This week, we speak with Vernes Rasidkadic, who works at UniCredit Bank Bosnia-Herzegovina in Mostar as the Executive Assistant to CIB Head. He thrives on the teamwork he experiences in his fast-paced job, and in retrospect was happy about being pushed out of his comfort zone in 2020.

2:00 min

Who are you, what did you want to be as a child and what do you do now at UniCredit?

Who I am really depends on whom you ask. If you were to ask my friends, I am a party animal who turned into a boring banker who never has time to hang out with them. To my colleagues, I am this nerdy young guy with glasses who is good at preparing speeches and PowerPoint presentations. And to my mom, I am just a kid who probably did not eat enough today…

Jokes aside, I work as the Executive Assistant to the Head of CIB. Before moving to CIB, I worked in Retail. Prior to my employment at UniCredit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I lived in the United States for almost five years during college, where I also worked at Wells Fargo Bank as a retail banker.


What do you enjoy most about your job and what is the proudest moment or greatest achievement of your career?

I enjoy the dynamic environment, where each day brings something new and different. Also, I work in a team of excellent professionals, but even more importantly, they are a team of genuinely good and friendly people.

During 2020, in was all insanity, I was pushed miles outside my comfort zone, and as a result, it was the year I grew and learned the most. I was amazed to see the level of dedication and sacrifice of so many colleagues who worked to preserve business continuity and justify our clients’ trust. Before that, most of us did not even know how strong, resilient and capable we were! Once the worst was over, I felt a great sense of pride in contributing to this exceptional effort of the entire team.


And what is the hardest part?

When multiple urgent and important things come from different sides all at once, work takes precedence over other areas of life. This requires sacrifice and can sometimes be difficult. But at such times I am always stunned by the level of dedication of the whole team, where everyone puts in maximum effort to deliver high-quality work.   


What advice would you give your younger self or somebody considering this role as a career?

When starting in a new position, do not be discouraged or intimidated by your lack of knowledge and experience, but instead compensate for it with additional hard work. It will not go unnoticed, and others will be even more eager to help you. Leverage on your strengths, do not be afraid to ask questions, and build relationships with senior colleagues you can learn from.

How do you balance your professional and personal life?

For me, finding a daily or even weekly balance is sometimes difficult, because I feel that, no matter where I am and what I am doing, a part of my brain is always “at work”.

What I really enjoy are periodic “escapes” - those 3-4 day trips to some new place, where I can explore and plan my day spontaneously at whatever pace that suits me at the moment.


What do you like to do to relax after a hard day at the office?

Honestly, when I come home after a hard day, I like to spend 15-30 minutes on the couch, doing absolutely nothing. Unless I am completely exhausted, I usually go to the swimming pool or the gym until late in the evening. For me, a good workout in the evening is a guarantee of a good night sleep, which is my favorite part of a difficult day.


What would your perfect day look like when you are not working?

Sleeping until at least 9 a.m., a slow and easy morning with a nice and healthy breakfast, and then a road trip with friends (good music in the car included) to a mountain or a lake on a sunny day. If anyone has any dogs to bring along, perfect! In the afternoon, a nap on the camping blanket, somewhere under the shade of a tree.  When I get back to the city, a night at the movies with lots of snacks.


What was the last book or the last movie you loved? And why?

The book “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. It explains the profound impact of natural and geographic factors on the speed and level of development of different societies through history, and provides valuable context for understanding the world in all its complexity today. I highly recommend it!