Arriving to the United States for the first time in the middle of a pandemic hasn’t dulled Violeta “Vicky” Cvetkoska’s enthusiasm for the work that awaits her as a visiting scholar at La Salle University’s School of Business.
While her sightseeing plans are on hold, Cvetkoska is eager to conduct research with Madjid Tavana, Ph.D., professor and chair of La Salle’s Department of Business Systems and Analytics and share her findings with others.
A native of Skopje, North Macedonia, Cvetkoska is an associate professor of business analytics and operations research at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.
“I want to learn more, and I know that the School of Business and Dr. Tavana and his colleagues in this department will help me achieve this goal,” said Cvetkoska, who will also serve as a guest lecturer and host workshops during the Spring 2021 semester. “By working on this research, I want to gain new knowledge to then disseminate and transfer to other people.”
Cvetkoska shared more on her home county and her expectations as a visiting scholar at La Salle:
How would you describe North Macedonia to those who aren’t familiar with the country?
Cvetkoska: “I come from the capital, Skopje. We have the tallest cross in the world. It was built on the top of a mountain and it’s a big tourist attraction. There was a big earthquake in my town in 1963, so Skopje was rebuilt after that. In my town there is a lot of culture, many museums, many theaters. It’s the most attractive for tourists to see and visit. And the city of Ohrid has the deepest and oldest lake in Europe. These are the two towns that are the most interesting to visit. We’re a country without any ocean or sea like our neighboring countries, Albania and Greece, but we have many lakes and mountains. It’s a small country, still an undeveloped country. But a new generation is coming up, gaining experience from abroad, building the culture and the economy. I’d also like to mention that we got our independence in 1991, and we got it without any bloodshed.”
What attracted you to La Salle?
Cvetkoska: “I looked into La Salle University and its values, and I like what they are doing for their students. Professors are sharing these types of values and that was something that appealed to me. And the School of Business has AACSB accreditation. Only five percent of business schools in the world have this accreditation. That’s a mark of quality. I can build up my career here and be better at analytics when I get back to Macedonia.”
What do you hope to achieve academically and personally while at La Salle?
Cvetkoska: “The idea is to work on different research papers using data envelopment analysis methodology and then to submit these papers in top journals. We want to contribute to other people who have interest in this area. And when I return home, I want to set up seminars and workshops at my university to present our results. And I want to grow by using knowledge. Every one of us has our own currency. And one side of that currency is our knowledge. We need to invest every day in our knowledge if we want to make a better version of ourselves and to be successful in our careers. There is a quote from Benjamin Franklin: ‘Investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’ That is something that I really believe in and I want to invest in.”
Do you plan to incorporate lessons about Macedonian culture into your lectures and workshops?
Cvetkoska: “This is a program with educational and cultural exchange, so I want to introduce the culture from North Macedonia. I also want to advise students about their career, if they want to build a career in analytics. I want to advise them on skills and tools that they need to have in order to be successful in analytics and to help companies to be data driven and make better decisions.”