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Kushtrim Shaipi – A Flying Start

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AUBG graduates have high aspirations for making a difference but few can predict the pace at which opportunities will come. Kustrim Shaipi is just one example of success at a past pace.  After graduating in December 2004, he started work together with several fellow AUBG graduates for a Kosovo think-tank as a Program Director.  Within six months, he was promoted to acting Executive Director, and just a year later he was  offered a Vice President position in a Prishtina-based consultancy company. Now a year into the job, he is happy that he made the move.  The company conducts research for  clients from the private, governmental and non-governmental sectors.  Simultaneously, he is also employed part-time for the Council of Europe Social Institutions Support Program as country project officer for Kosovo.  Amazingly, he still finds time to be an assistant professor at a small university in Prishtina – Iliria University.  Being able to multitask and do different things every day is what motivates Kushtrim.  He says he could not do a routine job and advises others to never take a position that does not offer some variety of tasks and responsibilities.

Kushtrim seeks not just variety but to make a difference. His primary professional interests are security and health care, as well as political party ideologies and political targeting.  Having moved up the professional ladder quickly, Kushtrim says he plans to stay in his current job for at least two more years since the work is both enjoyable and rewarding.  At the same time, he intends to do more in the field of International Political Economy.  He is enrolled in a Master’s program at Staffordshire University in UK and, upon completion, plans to enroll in a PhD program.  Apart from his professional interests, he also has a personal cause that he supports.  He has worked with associations of families of missing persons in Kosovo in an attempt to make sure that justice, both moral and legal, is achieved for victims.

Kushtrim keeps very fond memories of his recent years spent at AUBG.  He says that it was a great period of his life, rich in both academic and non-academic social involvement, a period that had an immense impact on his professional and personal development.  One aspect that he especially appreciated, despite his skepticism while he was a student, was the appreciation of diversity that AUBG fosters.  The training he received at the University helps him make decisions every day in both his personal and professional life.  Because of AUBG, he knew what area of work and study he wanted to pursue after graduation and he did not waste time figuring out what his next steps should be.  Recently he spoke at an educational fair in Kosovo and shred his experience. Not only did he recommend AUBG to prospective students, but he encouraged them to come and get involved.  .

Given the place the University has in Kushtrim’s heart, it is no wonder that he tries hard to stay in touch with fellow AUBG alumni from Kosovo.  Until most of them left the country to go pursue further studies abroad, they would meet every day.  Now, it is email communication that goes back and forth that keeps their memories alive.  The University had an immense impact on Kustrim’s way of thinking and expressing himself.  He admits he had a hard time right after he left AUBG because people outside of “our” system, would often misunderstand, not get the point or the humor of the stories he tells.  The time spent at the University was very dynamic for him.  Although at times it seemed like a constant set of quizzes, homework assignments, tests, and exams, Kushtrim did spend many nights at Underground with his friends.  If he could change something, anything – he thinks he would not do it.  Instead, he would repeat every single moment of his experience.  In a further attempt to preserve the memories, Kushtrim and several other Kosovo alumni registered an AUBG Alumni Association in Kosovo.  Their idea, apart from having company to reminisce about the old days, is to involve alumni in offering  internships, scholarships, and mentoring to both future and current AUBG students

Asked about the priorities in his life, Kushtrim says that work experience gives further educational experience direction then, once the direction is set, he thinks that the two processes can happen simultaneously – just as they do in his case. Needless to say, Kushtrim does not have much free time.   Shortly after he graduated he met the love of his life and got married.  So now, after work, he relaxes and spends time with his family and friends.  It is the perfect complement to an intense professional life, he says. 

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