1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?
I spent the year prior to joining CEU working on a project related to civic education in Lebanon, and I discovered that I had no idea how policies come into being. I realized I needed a more real-world study program and that was when I saw SPP's call for its first MPA cohort. The opportunity of being part of something new, coupled with CEU's close links to OSF, were the most decisive factors for me in the end.
2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?
First and foremost, many engaging and challenging lectures with professors like Tom Carothers, Bob Templer, and Julia Buxton. What still fascinates me was how easily our cohort began to function as a group during our first SFI workshop, at the very beginning of the two years at SPP.
3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?
In September 2015, I joined the public sector back home and worked for the Czech Development Agency as a project coordinator for the Western Balkans. I was responsible for identifying and monitoring projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo. After roughly a year, I shifted to the non-profit sector. I now work for OSF Prague on issues concerning illiberal tendencies in public spaces in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. My work mainly involves trying to get people talk to each other – prepare meetings, share information about ongoing projects, etc. – as we feel that better coordination of various actors will result in a bigger impact on the ground.
4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?
At CEU I gained a lot of practical skills that truly come in handy – from project writing and budgeting to policy analysis. Also, the sheer variety of topics that we covered makes me consider a lot of issues that I deal with on daily basis from different perspectives.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?
If everything goes well, I see myself going back to school for a PhD. Alternatively, I am hoping to continue combining my interests in civil society, new technologies, development, and democratization processes.
6. Do you have any advice for current students?
Make the most out of the opportunities that CEU offers - your professors, classmates, and visiting public speakers. Explore areas outside your usual field of interest: be it new technology, statistics, or another part of the world. Do not be crushed by the job hunt that comes afterwards; you may not land your dream job right away, and that's okay.
7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?
Baths, potluck dinners at Marija's or Jeff's place, and trips outside Budapest – Visegrad or the open air museum (skanzen) in Szentendre.