BELGRADE – Ivana Savićević, an auditor of the company Deloitte, is the recipient of an international award - Young BPW CUP Award La Spezia,For year 2012., which is given at European level for the professional achievement of young women aged up to 35,
Slavica Mitić Paolilo told the Home of the Good News.
Paolilo, the president of the first Serbian club of the international organisation of Business And Professional Women – BPW – based in Niš, said that Ivana faced tough European competition for the award.
The La Spezia award is given by the international organisation of Business And Professional Women – BPW, acting under the auspices of the United Nations, the ceremony taking place this September in Sorento, Italy.
Who is Ivana Savićević?
Ivana works as a senior auditor in the Serbian office of Deloitte, one of the world’s most respected auditing houses, and her desire is to pass an exam for a certified auditor and proudly place her signature on companies’ financial reports.
Speaking about the importance of the award, Savićević told the Home of the Good News that the award was important "because of the strict criteria for awarding La Spezia".
This year, she added, “they even made an exception for me to remain a recipient of the award, because my work obligations have prevented me from picking it up.
As far as I know, the award is given for the professional achievements of women aged up to 35. I also sent them my CV, but I did not have the honour of speaking with members of the jury, but I believe that it is thanks to the CV that I got the award ".
"I do not see myself as someone who has done something exceptional, I am simply always doing my best. There isn’t even that much listed in my CV. There are my two years as assistant professor at BK University, followed by work for Long Play on marketing activities and public relations, followed by employment at Deloitte". When I considered why I had been granted the award, I thought it might have seemed special for them that all those activities flowed in parallel, that I managed to attend my studies and work simultaneously, at jobs which require a lot of time. Besides, I completed my studies with a grade average of 9.97. I got only one nine, in sociology.
Working for Deloitte
Also interesting for our readers is how Ivana Savićević came to work in Deloitte.
"I first heard of the ‘Big Four’ (the world’s leading consultancy and auditing firms) while I was deciding on my university studies. Given that I was just as good at natural and social sciences, I made my decision on the faculty based on talking to people and researching promising and well-paid jobs. After I had enrolled at BK, I asked about potential employers in my profession and learnt that Deloitte was the first in the Big Four to open an office in Serbia, and accordingly was the best positioned at that moment. That is how I decided to work there some day".
We had obligatory professional practice at the faculty after finishing the third year of study. The faculty gave us a list of firms where we could perform our practical work, but no company of the Big Four was listed. I decided to try my luck at Deloitte. I found the e-mail address of a girl working in Deloitte’s Human Resources and sent my CV which had almost nothing linked to auditing – except for the fact that I was studying that subject and was a demonstrator in the subjects of managerial accountancy and expenditure accounting, as all the work I had done during my studies were linked with PR management and the organisation of diverse events.
The following day I received an invitation from Deloitte to attend testing in Belgrade in the morning. At that time I was still living in Niš. I took a bus to Belgrade and arrived at Deloitte. I was supposed to do a brief English language test and a longer accountancy test. They told me they would let me know how I had performed and whether they could receive me for practice.
Ten days later they called me and said I had done both tests excellently, that they had no vacancies at the moment, but that they would call me as soon as a position of a beginner in accountancy was opened. I completed my practice in another Big Four house, graduated and continued working in PR management, as I was doing during my studies. PR management is truly wonderful and dynamic work, and I was also fortunate to find myself in a team of fantastic professionals in that profession, so that I completely forgot my idea about working for Deloitte.
One of the Most Difficult Decisions in Life
However, two years after the unsuccessful attempt to enter Deloitte, the phone rang, an unknown number, and a pleasant voice asking me whether I was still interested in working for Deloitte, although I had not applied at their latest employment ad. At first I was a little confused, but then I said I would certainly attend an interview. We performed the interview, the next morning they offered me a job and placed me before one of the most difficult decisions I ever made; I was to leave behind me all the fantastic people with whom I had worked and who had taught me everything I knew about the job which I really loved, and start from the beginning again. I decided to accept the job. One could say that I am doing quite well for the moment, but professional training and a whole series of professional challenges still lie ahead of me.
No Success Without Mutual Assistance
This is how BPW’s young hope described her climb to the ‘top’ and the fulfillment of her dreams. Asked about the key to her success, she answered: “I do not know anyone who managed to achieve what he or she has achieved alone”. In selecting her university studies she received enormous support from her family, and later during her studies she met people who simply recognised, valued and validated what she was doing.
”In this country the entire socio-economic milieu is quite specific and you have to understand young people, because wherever you turn you run up against a wall, but my practice is to have an objective I want to achieve and to fight for it tooth and nail,” Ivana told us.
Ivana is the recipient of other awards, but she says modestly that the awards did not mean that much in themselves, as much as the knowledge that someone has taken the time to read what you have written and rate your performance.
However small the prizes, they made me feel satisfied with myself.
It isn’t even important whether someone will write something about it or publish it, I like to know that I have done something well, irrespective of whether it would bring a material benefit or not, whether someone would hear about it or not. Simply put, everything I do I do because I want to do it well. When I was a student, I was learning for myself. Whether the teacher would give me a six or a nine, that was not up to me. I continue to believe that I deserved a ten in sociology, but the professor did not think it was enough.
Ivana says about Slavica Mitić – Paolilo, who is also the president of the Society for Promoting Italian language and Culture Dante Allighieri, that she was lucky to meet her during her studies. “She was my Italian language teacher and we remain in contact. Slavica has an ability to recognise talent, and that is her greatest talent. She is simply able to surround herself with industrious people, which deserves respect. She would be a phenomenal manager. She called me one day and asked me to send her my CV so she could put me up for an award.
I did not take it seriously, until the moment when I was formally nominated,“
Ivana told the Home of the Good News.
International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) is an international organisation with branches in about 100 countries and over 250.000 members whose aim is to link up women around the world and strengthen their role in society, primarily by means of building up economic independence. BPW works on developing professional, leadership and business potentials of women at all levels by providing support to women and lobbying, mentoring and training women. BPW has an advisory status within the UN’s Economic and Social Council and a status of participant in the work of the Council of Europe, and its task is collecting and conveying the opinions and attitudes of businesswomen to world organisations and agencies, regardless of their national, racial, religious or political affiliation. BPW International was founded by Lena Madesin Phillips, the president of the National Association of Clubs of Businesswomen of the USA, in Geneva on 26 August 1930. It was a natural result of the aspirations of US businesswomen to link up with businesswomen in Europe. The founding countries were Austria, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy and the United States.
Source: Home of the Good News