Can you introduce yourself briefly?
My name is Manuela Jaklić, and in February 2021, I graduated from the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering. I come from Orahovica, a small town located in Slavonia, north of Papuk. I studied geology, and I like to spend my free time in nature.
Why did you choose that particular study?
Since I know for myself, I have been interested in nature and how and why specific processes related to nature take place. As a little girl, I was interested in how the sand we play came to be. Why there is a lake where it is, and as I grew up, the questions became more serious (why we have a tornado, earthquake, where the volcano is precisely where and how landslides occur that have destroyed houses). To a lot of the questions, I had geology gave answers. That’s why I decided to enrol in geology.
Did the internship help you understand working in the sector?
Yes, the practice helped me a lot in understanding the application of work in the sector. There is a lot of theory to be learned in college, there is also some practice, fieldwork, but I think it is good to gather as much experience as a student to make it easier to find a job you love once you graduate. An internship at Institut IGH allowed me to apply the theory, but it also allowed me to see how much I find myself in engineering geology.
Did you think you would find a job right after college?
Honestly, I wasn’t hoping to find a job right after I finished college. Many college colleagues wait a long time to find a job in the profession because the demand for geologists is not great, so I thought I would wait too. But I believe that the effort I put in during college still paid off, even though luck, which was there at the right time, also played a role.
What did you learn through this kind of internship with a mentor? What are the pluses of this practice?
In practice, I learned to apply the theory I adopted in college, how data is collected, sorted, and interpreted in economics rather than in a scientific sense. I learned a lot about engineering geology and found myself in it during my internship. The mentor and I spent some time in the field. Although fieldwork was not a foreign concept to me, I learned a lot of new things. I got additional ideas on how to interpret the data collected in the field. A big plus of this practice was the opportunity to gain responsibility for what you do and participate in teamwork with colleagues from the department and gain experience that is very important when hiring.
Do you think that IGH provides a quality foundation for your further career development?
Any experience that a young person can gather is essential, but it is also essential to get a quality foundation to build the rest of their career, and I think IGH can provide that. At IGH, I met with geologists and designers, labs, and drillers in the field, and I learned a lot about the administrative processes that are important in companies. I think that a good foundation for my career development is provided by the multidisciplinarity found in such large companies.
What would you say to high school graduates who are still undecided where to go?
Geology is an exciting direction to take. It has its advantages and disadvantages. I think that you must love what you do and achieve a lot, that is, succeed. It would be best if you always strived to do what fulfils you.
Do you see yourself in a company like this long term?
Yes, I see myself in a company like IGH long term. I think I still have a lot to learn regardless of my degree and college graduation.