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Darko Lukic, Class of 2006: AUBG Helps You Develop the Right Personality for Career Success

Darko Lukic’s swift rise in Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), one of the world’s largest multinational corporations, impresses many. In just under two years, Darko moved up from a financial analyst job in sales to a senior finance position servicing the company’s entire fabric and home care division in the Balkans.

Even more impressive are Darko’s drive and positive attitude. He took his first assignment at P&G in February 2006, giving himself less than a month to rest and transition from an academic to a professional life. He hasn’t eased the pace ever since.

Darko in the company of other AUBG graduates.

“I love what I do,” Darko says, after three and half years of working for the company. He says that he and the firm are a “good match,” adding that “I really believe in P&G as an employer and as a company that works to improve people’s lives.” 

Darko graduated from AUBG in December 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and European Studies. He says AUBG helped him develop as an ethical and professional individual and fostered his leadership skills through various group projects. “The University encourages people to get involved in many activities and become owners of their life in the classroom and outside,” Darko explains.

A person of diverse interests, Darko took part in many extracurricular activities at AUBG: the Student Government, various university committees, the student advisors program, theater, the Debate Club, and basketball. All of them contributed to his professional growth, he says. Moreover, they were “key in developing the right personality and leadership qualities that helped me succeed in my job,” he adds.

AUBG also helped him connect with his current employer. After a P&G recruiting event organized by the University’s Career Center, Darko completed a three-month internship at the company in the summer of 2005. As an intern, he headed a team that worked on launching a new product in the Balkans. A dream job offer followed. Darko says he impressed his employers with his work and attitude during the internship.

Darko and Asya Lukic, who also graduated from AUBG.

Initially he worked in the commercial finance department as a financial analyst for the South Balkans. He was in charge of financial matters in dealing with distributors and major retailers, such as negotiating better trade terms and conducting internal audits of P&G’s South Balkan offices and distributors. However, Darko says, he never limited himself to doing what was in his job description. “I had the freedom to reinvent my job and my responsibilities and take them to the next level. So, I got involved in projects in areas other than finance (HR, sales, logistics),” he writes in a note to AUBG Today.

This attitude got him recognition, and in 2008 he was promoted to his current position as a senior financial analyst in P&G’s fabric and home care Balkan division. “This has been a great assignment as I have had an opportunity to further develop my people management skills (I am currently managing a team of 3 financial analysts),” Darko says. “I also have an opportunity to manage and own the financial results of the business, which has helped me grow and mature professionally.”

A liberal arts education has proven to be good preparation for a career in business, as the business world today values personality and an accomplishments-oriented attitude more than technical skills, Darko explains. “What makes you a top performer is the mindset of ownership of the business, of identifying opportunities and acting upon them, the mindset of wanting to leave a mark on the business,” he says.

P&G stimulates employees’ efficiency not only through generous compensation packages, but also through a promote-from-within policy and a fruitful working environment. “Being around young, energetic, smart, and ambitious people can only stimulate you to become better at what you do, and to grow both personally and professionally,” Darko says.

In July 2008 Darko married Asya Tsankova, also an AUBG graduate. The couple lives in Bucharest, Romania.

Darko says he wants to pursue an academic career after he retires from the corporate world. “I hope I get a chance to come back to AUBG one day as a professor in the business program – it would be one way of contributing to an institution that has given me so much in life.”

 

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