Margareta Klinčić at Harvard, Making a Dream a Reality

Total Croatia News

This month’s column highlighting successful Croatians in America shines light on inspiring Harvard Business School Student, Margareta Klinčić. From Zagreb to Boston- she shares her experience at one of the most prestigious universities and how she hopes she can bring change to Croatia and beyond. TCN’s Ashley Colburn caught up with Margareta on January 12, 2016.

For Margareta Klinčić, an American college life was just a childhood dream. Growing up in an emerging country with humble beginnings, Klinčić wasn’t sure if she had the resources. However, her ambition, hard work and lots of persistence led to an acceptance letter. Since August 2014, Klinčić has been enrolled at Harvard Business School, one of the leading universities in the world.  “I have grown to like the U.S. and Harvard Business School has introduced me to so many people from around the world. My horizons have been broadened and many doors have opened.” After her first year at HBS, Klinčić had two internships in Europe- a startup in Berlin then worked in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs in London.

She has experienced a lot since she completed her undergraduate and masters at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb. While studying in Zagreb, Klinčić participated in GIMUN (Geneva International Model United Nations) in 2011 as well as the European Forum, Alpbach. She also spent one of her semesters studying at the University of Vienna. After her studies, she was hired at McKinsey, an American company that does global management consulting and serves leading businesses, governments, non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations.

This global firm with offices in more than 60 countries comprised of doctors, engineers, lawyers, business managers, entrepreneurs and even scientists uses their knowledge and talents to solve its clients’ most pressing issues and deliver lasting improvements to their performance.

“McKinsey gave me freedom to dream on a bigger scale and helped me develop personally and professionally,” Klinčić said.

The time Klinčić spent at McKinsey in Zagreb allowed her to travel throughout Europe and beyond- Turkey, Russia, Germany, Romania, Switzerland and Egypt focusing on telecommunications, banking and pharmaceutical fields. In her position as a Business Analyst and later as a Jr. Associate, Klinčić met many inspiring people along the way who continue to be there for guidance and support.

Life is certainly different for Klinčić in the U.S. than Croatia. At first it was a bit overwhelming and seemed more artificial compared to Eastern European culture, however she learned to appreciate the positive sides of it- one being the continuous support and encouragement Americans show one another. Speaking of support, Klinčić also has family and friends back home who are eager and excited to continue watching her succeed. Even in her backyard on the East Coast, Klinčić has found a great group of friends from the Balkans who often get together. One thing that she cant find in Boston is her mom and grandma’s cooking- this requires a visit back home. Klinčić says Croatia will always be home and she will find her way back some day.  Of course she also realizes how much she loves and misses the sea when she is half a world away.  “The nature of Croatia is so beautiful, you really appreciate it when you aren’t there,” she said. 

“I think Eastern Europe has so much potential to move things forward. We are however still struggling with broken infrastructure, unemployment, inefficient social systems and corruption- largely also as a result of not having the right people with capacity and integrity at the right places. I would like to change that. I don’t know how yet, what role or capacity that entails but I know I want to be involved in delivering sustainable growth and better standard of living for the region.”

Dreams can come true; one dream down and many more to come for Margareta Klinčić.


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