It is one of the most prestigious universities in the world – the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, part of the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. World Bank president Robert Zoellick studied here, so did Hong Kong Chief Executive Sir Donald Tsang or Canada’s former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Starting next month a person which is more familiar to AEGEE will study there on her way to become famous: Ivana Vukov, former CD member (2000-2002) from Zagreb has been offered a place at the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration and a Harvard’s Andronico Luksic Abaroa Full Fellowship.
“I’ll move the USA in a month,” says a very happy Ivana, who just graduated from her MA in English, which she had postponed for some years for personal reasons. “I had only two exams and a thesis left.” Ivana worked full time and spent weekends and every day four hours next to normal work in order to finish her studies, so she could take up the prestigious US programme at Harvard. “Now, I’ll study full time, but it cannot be harder than my past year.”
The daughter of one of Croatia’s most beloved singers and politicians, Ivana is leaving her home country in the right moment. Croatia is making good progress on its way into the EU. “Now that the Chapter 23, Judiciary and Fundamental rights, is about to close, it gives me a year during the ratification process to study,” she says. Up to now, Ivana has been managing funding programmes which facilitated Croatia’s Accession agenda. “I’ll work for our European cause as soon as it’s done. My heart is in the public administration reform.”
Getting into the Harvard programme was far from easy. “It was a tough competition. They took only 40 of us from all around the world – and they get tens of thousands of applications,” Ivana tells. “I had to write several foreign policy essays. Some were on Croatian some US foreign policy towards South East Europe, and some on the EU – my vision and suggestions.” Obviously her ideas were extremely convincing, because soon she will go to the American version of Cambridge. “Harvard is in Cambridge, close to Boston, it is basically a neighbourhood next to Boston. It got its name after Cambridge in the UK. Unfortunately it is also the most expensive real estate market in the US.”
Will Ivana, who is gifted with a beautiful voice and gave public concerts already, have time to keep up with her big passion? After all, Boston is the place where Vonda Shepard was discovered for the show Ally McBeal. Maybe she will become a similar star like Vonda? Ivana is only laughing: “I wish!” Smilingly she adds: “Although, when it gets tough – I might use that weapon.”