Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia


The Practical Academy – an innovative university work placement model connecting students and small businesses

Published 12.02.2019.

Jovan JovanovićTranscript of the presentation by Jovan Jovanović at the 41st Belgrade Ignite “Get Involved no. 6” (7 November 2018, Impact Hub, Belgrade)

The Practical Academy is a project that aims to provide university students with work placement opportunities in micro, small and medium enterprises, something entirely new in the Nišava District. The Nišava district is made up of six municipalities, with the city of Niš in its central part, so you could say Niš is “The Lord of the Rings”.

When it comes to work placements, we can talk about three groups of stakeholders. The first one is students (and I am one of them). A survey of their attitudes shows that students do not think about doing internships early enough, and recognize their importance only at the end of their studies. On the other side, small businesses owners believe that work placements in small businesses cannot compete with the massive application in large-scale systems, and are concerned that they might not be as impactful. Nevertheless, even though large corporations have concrete solutions, small businesses are also concerned whether the knowledge that students acquire there is sufficiently applicable to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). On the third side we have universities and faculties: they often implement work placement programmes in large corporations, and recognize there is an opportunity for implementing these programmes in SMEs as well, but are not sure that the latter sufficiently contribute to development, and this will be the case until small businesses recognize their own role in the broader economic context.

Jovan Jovanović - 41. Beogradski Ignite "Uključi se br. 6"Fifty-four students, both male and female, from five faculties, as well as fifteen SMEs and cooperatives, took part in the Practical Academy. The first phase involved practicing diagnostics, where small business owners, students and their mentors visited businesses, identified problems faced by these businesses, and examined the solutions proposed by the students for overcoming these problems. The second phase envisaged the incubation of project ideas, where students were placed in an inspirational setting to work on solving the problems. We were placed in a camp on Kamenički Vis and spent two weeks in a co-working/co-living setting where we could freely organize our work and leisure time, from the moment we woke up until we went to sleep. The third phase involved practicing implementation, and its objective was to apply the solutions we developed in our effort to help the companies and contribute to economic development.

When we completed the work placement programme, four students of the Faculty of Occupational Safety were offered employment opportunities, several graduate theses were written on the subject of the Practical Academy, and the students who were hired went on to accomplish remarkable results in the companies they work for.

What made the biggest impression on me was cross-departmental cooperation – working with my student peers from various other faculties. The camp setting helped us rely on each other; we lent a helping hand to each other any time any of us had difficulties solving a problem. Even though we didn’t know each other that well beforehand, we became one big family.

Success is not about doing what you love, but loving what you do. How about you, what’s your formula for success?




Leave a Comment

Leave a comment




Related news



Sara Bermeho (33) je zaposlena kao kurur u Koiki filijali na tržnici Merkado Barselo u centru Madrida ©Chris Welsch
Sara Bermeho (33) je zaposlena kao kurur u Koiki filijali na tržnici Merkado Barselo u centru Madrida ©Chris Welsch Socijalni start-ap [...]
Fri, Sep 20, 2019
Source: Inkluzija blog
Pezana Redža u trgovačkoj ulici u kojoj renovira šest lokala ©Chris Welsch
Arhitektkinja Pezana Redža daje novi život starom drvetu izrađujući prelepe enterijere, pri čemu obezbeđuje posao za ugrožene Albance Trgovačka ulica u [...]
Fri, Sep 13, 2019
Source: Inkluzija blog
Dragana Malidžan Vinkić
Piše: Dragana Malidžan Vinkić, koordinatorka za obrazovanje, Tim za socijalno uključivanje i smanjenje siromaštva Vlade Republike Srbije Digitalna uključenost predstavlja pristup [...]
Thu, Sep 12, 2019
Source: Inkluzija blog
Piter Mangan, osnivač kluba Freebird © Chris Welsch
Piter Mangan, osnivač kluba Freebird © Chris Welsch Klub Freebird omogućuje starijim osobama srodnih interesovanja da se povežu kroz putovanja i [...]
Fri, Sep 06, 2019
Source: Inkluzija blog
Nikola Repec
Osim pružanja prilike da prodaju sam magazin, Liceulice se trudi da podrži svoje korisnike/prodavce i na razne druge načine. Pogotovo [...]
Wed, Sep 04, 2019
Source: Inkluzija blog


Third National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2014–2017
February, 2019 arrow right pdf [5 MB]
National Employment Action Plan for the Year 2019
February, 2019 arrow right pdf [732 KB]
Gender Equality Index for the Republic of Serbia
December, 2018 arrow right pdf [7 MB]
Assessment of Absolute Poverty in Serbia in 2017
October, 2018 arrow right pdf [226 KB]
Periodic evaluation of the local youth employment initiative programmes
October, 2018 arrow right pdf [486 KB]
Monitoring Social Inclusion in Republic of Serbia – Third Revised Edition
November, 2017 arrow right pdf [2 MB]
Poverty in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2006–2016 – Revised and New Data
September, 2017 arrow right pdf [906 KB]
Mapping Social Care Service within the Mandate of Local Governments in the Republic of Serbia (2015) – Report
May, 2017 arrow right pdf [4 MB] arrow right docx [2 MB]
Economic Benefits of Gender Equality in the EU
April, 2017 arrow right pdf [405 KB]