Academic interests and career objectives
While driving from the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje, to the west towards the town of Tetovo, at the halfway point, the asphalt produces a strange sound, something like a continuous whistling which starts annoying all the passengers in the mini-bus in which I am driving. The driver says there is nothing to worry about, this sound always appears at this specific place, because, according to him: “…the asphalt is crying for the lives of eight young Macedonian soldiers which were killed at this exact place by the Albanian rebels this summer”. Not more than an instant after the driver’s remark one of the passengers sitting next to me exclaims in a sort of disturbing manner: “I guess then… many more roads will start “crying” in the years to come”…
This is but a small part of the every-day life and the common discussions taking place in the Republic of Macedonia nowadays. The discussions are almost always connected with the disturbing past the country had in the past year and full of frightening predictions about the future. Being a member of the Macedonian community I could never adapt to these patterns of thinking. I am full of optimism and positive energy concerning the future of my country and the region of Southeastern Europe in general.
Understanding the need of effective changes in many aspects of the Macedonian society in order to conform it to European standards, in my high-school years I became active in an organization that advocates for modifications in the Macedonian educational system and defends the rights of secondary school students. The most important lesson I learned while working for the Union of Secondary School Students of Macedonia was how to fight for ideals, how to persuade people that your opinion is relevant and that you should be taken seriously by officials involved in educational-policy making. I was responsible for carrying out a project dealing with the evaluation of quality of the Macedonian secondary school educational system: how high-school students see their educational system and what are the changes that they would suggest. Later on, I became a secretary international for the same organization. This position offered many opportunities for travel around Europe attending seminars and conferences organized by the Organizing Bureau of European Secondary School Student Unions (OBESSU). While participating in these seminars, I learned how to work in an international environment, how to reach compromises, how to adapt successful projects from other organizations in my own country and how to be proactive in suggesting future paths on which educational policy should be based in the future. After I received the degree from my high-school, I decided to follow a program concerned with European integration. The closest and most affordable institution, which offered a program matching my interests, was the American College of Thessaloniki. The possibility of studying European Business Studies in an EU country represented an opportunity to get well acquainted with the modern trends guiding the EU forward. I can say that I really enjoyed my university education. I was able to attain a high GPA (presently at 3,8) but more important, I studied matters that really appealed to me and further triggered my interests about the European Union and its unique way of integrating different societies and economies into a single and prosperous entity. However, the biggest challenge of all was to live in Greece, the fierce political enemy of the Republic of Macedonia in the past decade. Living in such an environment was definitely the most important experience in my life. It was a constant struggle in defending your own opinions while at times being offended, excluded, laughed at and ignored, but it also taught me that there is no absolute truth in this world, that there are always two sides in an issue, that the opposite side has often very solid arguments to be heard and that a compromise can always be reached. During my university education I also interacted frequently with Albanian students studying at my college. And, even in the most dramatic days of the crisis in Macedonia we always found an issue to agree on and build upon it in our open-minded discussions concerning the inter-ethnic problem that my country is facing. After three and a half years of living in Greece I am proud to have many Greek and Albanian friends, with whom I often do not share common political opinions but with which I share the common commitment to the brighter future of the region of Southeastern Europe.
Finally, this winter, during the months of January and February, I engaged in an internship within the Sector for European Integration in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. I was assisting the employees in the sector in their day-to-day activities in any way I could, giving the best of my knowledge and efforts. I became well acquainted with the real-life process of adapting mainly the legislative environment to EU standards and, I realized how hard and painful the process of EU integration is.
Still, this notion just motivated me further and that is exactly why I am applying to the European Political Economy: Transition program at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I think that this program ideally fits my interests and plans for the future and it gives emphasis on transition economies, exactly the ones that I am about to encounter after finishing my post-graduate degree.
I hope that as members of the Admission Committee, You understand that coming from a country devastated by civil conflict, I have very limited financial abilities and I am not able to finance my graduate education. At this moment I am driven solely by my ambitions and the wish to see my country as member of the European community one day. I am determined to provide my expertise and all my knowledge and efforts in achieving this goal.
I sincerely hope that You share my views and optimism about the future of this troublesome region and that the London School of Economics and Political Science will help me realize my dreams of living in a country which is driven by the hopes of a more peaceful and brighter future.
Information for political and social students