Emir Hrnjić, originally from Sarajevo, is Professor of Finance at the National University of Singapore. He’s build a successful career and today is recognized as an expert in the field of finance, in fact he is a frequent guest lecturer at numerous world-renowned universities. Emir is a great example of how success will come through hard work.
His whole successes was achieved by Professor Hrnjić outside his birth country, as he said to an N1 journalist, otherwise it would not be possible. In the bloom of Emir’s youth, his hometown fell to the tragedy of war and the siege of Sarajevo interrupted all his plans. He saw the only solution for a young man to make a better future was to leave the country, and he did not want to miss that.
“Sarajevo is a city that has defined my entire generation, especially those who left Sarajevo and have a nostalgic relationship with the city. I could talk about that for days, but it is enough to read the essays of Aleksandar Hemon or Gibbon to understand that the Sarajevo gene is deep within us. They describe it much better than me. My childhood is linked to my parents, my sister and all extended family. I think this is quite independent from the wider environment. My teenage years in Sarajevo are linked with the Second Gymnasium (by the way, greeting to my friends from IV-4) and an explosion of art that was created in Sarajevo and expressively infected the rest of Yugoslavia, ” Emir Hrnjić for N1.
Memories of the first days of war are still fresh. As the professor says, it was a difficult trip to Malaysia in 1994, but it was the place where he was given the opportunity to continue his education.
“I left Sarajevo in 1994 after I won a scholarship to study in Malaysia. I passed, like many of my fellow citizens, through a tunnel under the airport. My trip to Malaysia lasted four months and memories of that period are quite mixed. On one hand, it was very difficult to study in the new environment with very little money and relatively modest knowledge of English. However, for a 22-year-old geek the University in Malaysia in which conditions for studies were relatively good it was more than adequate while everything else was less important, “added Emir.
After finishing his doctorate at Tulane University in the United States, he got a job at the prestigious Virginia Tech University.
” Business was good (easy money) but I did not like the city very much. Otherwise, many American universities are in small towns. A few months later I decided to move to a bigger city and Singapore was one of the major cities with excellent universities which, right that year, were looking for a professor in finance. I submitted an application, and the rest was a matter of procedures, competition and luck of course. I would recommend that readers visit EmirHrnjic.com for more details about my work and writing, “said Hrnjić.
Emir is a frequent guest on various television programs and occasionally also can be heard on BBC. He does not hide that he likes when he’s given the chance to talk about topics which he understands well.
” My media career began by accident. Professor Joe Cherian offered me to be a leader in the most prestigious center of the NUS Business School. After some reflection I accepted, even though I had no experience in dealing with the media. Very soon after that, NUS Business School organized a three-day media workshop where I mastered the basics of working with the media. Then, I got in touch with a variety of media who have written on topics close to my work. At the beginning some of them were skeptical and conservative, but later I gained a certain reputation and everything went much easier, ” added Hrnjić.
” Besides collaboration with BBC-TV, another interesting activity is that my work that appeared in The Washington Post. My two co-authors and I wrote a paper on the fund Muddy Waters and their attacks on the Chinese company Focus Media. When we wrote this, attacks on the fund companies had been relatively rare. However, as these attacks have become more frequent, The Washington Post became interested in the topic. We already had the paper and it was not difficult to summarize and adapt it for the Washington Post, “he said.
” I would come back to Bosnia if I were invited by someone who cares about knowledge and progress. For now I do not see where I could contribute. Science and education are very expensive and represent an investment in a long term, and very few countries can afford that, “said professor Emir Hrnjić at the end of the interview for N1.