The alumni of the PEXIM Foundation have launched a mentorship initiative aimed at undergraduate and master’s students in Serbia and North Macedonia. The purpose of the initiative is to empower young people while supporting their personal and professional development. Relying on their own experience, the alumni of the PEXIM Foundation aim to inspire students to dream big and show them that top universities and successful careers are at their reach.
The event was organized at the Start-Up Center of the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, gathering around 30 university students from the Faculties of Economics, Law, Organisational Sciences and Physics.
The first part of the gathering was focused on discussing career and academic development during university years. The PEXIM Foundation alumni shared their ideas on how to proactively build CVs during studies, how to be a valuable member of student community, as well as what it means to be the citizen of the world. They also shared their impressions of studying at Cambridge University, reflecting on benefits that come with spending time abroad and challenging oneself to reach a high level of intellectual rigour, curiosity and critical thinking. The alumni also discussed scholarship opportunities and shared their tips on application process for postgraduate studies.
During the second part of the gathering, Ms Tijana Gajić, Executive Director of the PEXIM Foundation, shared her pieces of advice for early career experiences, ie. first job or internship. Leveraging on valuable insights from her own ten years working experiences, but also from leading and mentoring teams in intense working environments (audit in Big 4, renewable energy development and venture capital fund landscape), she discussed topics such as:
• Fixed vs. growth mindset;
• How adversity creates opportunity;
• Go-giver concept;
• Dealing with mistakes;
• Time management and balancing of different aspects of self;
• Networking – mingling vs. building authentic connections;
• Importance of having a good mentor;
• As well as many practical and detailed advice for the first months of internship, first job and life in general.
Towards the end of the event, the students had the opportunity to mingle with the PEXIM Foundation alumni and seek further advice regarding their academic and professional aspirations.
Finally, a 1-on-1 Mentoring Program has been announced to complement an already existing Mentorship Workshops Program. A few selected students will have the opportunity to be assigned a PEXIM Foundation alumnus as a mentor. Mentors would work closely with students and support them in their personal and professional development.