremet graduated from ERMA in 2009 and is currently working at the OSCE mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a Legal Officer. According to her, the knowledge she acquired from ERMA was one of the most precious elements which paved the way for her successful career. Later Mr. Goran Miletić, Director for Europe at Civil Rights Defenders, graduated in 2007, explained how despite he came to ERMA with significant professional experience in the field of human rights, the programme contributed to his future career development by complementing his knowledge, as well as fostering his critical mindset and adaptability. Subsequently, Mr. Ivan Barbalić, one of the first graduates of the programme with the intake of 2001, took the floor. Behind him is a successful political career in diplomacy and international affairs, to which ERMA contributed greatly. A recurrent aspect emphasized by all four guests was the social element of ERMA. For all of them the programme meant the creation of unbreakable bonds between people with whom they have studied, and with whom they share not only a number of professional interests, but also it made them engaged individuals and citizens who fight for other people’s rights.

Last but not the least Ms. Carla Miranda, an alumna of the Venice based EMA – European Masters Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation/Global Campus Europe, shared her story and showed that the experience with this Global Campus programmes is intrinsically similar and unique. For her, EMA meant not just knowledge, but also cohesion among the people with whom she studied, raising the feeling of social responsibility, and the impelling feeling to return to the society a relevant contribution for its peaceful democratic developments.

The event was closed by an engaging discussion and the sharing of suggestions and advice from our accomplished alumni to the younger generation of perspective human rights professionals on how
to face the job pursue after ERMA, how to approach local and international employers, and how to make the most out of the ERMA experience.