1. In which year did you emigrate?
I emigrated in August 2003. At that time I had finished high school, and I had won a scholarship to study in the United States of America.
2. What do you remember most about your early life in the Western world?
The beginnings were not very difficult because we traveled to America as a group of students from Kosovo and helped each other. The biggest difficulty for me in the first month was the great concentration during communication because I was not used to speaking English 100% of the time. This has given me a lot of energy.
3. How did your integration go and what difficulties did you encounter?
Within three months I was already adapted to the environment. The fact that I lived in the dormitory and had an American student as a roommate also helped me. In general, I did not encounter any difficulties.
4. What ties do you have with your homeland and what importance does it have in your life?
Homeland is very important to me. I love him very much and I am very attached to him. Perhaps also because of the history filled with sacrifices and suffering in general. I think that in general all Kosovar Albanians are very connected to their homeland.
5. How many times a year do you visit Kosovo on average?
Once a year, sometimes two or three times a year.
6. How much has Kosovo changed according to your impression?
Kosovo has changed a lot in the last twenty years, and the biggest change is the declaration of independence and the beginnings of the state formation process. When I traveled to America for the first time, I didn't even have a passport, but only a letter, later for a long time I used an UNMIK passport. With the declaration of independence, I started to see Kosovo listed as a country on various websites and organizations. Other big changes have been in the development of infrastructure, construction, especially in the capital, and the change in people's mentality. When I came to America, a small majority of the population spoke English, the Internet was only in a few houses in the capital. Today, the youth of Kosovo does not differ at all from that of the Western world.
7. What do you miss the most from Kosovo in exile?
I miss everything, including family and society, culture and traditions, food, the Albanian language everywhere, but also the land itself.
8. Do you think of returning one day to live in Kosovo?
Yes, that is my dream, to come back and contribute to my country.
9. Describe your professional commitment to us in more detail?
At the beginning of my career, I worked for several startups in the field of education and finance such as "Quinstreet" and "Adchemy". Then I changed the product and continued to work for "Expedia", which is one of the leading travel brands in the world. I also worked for a company in the legal field called "Legalzoom" and finally at "LinkedIn".
It took a lot of work and experience to get here. When I applied I had extensive experience in the field of marketing and a proper education.
Linkedin is a business and employment service that operates through the Internet and applications. I manage the largest product at LinkedIn, LinkedIn Premium. In other words, I manage online marketing through emails and websites for Linkedin Premium. Premium is a paid product that is added to the profile and as a result the premium member has access to LinkedIn Learning where they can take online lessons or classes considering the library of more than 16,000 classes.
The role I have has a lot of responsibility, in just one week I have sent over 130 million emails to members. Which means that the care must be maximum that everything is correct because it affects the whole image of the company.
10. In your opinion, what should Kosovo institutions do for emigrants?
The institutions should engage as much as possible and frame the emigration in Kosovo. The first is to enable voting in Kosovo embassies abroad. The second is to offer favorable conditions for investment including lower taxes on profits, easy process of business registration, maybe even some other assistance such as giving the land into use in foreign form. The third is to enable the transfer of their knowledge and skills by organizing conferences, summits, training platforms where professionals from the diaspora can share the knowledge acquired abroad, such as in technology, health, education or any other field. And fourth, to invite young people who have grown up in exile to come and participate in various programs so that they connect more with their parents' homeland. In this way, we awaken their love for the country and connect them more with Kosovo.
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