Before Master of Business Administration student Todo Djurovic, came to the U.S. for college, he was eagerly searching for the best American university for him to attend and applying to over 300 colleges. A German native, his ultimate goals were to join a swim team and, more importantly, have an “American college experience.”
Djurovic was fortunate to have friends who attended college in the U.S. who shared their experiences with him, including a former University of Findlay tennis player who encouraged Djurovic to look into UF’s swim team. After talking with the head swim coach Andrew Makepeace in 2013, Djurovic was on his way to begin his college career as a marketing and international business major and student athlete at the University of Findlay.
Today, Djurovic is continuing his education as an MBA student and serving as a research assistant to Nabarun Ghose, D.B.A., professor of marketing and business. In his assistantship, Djurovic’s research on international recruitment and retention led him to giving his first professional presentation at the regional Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) conference in Minnesota this year.
His presentation, titled “Successful International Student Recruitment and Retention: A Report From the Market,” not only fit with the conference’s focus on student recruitment and retention, but also originated from Djurovic’s interest in researching international recruitment trends years prior.
“I came to Findlay as part of the swim team and met many other international students,” Djurovic said. “Over the years, I started to notice that there were less and less international students amongst other teams.”
Djurovic presented on several aspects of recruitment and retention such as the perception others have of the U.S., information recruiters provide students, process of integration into the American culture and the capability of landing internships and jobs as international students in the U.S.
“International students need to know that they can get hired,” he explained. Having experienced this challenge himself, Djurovic shared how the University of Findlay’s Center for Career and Professional Development provides a hiring guide to employers to make the hiring process for international students easier. Many college professors and deans at the conference were interested in acquiring more information about that, according to Djurovic.
When it comes to international students integrating into the American culture, Djurovic suggested that more universities implement mentoring programs to help them get acclimated. “I was very lucky because I was part of the swim team from the very first day,” he said. “I had 50 friends when I came here, but I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I was coming here without any. I don’t know how I would have done it.”
Djurovic’s biggest recommendation for increasing international recruitment was to “portray a positive picture to contradict what the media shows” and use social media to show the positive experiences that international students will have in the U.S.
“I had friends that came to America and I heard their experience was really good and I wanted to experience it too,” Djurovic said. “I came for the American degree initially and wanted to go back home, but after seeing everything I can do here, my goal is to stay here and work.”
Following Djurovic’s regional conference presentation in Minnesota, he had the opportunity to submit his research for next year’s national conference and hopes to be selected to present. In the meantime, while Djurovic completes his master’s degree, he looks forward to launching a business that will help international student-athletes find a college in the U.S. that’s best for them. Following graduation, he hopes to pursue a career working on market research, preferably within the airline industry.