NAME: Emilija Stojmenova Duh
ACTION/SECTOR: Science, research, technology and health
POSITION: Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana; Director of the institute RAZ:UM
My Background and Career
• Director of the Institute RAZ:UM - Research and development and artistic center of the University of Maribor
• Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
• Project manager for user experience in Iskratel, d.o.o., Kranj
• Assistant at the Faculty of Information Studies, Novo mesto
• Doctorate of Science in Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor
• Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor
• International Baccalaureate, II Gymnasium of Maribor
Given the fact that men dominate the university studies and this field, my colleagues were always surprised to see a woman among "electricians."
In the third year I was having coffee with my classmates, with whom we have been and are still very close to, and they told me that they did not understand what I'm doing there, because I seemed "very normal."
Most of the professors had a similar opinion and often they said: "If Emilia understands the learning material, then everybody does" - I was the only woman there.
On my career path my family helped me first, namely because they supported my decision to move to a different country when I was 16 years old, so I could attend the school I chose.
Then there was the director of the Second gymnasium, and largely, the current Rector of University of Maribor, Prof. Dr. Igor Tičar. I had very good colleagues and mentors at the company Iskratel, where I got my first job. Even in the current position in the laboratory of Telecommunications at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the staff is wonderful and always willing to help. Writing the doctorate and generally in my professional growth helped me my mentor, Dr. Bojan Imerl. With career, in general my husband Dr. Andrej Duh helps me a lot.
The harmonization of professional and family life was much simpler before I became a mother. Now it takes more organization, but "everything is in possible." Currently I have a 13-month-old enthusiast who wishes to research constantly and usually my days do not have enough hours :)
Leadership in RAZ:UM helped me a lot in both professional and personal growth. I find that running a business or organization, is not easy and takes a lot of responsibility. Many times, it causes sleepless nights, but slowly I am learning that a well-rested head functions better in the morning and it is easier to find the right solutions :)
Perseverance, stubbornness, curiosity.
On the career path, I most benefit form perseverance, stubbornness, and above all curiosity. In school I learned mostly how to learn, how to search and get the right information and how to solve problems. All of these things benefit to me, not only on the career path, but also in life in general.
When I started working, I learned to listen (not just hear), and to observe and communicate properly. I have learned that it is right, if you know how to put forward your opinion with arguments, however, there are situations where this does not help, and then it makes no sense to go banging your head through the wall. I learned that I would never know everything, but I can still find additional knowledge and support.
Any good entrepreneur must be able to communicate well, listen, and observe. To know how to organize their time effectively to complete all tasks.
Hints & Tips
My advice: Dare to do it! Women are able to be equally good, if not better, than the male counterparts.
My view: I see no reason why you would even need to look what gender entrepreneur is. Each of us has the potential to become a successful and gender is not relevant here.
My motto since high school is "Per aspera ad astra". Recently I read somewhere "To the most difficult task in the morning, and then everything will be piece of cake," and I really like it!