Mirela: “I like to create innovative communities”
Mirela Sertić Perić from Croatia is participating in the third group of the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP). She is sharing her experiences on Water News Europe. Mirela wants to use her EJWP-experience to continue what she is doing. “I would like to promote the importance of teaching, education and cultural exchange in creating innovative communities with innovative solutions to emerging (water-related) global challenges.“
What and where is your current work position?
“I am currently employed as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia. My research focus is freshwater ecology, particularly anthropogenic, and global change influences on freshwater organisms. As part of my teaching career, I have devoted much of my time to mentoring, teaching, and developing courses and educational materials for students. More recently, I have spent time teaching how to teach biology and promoting education for sustainable development.”
What value are you bringing to your organization and career from your EJWP journey?
The EJWP program provides great networking opportunities with other EJWP participants from different fields. This opens up opportunities to implement transdisciplinary approaches to solving our water-related challenges, and to build new partnerships between EJWP partner organizations.
What is your most valuable experience with EJWP so far?
“My most valuable experience so far has been interacting and working on projects with other EJWP participants in a fully online format. I have never participated in an entirely online project before, so this is a completely new and valuable experience for me. I definitely look forward to our future face-to-face collaboration.”
What have you already learned or developed in knowledge or skills?
“My participation in this program has made me realize how important personal development is to successfully achieving personal and team goals. I have known before that it is very important to work on oneself in order to achieve success and make the results of our work visible, but I have never been aware of this to such an extent as through the targeted trainings in the EJWP program.
What are the benefits of an international water sector network? And how are you building a water network with EJWP?
An international network of (prospective) water experts allows you to look at water resource challenges from a broader perspective. It provides the opportunity to collaborate with organizations that share the same mission. EJWP allows participants to connect their interests and expertise through joint projects and develop innovative solutions to global challenges related to water sustainability. Therefore, I think EJWP is a great hub for building a transdisciplinary community of proactive, talented young people who are ready to identify and address new challenges related to water.
What can better connected international water professionals mean for water sector organizations?
I have always seen international networking as a great overall benefit. Networking with people who are interested in and responsible for our water resources from different perspectives provides a strong foundation for applying a transdisciplinary approach to solving global water-related challenges, including those related to organizations in the water sector.