DA alumna Mila Glisovic on her career since graduating from MAIS 15 in 2012
I entered the Diplomatische Akademie Wien in 2010, as part of the 15th MAIS cohort. At the time, the global economy was still quite shaken by the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. Our dear Professor Werner Neudeck taught us that the best moment to obtain knowledge was at the time of financial uncertainties (when the unemployment is at its highest and the opportunity costs of studies are the lowest). He was, of course, right.
By the time I graduated in 2012, the world had consolidated quite a bit and it was time for me and my peers to start our careers. We were all attracted by the “glory” of the diplomatic service, no question about it. However, what the DA highlighted to us, is that with our education a great variety of professional possibilities are available.
During my time at the DA, I fell in love not only with international studies but also with Vienna. It is such an amazing city, full of opportunities, creative people and innovative companies (big and small). So, naturally, I started looking for a job in the city, hoping to apply my knowledge of international relations, economy, law, and languages in a creative way. The private sector was the way to go.
Not long after graduation, I found myself leading the Department of International Projects as Head of the Serbian Division of Bluesave GmbH, a Viennese company conducting international projects in the field of sustainability and energy efficiency, smart cities and buildings.
Even though I had substantial academic knowledge from the DA - especially when it comes to applying an interdisciplinary approach to various topics - during this period at Bluesave, I learned quite a bit about project management, business cooperation, business language and correspondence. In particular, I developed a deeper understanding of issues relating to green energy, smart solutions and the possibilities for the future of human societies.
My journey within the private sector might have been long and prosperous if it wasn’t for a car accident in 2014 that caught me off guard and unprepared, let alone paralyzed from the neck down. What followed were months (almost a year, to be precise) of rehabilitation, rethinking and recouping.
During this period, I found myself working on some social issues, at first by chance, and then, more and more intentionally. The topic of disability has always been marginalized and usually left to some governmental institutions to deal with, often being delegated to people who can’t relate to it.
It took a couple of years from idea to reality, but now, I can proudly say that I, together with some dear and caring colleagues of mine, run MOVEO International, an NGO based in Vienna conducting local and international projects that aim at helping people with disabilities through education, seminars (in the times of crisis webinars, logically), workshops and various research projects. We are promoting equal chances for people with and without disabilities by creating an optimized environment for everyone to realise their full potential and to perform in accordance with their possibilities.
You can find out more about our work and philosophy under the following link: www.moveointernational.com.
I honestly believe that it takes a true DA alumna to tackle difficult topics, provide new and fresh insights into old issues and to show how an interdisciplinary approach can enrich any business environment.
Diplomacy is the art of understanding, dialogue, peaceful negotiations and creative solutions. While we as individuals might not represent our countries, we do represent ourselves, our families and friends everywhere we go and no matter what we do.
The DA taught us to be bold, brave and innovative, to constantly do our best and to always see challenges as opportunities. I am truly proud to be part of the rich DA history, and its Viennese and international soul.