Sanja Bauer-Mitranic, IBEI alumni 2013-14
Name and Last Name: Sanja Bauer-Mitranic
Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Relations
Current working company, position and city: Policy Officer at the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, Vienna (Austria).
1. Why did you choose the IBEI Master’s in International Relations?
After finishing my Bachelor’s in International Development I left Vienna for a traineeship at the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York. During that time, I knew I would want to continue with a Master’s in International Relations as I wanted to gain a broader and holistic understanding of global issues and developments.
I found a wide range of offers in several countries, however, only when I found out about IBEI, I saw my interests and expectations reflected in the curriculum. This is why IBEI was my first choice.
2. What is your experience at IBEI?
It was an intense year that taught me a variety of lessons. I very much liked the combination of different teaching methodologies and the fact that so many subjects and topics were offered to choose from. I remember very well that even political happenings from that year were addressed in class. I enjoyed this flexibility on the part of the teaching staff.
3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI
After graduation I first took a few months off to travel and gather new energy. Later on, I started working for the Austrian Development Agency in Vienna which was a great opportunity for putting my knowledge gained during my studies and previous internships into professional practice. A short time later I ended up working in the migration sector where I still am today. I very much enjoy applying my interdisciplinary understanding at work and I am convinced that this is the key to addressing current global challenges.
4. What is your professional experience (your current position, your main functions)?
I currently work as Policy Officer for the Austrian Ministry of the Interior. My field of expertise is assisted voluntary return and reintegration and I contribute to strategic development in that field on national level. My work includes the overall management of reintegration programs (co-)funded by the Ministry as well as multistakeholder management. At the same time, I represent Austria in bilateral and multilateral meetings, discussions and working groups which also entails traveling to countries of return (migrants’ home countries) and talking with local partners and returnees themselves.
5. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now?
It gave me the chance to gain in-depth knowledge on a number of issues. It also taught me something very important, namely to always critically reflect.
6. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?
I always tried to have a few “must haves” in my vision for the future but not to limit myself too much in terms of field of work. I am glad that I had and still have this approach - I think that there is not only one path, but rather one path taking you to the next one based on acquired knowledge, skills and aspirations.
7. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students?
Take the opportunities you have at IBEI seriously. I think it can happen easily to get distracted in a city such as Barcelona, especially during summer, but you will regret not making the best out of every opportunity to learn and grow. Also, I would recommend not to get lost in the big world of international relations but to focus on a certain area - this will especially help when looking for jobs afterwards.
8. What do you miss most about IBEI?
I miss receiving high quality education and meeting ambitious people from around the world while at the same time living in a Mediterranean city that gives you positive energy for pursuing your dreams. Even now, 5 years after graduation, I am convinced that it was the best choice for me to study at IBEI.