Atika Barjamaj is an LCC alumna who graduated from LCC in May 2018 with excellent performance and leadership skills. Since then, Atika has joined prestigious companies and organizations where she worked in different spheres and performed differing roles. During these years, Atika developed her skills as an intern in a social media related field in Belgium, and at the Mission of the Republic to the European Union and later she was able to enhance her skills and build more experience in advocacy, recruitment, and management. Now Atika is pursuing a Master’s degree in Philosophy and is considering a Ph.D. in another area of interest. Atika reflects on her experiences at LCC and how they prepared her for her current career path.
You graduated from LCC International University in 2018 with a degree in International Relations and Development. How has your life changed since then?
When I first graduated I never thought I would live in 3 different countries within 3 years. I also didn't know that I would work in a Human Resource office or that in 2 years, I would get into a management position at my company. Furthermore, my perspective about life has changed. I always try to evaluate carefully, calculating different and critical ways that will ensure me to make the best decision. During these three years on my post-graduation journey, I have learned to say no. I have also understood the feeling of being fully alone and to live alone in unknown cities and cultures, having to plan everything on your own.
How would you describe your experience at LCC? If you could turn back time, what would you do differently?
I would describe the experience at LCC as unforgettable. LCC did not merely help me become more proficient in the English language and excel, learning different information within the International Relations and Politics major, but it also helped me to attain a broad and vast knowledge of how people from different countries interact. LCC is the first place where I conceptualized diversity not as a challenge but as a beautiful and crucial element of globalization. What would I make different from my experience? I would truly say nothing! I am thankful to God that he led me to LCC and on the right path during my experiences there.
How did graduating from LCC and the involvement in various leadership activities here, equip you for your career?
The liberal arts education, the faith-based environment, and the diverse community at LCC uphold important values such as honesty, fidelity, renunciation of violence, and unconditional love. All these elements have motivated and urged me to pursue excellence in my chosen career field. My academic experience prepared and empowered me to broaden my horizons and to cope well with diversity and change. I applied this knowledge while working in Brussels, for an international organization that promotes human dignity. Additionally, it helped while working in the Mission of the Republic of Albania with the aim of entering the European Union Zone. Most of all, it has helped me in the current HR position while I interact with international employees and multinational client companies.
What are the most valuable experiences and memories that you carry from LCC?
I definitely have to emphasize my leadership experiences. First, I was an Intercultural Leader, where along with team members I was focusing on preparing independence days and intercultural events for LCC. Later on, I served in the role of Resident Assistant for two years where I was helping to create different events and taking care of the residents on my floor. This was the moment when I learned that leading is not about ruling or imposing authority on other people, it is more about serving others and building trust among them. This mindset has followed me through to today. Furthermore, LCC has played a crucial role in teaching me how to engage in evidence-based arguments, how to enhance my analytical skills, and how to communicate well. While speaking about values, I would highlight the main Aristotelian values: the sense of fairness, the sense of control, liberality, the virtue of charity, and that of true friendship.
What are you currently doing in your professional career?
At the moment, I am working as a Client Manager and Recruiter Specialist in WiPjobs Recruitment that operates across Europe. In a daily workload, I maintain communication with four of my company's clients and then I conduct interviews with job seekers who fulfill the requirements set by the company.
How did you find yourself in this field position? What do you find most challenging and exciting about your job?
The most challenging part is to manage a group of seven other recruiters and to coordinate their tasks and responsibilities. In this role, my leadership experience at LCC has helped me a lot as I know very well how to identify stakeholders and attain strong interpersonal skills while communicating with them. Very soon I will leave my current job. I have been offered a position similar to what I do now, but with the management of a bigger team, in a very successful multinational company. I am looking forward to this.
What does a day in your life look like?
My day is very busy and productive! I work from 7 am to 3 pm and from 3.30 pm to 8 pm. I spend quite a lot of time in the office working with documents and interacting with clients and recruiters. In addition to my work, I am also a Master’s student in Philosophy, which has always been an area of interest. I am attempting to finish with a very high GPA in order to apply for my Ph.D. in one of my favorite universities in Europe.
What advice would you give to LCC students?
My advice to current LCC students is to set high personal and academic standards. Do not lose any time because there is no benefit in postponing anything. Live up to your standards and always be open to growth and challenges that you face from different courses and from the community as a whole. And never forget, you can do this!
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