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July 2019

Youth Diaspora Voices: Stefani Gjorcheska, ASU Graduate in Genetics and Cell-Developmental Biology

By | Announcements, Youth Diaspora Voices | No Comments

Our new initiative ‘Youth Diaspora Voices’ promotes the successful youth Diaspora worldwide and gives them an opportunity to strengthen linkages with their homeland

  1. Heritage

My name is Stefani Gjorcheska and I am 22 years old. I am originally from Veles, Macedonia. Thankfully, I chose to go to high school at the Yahya Kemal College, so my family moved to Skopje. While in high school, I competed in international scientific Olympiads.

  1. Success Story 

My research experiences throughout high school enabled me to discover my passion for genetics and the medical research. Striving for better education, I chose Arizona State University as the best fit for my interests. I obtained my Bachelorette’s degree at ASU in genetics and Cell-Developmental Biology. During the first year in Arizona, I founded an undergraduate student organization in genetics. We, as a group, educated the students and many interested individuals about rare genetic disorders and recent discoveries in the field. During my sophomore year, I became a research assistant at the University of Arizona in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences. I spent the next 3 years there, researching in the field of immunology and inflammation. The hard work resulted in great knowledge and discoveries, two poster presentations as well as a potential publication. During my last two years, I was a community assistant at the university – one of the most challenging job an undergraduate student can have. Also, I was shadowing at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital for more than a year and at the Zan Mitrev Clinic for a few weeks in Skopje. Moreover, I had internships at the Macedonian Academy of the Sciences and the Arts, at the Genetics lab under the University Children’s Hospital in Skopje and the Gynecology Department at the University Clinics. Starting in July this year, I will be starting my doctoral degree at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in developmental biology and embryology. My research will be focusing on the contributions of the mother’s immune system in the development of rare genetic disorders in the baby. In the bigger picture, I imagine myself as a licensed genetic counselor with a rich research background who will consult patients on rare pre-natal developmental/inherited conditions globally and of course, in Macedonia.

  1. Macedonia2025/ Giving Back to the Homeland

I believe that I have unique goals as a Macedonian individual and I would love to see a huge change in the field of embryology and developmental biology in my country. Therefore, I would like to perform some research in Macedonia and collaborate with the professionals on specific topics as well as consult patients. Macedonia 2025 is a great organization that will help me accomplish my goals and introduce me to other very outstanding Macedonians globally that could potentially contribute to my networking opportunities.

INTERVIEW: The CESO SACO Consultancy Provided Two Weeks of Full Focus on the Company’s Growth Strategy

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Interview with Jean Duchaine, CESO SACO Volunteer Advisor and Viktor Mitrevski, CEO at Intertec.io

The Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with CESO SACO

  1. Mr. Mitrevski and Mr. Duchaine, could you both tell us something more about yourselves?

Mitrevski: I am Viktor Mitrevski, currently working as the CEO of Intertec.io, a software development company that is primarily focused on the German market. I have more than 12 years of experience in the IT industry. I started my professional career as a software engineer, but for the last 5 years I am working as a manager on C-level positions.

Duchaine: I am Jean Duchaine. I am personally involved as an entrepreneur and business owner in Canada, working with companies in the IT sector, on a daily basis. My main experience is in strategic planning, business reviews and sales planning. I have worked as a general manager in private organizations and as a special advisor on strategic development projects. I also had the opportunity to conduct several assignments for CESO CASO in Africa and Eastern Europe.

  1. Mr. Mitrevski, what prompted you to apply to the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program and where did you see the need of having an external consultancy in your company?

Mitrevski: Last year, I had the chance to meet and talk for one hour with Mr. William (Bill) Murphy who was a consultant in another IT company based in Skopje, through the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with CESO SACO. It was then that I realized how helpful this program can be for our company. The need for an external consultancy was mainly connected to improving our sales strategy and organizational structure, based on the fact that we expanded really fast in the last couple of years. Having a consultant with the right amount of experience, coming from a different market, was truly beneficial. We shared experiences and got some valuable advice on how to expand even more in the future.

  1.  Mr. Duchaine, what are the main challenges that Intertec.io faces in pursuing future goals for innovation/growth? In which area(s) did you mostly provide support?

Duchaine: The IT sector is growing all over the world and despite great similarities, challenges may vary from one region to another.  To succeed preforming in a context of very high competitiveness requires a highly strategic approach, which can position the company and its products/ services well.  The development of the organization must take into account the issues associated with different markets and countries, complicating decision-making, but also being an exceptional challenge for the organization and its leaders.

  1. Mr. Mitrevski, what results do you expect to achieve in your business after receiving support from the CESO SACO Volunteer Advisor?

Mitrevski: We had a very productive two weeks of intensive work and meetings with Mr. Duchaine. We went together through various different aspects of the company and we got an approval from Mr. Duchaine that we are on the right path in many areas. We got really interesting advice regarding our organizational structure and job descriptions of certain positions. In the upcoming period we will focus on that aspect. Moreover, we also had some doubts regarding our sales strategy, which were resolved after Mr. Duchaine’s visit. Now we are on the right path!

  1. Mr. Mitrevski and Mr. Duchaine how would the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship program affect the company’s competitiveness? What are the main benefits?

Mitrevski: We live in a small country and getting high-quality consultants to work with us is not an easy task. Having an experienced, external consultant who owns an IT company in North America and has managed big companies was really beneficial. Insights and experiences from different markets are very valuable for every company.

Duchaine: In an increasingly global economy, the opportunity to share good practices and growth strategies with organizations looking for growth and improved performance is very exciting and certainly beneficial for the country.  The initiative of the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with CESO SACO can only improve these performances in Macedonia.

  1.  Mr. Mitrevski and Mr. Duchaine, why should other Macedonian companies apply to the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program?

Mitrevski: First of all, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Bitove Family Foundation and Macedonia2025 for granting us the opportunity to have a CESO SACO Volunteer Advisor for two weeks. Mr. Duchaine appeares to be the right profile for a company like ours, which made his visit ever more useful and productive. I highly recommend other Macedonian companies to apply to the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program. The consultant will check if the company is on the right path, will give lots of ideas and advice, plus sharing a lot of experience from the industry. While we are all busy with the daily stuff, the consultancy visit provides two weeks fully focused on the company’s growth strategy.

Duchaine: I must say that I agree with Viktor and we should hope that other companies from the IT sector or other sectors could have the chance to interact with external consultants.  I would also like to say that I personally learned a lot from these meetings, both professionally and humanely. Intertec is a great team and family!

The Call for applications to the Bitove Family Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with CESO SACO is still open.

Do not hesitate to apply on the following link HERE.

Interview conducted by: Ema Jakimovska, Communications Officer