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Believe in what you do, but above all believe in yourself

Interview with mathematician Nevena Mijajlović

Novena is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics in Podgorica.

Nevena likes to travel, explore, read, and spend time with her family.

She wishes she had the power to heal any being in the world from any disease with just one touch, because removing the pain to someone who is suffering is perhaps the most beautiful feeling in the world. 

She took her first STEM steps in elementary school.

“During my studies, which I graduated magna cum laude, I gained enormous self-confidence, and I began to delve deeper and more often into mathematical waters. A big incentive in this direction were the awards and recognitions I received during my studies,” recalls this talented mathematician.

Her biggest support is her family.

“I would especially emphasize the role of my mother during my upbringing and schooling, but also later when she was of great help in harmonizing my professional and family obligations,” adds Nevena.  

Talking about obstacles, she believes that in her youth, she herself was the biggest one.

“But persistent work and talent managed to turn my scepticism into power, to turn my doubts into faith, to turn my weakness into courage, to turn my work into success,” emphasized Nevena.

She is most proud of her doctoral thesis, which she defended while caring for two, at the time, young boys, Filip and Aleksa, whom she still considers her greatest achievement.

“STEM fields constantly pose various challenges to us, and by solving them we develop and become better both for ourselves and for our environment. We develop creativity, liberate our thoughts to unimagined heights, creating new inventions that open new horizons,” said Nevena.

She sent a message to girls who are attracted to mathematics to believe in what they are doing, but above all to believe in themselves.

“Be yourself, bold and different, with the belief that knowledge and work are your greatest power. The key to success is the pursuit of knowledge, learning, research and pushing one’s own limits to reach the set goals,” concluded Nevena.

From her childhood, she misses carefreeness, cheerfulness, children’s games and sincere smiles, the sparkle in her eye due to small school successes and the daily dose of happiness due to small things.

As an adult, she loves her independence, decision-making power and ability to stand behind her decisions the most.

She also likes the fact that the long-term effort and desire of a little girl has become real and tangible, that she is doing the job she loves the most in the whole world, that she is passing on her knowledge to younger generations and that she has sons of whom she is proud.