A quick note: This is the seventh and final blog of my visit to RIT’s campuses in the Balkan Region of southeast Europe. You can read all installments at The Tiger Beat . Look for a few videos later this summer, as well as a comprehensive report of the university’s global strategy and direction in the next edition of RIT University Magazine, which publishes in August.
Back to Croatia …
Deni Paskojevic has had a whirlwind spring. Along with finishing up a co-op at a hotel in Dubrovnik in her senior year at RIT’s American College of Management and Technology, she also has just returned home to Croatia after visiting the RIT campus in Henrietta. Paskojevic, president of Student Council, served as the ACMT student delegate during RIT’s graduation ceremonies on May 25.
Her trip to the United States was the experience of a lifetime. “I became aware on the trip to RIT that we are a part of this much larger group of students from all around the world,” she says. Now Paskojevic is considering the master’s program in service leadership and innovation at RIT Dubai. She must have read Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
Yet she has one more assignment keeping her from graduation ceremonies: A presentation with fellow classmates to members of the RIT Board of Trustees. It’s the board’s first official visit overseas and trustees are eager to learn more about a global education. Eleven trustees have made the trip overseas.
Paskojevic tells the trustees how her practical experiences at ACMT helped her “see the picture of a career.” She commended the ACMT faculty for being accessible and project driven. “ACMT is a privilege,” Hanan Besovic, a tourism, hospitality and service management major, also tells the trustees. “It’s an experience, not just an education.”
But members of the Board of Trustees want to also know what could be improved at ACMT.
“We are looking for more of an academic challenge,” Marijana Bello tells the board. “We have met students from RIT and we notice we are not quite on par with RIT students academically. We are looking for more real-life problems to solve.” That said, Bello has already done co-ops in the Dubrovnik region and is finding she has an edge in the workforce. “The industry leaders are telling us we are more employable because of our co-op and practical experience.”
The trustees also discussed what direction RIT should take next in terms of global strategies and expansion. Along with campuses in Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo, RIT has relationships with more than 60 nations. Should RIT be doing more in India, China, Latin America, Turkey? What’s the best economic model? How can we increase the number of American students studying abroad? These are all complex questions for the RIT leadership to consider as the university moves forward with its global strategy.
But for now it’s off to celebrate with Paskojevic, Besovic, Bello and their classmates at the 14th annual ACMT commencement ceremonies. They are now among more than 1,600 alumni from ACMT. That gives Croatians a No. 2 ranking among RIT alumni population after American citizens.
It’s time to pick up that RIT diploma. Živjeli! (Cheers!)
To see photos from majestic Dubrovnik, Croatia and the 14th commencement at RIT’s ACMT, visit Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150826736116930.393619.12355161929&type=1