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OSI Scholar Zerina Bruci ('14): The Appreciation and Motivation That Come with the Scholarship Really Made the Difference

Open Society Institute scholar Zerina Bruci is a bright example of the high-caliber talent the American University in Bulgaria attracts.

After graduating from AUBG in 2014 with a double major in Economics and Business Administration, Bruci returned to her native Albania, where she worked for a year at the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship. Her experience there started as an internship and continued as a full-time position.

Bruci later joined the Center for International Development at Harvard University, where she served as coordinator for the “Launchpad Project” that helped build state capacities in Albania.

In October 2016, after performing a fair share of service to her country, Bruci embarked on yet another challenging educational quest – she enrolled in a master’s program at Universität zu Köln in Germany. She is currently working on obtaining her M.Sc. diploma in International Management. "I am completing my masters as as DAAD scholar, and I think
this indicates the fact that AUBG students are very competitive, as only 6 out of 400 applicants received the DAAD scholarship in Albania," Bruci commented.

Bruci is excited to share her experience as an OSI scholar and the way it impacted her. “I think for me it was the appreciation and motivation that comes with the scholarship that really made the difference,” she said. In her words, these are the main ingredients that help scholarship recipients keep on track with their goals.

The OSI scholarship is “an open door to a very good university,” Bruci said. It is also a big opportunity for personal and career growth, she added.

Like many students, Bruci’s chose AUBG because of the “exceptional curriculum” as well as the variety of extracurricular opportunities. To her, in academic terms AUBG has been a symbol of “the highest standards in the region.”

“AUBG is not only a university; it’s an environment that really shapes you for the future,” Bruci explained. It was the OSI scholarship that gave her the comfort and confidence to explore the diverse opportunities the university offers.

As a successful OSI scholar, Bruci shares her experience with high school students who are considering competing for a scholarship. Give the best throughout your application process, she said, “since this is a great opportunity for your education and personal development.”

Among the most important aspects that helped her become an OSI scholar, Bruci considers her excellent school records, the clear motivation she stated in terms of future career plans and her desire to contribute back to her country. Wherever life might take her, she said, “I think my last stop will, of course, be Albania. (…) I am looking forward to going back to Albania and contributing there with the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout these years.”

Story by Despina Koleva-Hristova
Photo courtesy of Zerina Bruci

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