Chicago 2019

Reflections from the 6th Annual BAPA Forum 

A generous thank-you to all who attended BAPA’s 6th Annual Forum in Chicago, Illinois. As always, it was an invigorating and inspiring weekend! BAPA’s network continues to grow year by year, and we are so grateful to have such a wonderful community supporting our scholarship recipients and joining us for networking events through the weekend! We are especially grateful to our passionate scholarship recipients Raza and Elma. They wowed the audience with their presentations about how food and physical therapy affect health and about the details of private equity–both aspects of their chosen career paths. And finally, thank you to Emir Kamenica, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, for engaging the forum in a thoughtful  discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of creating and producing versus consuming.

Our program also included two networking-style workshops. Our speed networking session helped us connect participants in a very short period of time. Our industry-specific small networking workshop allowed participants to challenge themselves and their peers with actionable goals and plans for their careers. We further strengthened those newly-found connections through dinner, brunch, and attendance at the Chicago Festival of BiH Film! 

Our favorite part is the feedback from our future leaders, the BAPA scholarship recipients!

“Attending the 6thannual BAPA forum in Chicago was an amazing experience for me. It was wonderful to connect with like-minded Bosnian-Americans who value education and hard work. I am so excited to stay in touch with BAPA members and I hope to attend forums in the future. I believe that bringing together Bosnian-American professionals from a variety of industries is critical to increasing Bosnian-American representation in professional fields. I learned so much from a number of professionals who already have a few years of industry experience under their belts, and I am grateful that I was able to grow my professional network during the forum.” – Elma Sarajlija

“Thanks to BAPA, I received both a scholarship to reduce the expenses associated with graduate school and the opportunity to fly out to Chicago and network with incredible individuals from the Bosnian American community. Not only did I connect with successful professionals from a variety of fields, I was also able to give my first professional presentation on food insecurity and chronic disease, and discuss my work with like-minded individuals who offered me advice on pursuing my own endeavors. The opportunities provided by BAPA have already launched my career pursuits and helped to establish connections with organizations and individuals that I look up to. BAPA brings together bright, successful individuals who are there to connect and help one another grow. I left the BAPA forum feeling inspired and more connected to our community.” – Raza Hasanovic

We are so proud and honored to call these amazing students members of our community. They join a growing cohort of ten scholarship recipients that continue to do amazing things with their community every day. Thank you Raza and Elma, for your participation in the forum and for inspiring our community to support each other!