Alumni Spotlight: Benjamin Đug


Benjamin is a current financial professional working for Citi bank Budapest. He was born in Bosnia, where he completed his bachelor's degree in engineering, while spending one year on exchange in Turkey, after which he decided to enroll into CEU MS Finance program, which he recently graduated from.

Why did you choose this program?

The program was quite flexible in regards to my engineering background, or to be more precise, it did not require any financial background. The program was also quite well ranked, I also saw that they have very good connections with the companies. Also, the faculty was highly qualified for delivering quite a comprehensive and up to date curriculum.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The university-assisted me with almost everything, mainly with dealing with the visa and residence permit process, and other university-related paperwork, and registration. They also helped a lot with my internship and job search through their Career Services. I organized the accommodation on my own since the dormitory did not have the capacity by the time I was accepted to the program, but still the program was a good source of information and advice.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

In case you are not provided the accommodation in CEU's Residence Center, I believe it is better and easier to come to Budapest and to find accommodation (if possible) rather than looking for the accommodation prior to your arrival. Also, once you arrive, you will have the chance to personally visit and see all your options, and use the help of CEU's Student Life office.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Usually, there are classes, assignments (projects), which are from the second semester usually combined with internships/jobs. The schedule can sometimes be intensive, and that includes weekend lectures as well, which when combined with work can be a bit intensive, but in the end is worth it since you gain valuable work experience during your studies, and the knowledge from the classroom can be applied at work and vice versa, giving very good learning perspectives.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

As I have already studied abroad, I believe it was easier to adjust. I was afraid that it will be difficult to fit into everyday life in Budapest, as I don't speak Hungarian, but I realized that Budapest is a truly cosmopolitan city where you don't feel like a foreigner. Everyone speaks English, and there are many foreigners around you. That kind of atmosphere provides a sense of belonging.

What is a must in Budapest?

I would definitely advise exploring the "ruin pub" culture, and the spa's of Budapest. Those are the things that make Budapest a unique city to live in. And also use the opportunity to meet as many people as you can and enjoy these activities with friends, and will be an unforgettable experience, studying in Budapest.