Who is Anna?
My family roots are Croatian but I was born in Italy and raised and educated in Sweden. I then went to study in the Netherlands where I obtained my Masters Degree in Linguistics. During my linguistics study, my main language was Spanish and I also spent some time in Spain.
My background and upbringing equipped me with an open mind towards other cultures, a sound curiosity and a genuine interest in people. In addition, it provided me with the ability to communicate fluently in five languages and an eagerness to keep learning.
When I started working, I looked for a combination of an international environment and interaction with other people. I started in commercial jobs and it turned out that I had a talent for business development. Not that surprising; I think sales is a combination of good listening, strong communication skills and a mix of persistence and patience!
I soon moved into training and development, which for me was a natural step. Interacting with others, developing people and learning myself has been the ‘red thread’ in my life, both professionally and privately. Growing from a functional role into a leadership role thus also came naturally. As a manager, I most enjoyed bringing the best out of people and make them excel. As a leader, I was most proud of the results we achieved as a diverse team with complimentary skill sets.
What drives me to work in people development? Education is the biggest gift you can give to anyone because it enables human beings to grow, take charge of their own life and become independent. In my opinion, after the basic human needs of food, shelter and health care, it is the most sustainable form of developmental aid. Therefore I am committed to working in this area, not only in the developed world, but also in the developing world. I genuinely believe that we can all learn from one another.