Dragana Radojičić,
BMS Alumna,
MSc TU Berlin,
Qualifying Exam BMS,
BSc University of Belgrade

At the beginning of my final year at the University of Belgrade in Serbia, I was considering to go abroad for my Master's studies. Therefore, I have started searching for programs that offered a wide range of courses in probability field, but also a student scholarship. From the very beginning, I found the BMS organization as a perfect landscape for young people with a passion for mathematics.

In February 2014, I was invited to come to Berlin for an interview, and that was my first time to visit Berlin. During my stay in Berlin, I attended BMS Days followed by the BMS Student Conference, so I had the opportunity to get to know a variety of mathematical scenes in Berlin and that is the time when I decided I want to become a member of BMS. I found that BMS is a very stimulating place for young researchers and very well known for its high-level education and the international community.

A few days after I came home I was informed that I was accepted to BMS Phase I program and that I got a full scholarship, so without a second thought I accepted the offer. As I finished my Bachelor studies at the University of Belgrade as a very successful student with an excellent grade point average, I got a couple of offers from different universities providing me full scholarships. However, BMS was my first choice.

I felt honored to be a part of this prestigious undergraduate program. My first challenge upon arrival was bureaucracy, which turned out to be relaxed thanks to the BMS Office. Moreover, I got an office at TU Berlin, which was a perfect place for studying, but also surrounded by offices from my friends so you could always have a buddy for a coffee break. In addition, spending time with good students from different countries blows up your passion for a mathematics. Our social life was enhanced with different social events, such as Christmas party, Wine and Cheese night, barbecue, etc. Also, our free time was filled with various seminars, workshops, BMS Fridays, summer schools, conferences that really helped me to understand various areas of mathematics, while our soft-skills were improved on specially organized seminars.

Berlin is amazing by itself, it is a beautiful vibrant city with quite a few large parks, with an excellent cultural scene and a wide range of nightlife places. Stepping out of your comfort zone to live in a different country is quite a challenging adventure, but also a vastly rewarding one in different aspects. Although this experience taught me life challenges, I can proudly say that it helped me personally to grow and to have a wider perspective on life.

All in all, I remember my time in Berlin very fondly. I took many courses at three big universities in Berlin (TU, HU and FU) and at the end of Phase I, there was one important final exam, namely the BMS Qualifying Exam, which I passed on the 7th of July 2016. Later that year, I moved to Vienna to continue with my PhD studies. However, I have had a chance to visit Berlin a few times since I left. In February 2017 I came to give a talk at the BMS Student Conference, and in July 2018, I was invited to the BMS Certificate Ceremony, which was a wonderful opportunity to see all my colleagues from BMS again. I was very honored to take part in that impressive ceremony with an amazing musical program.

Now I am a PhD student at TU Vienna, where I am also working as a teaching assistant.

Published in May 2019