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News
Rector Ivanka Popović's advice to Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders
’BE TRUE TO YOURSELF, INTEGRITY HAS NO PRICE IN WORK AND ESPECIALLY IN LIFE’

‘Personal development of any individual is a precondition for a successful career path. Though most young people who are about to enter business environment think that the most important thing is to have knowledge and be willing to work, there are qualities that employers value equally. If you want to progress and have support of people who believe in your abilities and in your word, you have to prove that your word is credible and also stable’, is one of the messages that the rector of the University of Belgrade, Prof. Dr. Ivanka Popović sent to the Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders.

The lecture by the rector Popović was held as a part of the Hemofarm Foundation Mentorship Program ‘You Can Do It’, intended for the current generation of scholarship holders, comprised of the best senior and master students from the faculties of pharmacy, medicine and chemistry in Serbia. In addition to the rector, the students were greeted by the CEO of Hemofarm, Ronald Seeliger and the German Ambassador to Serbia, H. E. Thomas Schieb, who has been cooperating with the Rectorate of the University of Belgrade for years to promote international cultural and academic cooperation between the two countries.

The rector Popović is last year's winner of the Hemofarm Foundation Excellence Award. She used this online meeting with future colleagues as an opportunity to present her experience in work and academic life. On this occasion, she also explained to them what they needed to have if they wanted to develop leadership skills and improve their abilities in an increasingly competitive business environment and, at the same time, preserve personal integrity.

‘Everyone is aware of their limits and the line they are not ready to cross. You must be willing to compromise, but compromise does not mean crossing that line. Once you have accepted something as nonnegotiable values that need to be nurtured, you will sustain it as such. It does not mean that you will compromise your integrity if you are ready to make a concession, but there is always a final red line that cannot be crossed. Every individual and institution should nurture integrity, because that is all we have. It is not easy, but that challenge is the same all over the world’, the rector said.

She says that credibility is something that any successful leader should have and maintain if they want both a successful career and a clear conscience. ‘You have to stay true to yourself to sleep peacefully at night. If you want to be in a leadership position or a position where you are responsible for the work of at least one person, you should maintain your credibility and keep your word. If you compromise that once, you are no longer credible’, Dr. Popović said.

Furthermore, cooperation and open communication with colleagues and associates is something that goes without saying. It is normal to face obstacles and problems, but one of the major characteristics of good leaders is finding effective channels and ways to overcome them.

‘When it comes to resolving some problematic situations with ‘impossible’ people, it is very important not to interrupt communication. Also, use the rules applicable in the system you operate in as much as possible, and solve the issue in that way. It is neither nice nor pleasant, but you have to be persistent and introduce such a person into the system’, the rector believes.

The ambassador Schieb pointed out that dialogue was important for scientific and social development, and also that professor Popović successfully connected these important areas.

‘I have been impressed by the personality, integrity and dedication of the rector Popović from the very beginning. She has been promoting international cooperation with great success. Thanks to her, the reputation of the University of Belgrade has grown. Being the rector of such a large university means that you have to be not only a good academic and teacher, but also a manager, as well as someone who understands the importance of dialogue,’ Mr. Schieb said.

Finally, the rector Popović had a special message for all participants in the Mentorship Program, but also for all those who plan to build their careers in Serbia.

‘Both in your career and life in general, you are given some opportunities which are always time-limited. When a window opens, it is important to listen, think and try to take advantage of the opportunities you are given. It is not necessarily something that happens often, but when it does happen, you should take the chance. I have found myself in certain situations in life when some opportunities were offered to me and I had to decide which direction to take. The more doors I opened, the more opportunities were created. If you don't try, you won't know what will happen and there is truth in the fact that fortune favors the bold!’, the rector concluded.

Since its founding, for 27 years now, Hemofarm Foundation has been awarding scholarships to the best students of medical, pharmaceutical, technological, chemical and physical chemistry faculties, funded from the budget of the Republic of Serbia. In addition to scholarships for the best students, the mentorship program has been offered as an integral part of the educational program ‘You Can Do It’ since 2018, as well as the internship program that enables young people to improve their knowledge and skills for future professional challenges.

Sharing experience as a recipe to help young people

"What Prof. Dr. Ivanka Popović has done for the community is a great achievement and we are proud of the fact that Hemofarm is part of it. We have been cooperating closely for years, and I had the opportunity to visit numerous faculties of the University of Belgrade and talk to professors about what is best for students. Your profession is aimed at helping students and paving the way for a career in business, which is very important not only in Serbia, but also worldwide. You are really great at it. There are numerous things in your biography that emphasize what you have done during your life and we are happy that you share a great experience with us’, the CEO of Hemofarm, Ronald Seeliger said in his address to the rector Popović.