17.07.2020: Meet Elena Dragicevic - Employee interview
Tell us your story- how did your path lead you to Nanion Technologies?
My connection with Nanion began even before I was aware of it. My story starts in the fall of 2003, when I arrived to Munich from Belgrade, fresh and eager to learn! I started my PhD in the lab of Prof. Konnerth, at LMU and later TU. What I didn´t know at the time, was that while I was learning how to use a manual patch-clamp in the basement of our institute in Pettenkofferstraße, a young and vibrant team was building Nanion Technologies on the third floor of the same building; unbeknownst to myself. After finishing my PhD in molecular neurophysiology, my path took me to Ulm University, where I joined the lab of Prof. Liss and ultimately became the Head of Electrophysiology in her lab (focusing on Parkinson´s disease and drug addiction). One might say I started to tick all the boxes needed for pursuing an academic career: experiments, papers, grants, teaching, the whole package. However in time, it became clear to me that there are other options, and not only one strict path for a scientist. At that point in my life, it was also time to go back to Munich.
My PhD colleague, a good friend and by chance a Nanion customer and collaborator, found a job opening listed in Nanion´s Newsletter and forwarded it to me. He told me “They started in Pettenkoffer, you know”, and I had a good feeling. My instincts were right, and after my interview, Niels offered me a position to develop a European market plan for one of the instruments Nanion distributed at the time. That was 6 years ago, my role changed and evolved, but one thing stayed the same: the smile on my face when I go to work!
Elena was born in Belgrade and even got the chance to represent Nanion at FENS in her hometown last year, as pictured bottom middle. Elena can always be found near water, here you can see her enjoying the sights of Montenegro. As well as water, Elena enjoys painting and photography and reminiscing about where it all began in Pettenkofferstrasse shown bottom right.
Knowing what you know now, what 3 pieces of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
1. Develop your agility and resilience early on, both in your professional and private life.
2. Јутро је мудрије од вечери - Morning is wiser than the evening. Something my mother always told me to teach me how to reflect and be patient.
3. Listen to your mother – it is true, they really are (almost) always right.
(sneaky #4 – Read newsletters you get from companies– you never know when they can change your life!)
One Last Question- what’s the coolest thing about your job?
In my opinion, the most important in any job is to learn, develop and work in a great team. And exactly that is the coolest thing about working at Nanion. Even though my position is focused on managing sales and collaborative partnerships, it is still very much scientific. Exactly this variety is what I find extremely satisfying in my job. Finding solutions for our customers is our highest priority, and this challenges me to think about different experimental applications and answers to help them do their best science. Furthermore, not only do I get to work with amazing people at Nanion HQ in Munich, but I interact with teams from our daughter companies and collaborators all over the world. Travelling and learning about other cultures and ways business is done in different locations is a priceless experience, not only for professional but personal development as well.