My name is Dimitar Funa, and I am originally from Bitola. Although both of my parents are born in Bitola, I have a Vlach origin from the beautiful village of Malovishta.
I spent my early childhood and high school years in my hometown. Right after that, I went on to study Financial Management at the University Ss Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. Early on in my studies I understood that I needed a bigger challenge and decided to pursue an education abroad. One summer, I had the opportunity to attend Harvard University for a short course specializing in Family businesses. This allowed me to better understand what an international, professional, and academic community looks like. It also showed me how much I would love to be a part of such a community. Not long after that, I was accepted at Imperial College London to study for an MSc in Finance and Accounting. One thing that I am proud of is that I was chosen to be the Chair of the Student-Staff Committee and a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council within Imperial. To make a long story, short – I currently live in London and every day I get to meet, talk to and collaborate with some of the brightest people on the planet.
2. Success Story
I guess most of the things in life are relative, and success is one of those things. I would not go on to talk about big or small achievements or accomplishments that I have had over the years, but I would like to focus on two things that, to me, represent the biggest successes I have had:
- My failed start-up. During high school, my best friend and I had trouble finding reliable intercity transportation in Macedonia. Therefore, to solve our problem we created a web platform where drivers could advertise and ‘sell’ their empty seats, thereby reducing costs and more important greenhouse gas emissions (as more people would travel with one vehicle). Few years down the road, we figured that the company is unable to sustain itself and we called it quits. Although for some, this might not be the most inspiring success story, the lessons I learned about building a business, choosing your cofounders and partners, and about personal dedication, motivation, and a thousand other things, will stay with me for the rest of my life.
- My family, friends, and acquaintances. I do understand how cliché it sounds, but I am very proud of the network of people I have managed to build around me. Thanks to the amazing high school I attended, I had the opportunity to go on two student exchanges in Switzerland and Israel. Those exchanges plus the experiences I had in the US as well as right now in the UK have allowed me to meet an amazing bunch of people, from scholars and volunteers to professionals in very different fields. However, none of this would be possible without the unconditional support of my immediate family and girlfriend.
3. Future Plans
To be extremely honest, this is the first time in my life that I do not have a detailed short, middle, and long-term plan, in my head. After all, covid19 did change the meaning of the long term, which for me, right now, is at 12 months. What I do know is that I am excited about the future. I am looking forward to entering the workforce as a young, and eager-to-learn professional, where I would like to use my knowledge and expertise to bring positive change especially in the field of equality and the environment. In addition, at this point, I would not disregard the possibility of further education several years along the line.
On the same note, I am extremely excited to be a small part of Macedonia2025 and give back as much as possible to my beloved country. Macedonia has vast amounts of resources, including highly ambitious and incredibly smart youth that unfortunately, our country has still not found a way to utilize for the common good. However, where someone sees a problem, I see an opportunity.