Alumni Interview #3: Manuella Markaj

Impressions and thoughts from SPS alumni on their experiences with the Schools of Political Studies

Manuella Markaj (Kosovo*)


1) Which SPS did you attend and in which year did you graduate?Manuella Markaj

I attended the Pristina Institute for Political Studies, and I was part of the 14th generation, graduating in 2016.

2) How did you first hear about the Schools of Political Studies and what persuaded you to apply?

Pristina Institute for Political studies has an excellent reputation in Kosovo*, and my friends and colleagues who had previously attended the school highly recommended it to me. The opportunity to meet people from different professional backgrounds and exchange views and thoughts on various topics was the main reason I applied. Moreover, participating in the World Forum for Democracy was an opportunity one does not want to miss, and a great experience overall.

3) What was your most memorable experience during the training cycle?

The elaboration of range of different topics, which meant that we could learn a lot from each person in the room. I would emphasize though the continuity and the sustainability of the Schools of Political Studies project. In this case, I would like to point to the Civic Roundtables which were organized as a SPS follow-up, a thoughtful way of empowering the SPS alumni and putting their potential to use. It is also a great opportunity for the SPS alumni to reunite and work concretely on issues that concern us all.

4) Did you come to the World Forum for Democracy? If so, what were your impressions?

I attended the WFD 2016 and was very impressed with the overall organization of the event. It was a very positive environment that offers the opportunity and is an incentive to learn from innovative practices, projects, and initiatives related to democracy from all over the world, as well as a great environment for networking. Some of the projects mentioned in the forum have even served as an inspiration for my work. From the WFD, currently, I have in mind a very interesting model of a democratic school that was presented.

5) If you could give one piece of advice for those about to start the new training cycle what would it be?

Get the most out of the training cycle, but don't forget to enjoy it as well. Keep in mind the contacts and the networking, they are very valuable and great initiatives or opportunities for collaboration can come out of them.

6) What are you up to nowadays?

Currently, I am working as the Head of the Secretary General’s Office at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Kosovo. On the sidelines, I am involved in international initiatives and projects related to migration and peace-building.

*All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation's Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.