CERGE-EI Alumni Awards 2017 winner: an interview with Petar Buha

Petar Buha (2015 Master’s in Applied Economics Graduate) was nominated for the 2017 Alumni Award for his dedication to CERGE-EI. He has shared his expertise and advice through two very popular semester-long Excel courses in the Economics Discovery Hub (EDH), which he offered to teach on a non-paid basis.

The EDH is a free explanatory platform offering high-quality extra-curricular education in a small-group format, hosting a number of activities for prospective students from different fields. It is highly popular (almost 1,800 students have registered since 2015), and we are pleased that its courses are valued as highly beneficial and topical.

To get to know Petar better, read our short interview with him:

Petar, does the award come as a surprise to you?

It was a great surprise. I am not teaching in the Discovery Hub to win awards, and never expected to be recognized for it. My aim has always been to spread knowledge which is very useful in the “post-academia period of life”, and which only few students learn during their studies. It is great to see that so many people notice the effort that alumni are putting in to improve the lives of (not only) students! The formal recognition is very rewarding.

 The aim of Alumni Awards is to raise awareness about what CERGE-EI alumni do, to make their achievements more visible. Do you think that this can actually inspire other people, such as current students?

I certainly hope so! People studying at CERGE-EI are without a doubt some of the smartest and most determined people in the Czech Republic. Therefore, when they decide to create value for the community it is surely noticeable. I can’t wait to see what the current students come up with, and what will we get to learn next.

Have your students given any indication of how your teaching has inspired them?

Yes. Some students have already expressed their interest in attending CERGE-EI lectures, and others have been asking how can they get involved with the CERGE-EI community.

Do you think that alumni themselves are linked well, across programs, cohorts, and countries?

In my opinion, yes. CERGE-EI is a fairly small institution, not well-known by many outside of the economics and financial sphere. Perhaps that’s why CERGE-EI graduates tend to stick together – from my experience – and support one another when possible. That said, it would be great to see more “networking” opportunities for our alumni, especially from the one-year MAE program (since the program lasts only 1 year, there is very little “generational overlap”). I believe this would improve the links even more.

Thank you, Petar, for all your help and insights.

We wish you all the best with your future projects.

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