Inspiring stories of Natolin alumni – Flavian CATALIN-PAH

It is with great pleasure that we share the story of Flavian CATALIN-PAH, Natolin alumnus of the Falcone and Borsellino Promotion (2014/2015).

While the students of the Mário Soares Promotion are about to start their transformative academic adventure, our dear Arendtians have just left Natolin to embark onto their professional journeys. Transitioning can be challenging, but often provides unparalleled opportunities for growth. A great example of that is the story of our alumnus Flavian, who kindly agreed to share with us his perspectives on facing the unknown, and creating opportunities before, during, and after his studies at Natolin.

Having gained valuable professional experience in both the public and the private sector in places like Warsaw, Cluj-Napoca and London, Flavian works now as Business Development Executive at CTOtech, an IT company in Romania that he has also helped to found. Furthermore, he is very much engaged in volunteering, and has expressed continuous devotion to community and social business development. What lies behind his impressive career is innovation, a network of highly committed people, and what we call l’Esprit du Collège.

As he learned more about innovation policies in the EU and the path from EU membership to EU integration, Flavian realised that even though there was interest to invest in Romania, the lack of bridges that would be able to favour the country’s integration into the EU system proved to be a massive hindrance to those endeavours.

"Thanks to the Geremek Scholarship I was able to study at Natolin for one year, but there is still a large number of children in the world that will not have the chance of getting a similar education or exposure."

He then teamed up with a group of people interested in the education sector and developed an initiative able to support professional training, soft skills, and IT labs in local schools, all with the objective of reducing dropout rates in his home region:

"Right after graduating from the College many people feel they need to give something back to their communities. Thanks to the Geremek Scholarship I was able to study at Natolin for 1 year, but there is still a large number of children in the world that will not have the chance of getting a similar education or exposure."

The NGO started to grow with the creation of a fund for development of social business. To an important extent, Flavian says that the College network helped him to achieve that, but also his experience as the Executive Director of the Polish-Romanian Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry was crucial to understand where his NGO should be headed.

Today, looking back with all the business experience he has acquired over the years, Flavian stresses that the most critical values he developed at the College were adaptability, resilience, and hard-work ethics. These prove that in the long run, training, information and the Natolin community are not only useful, but also transformative and empowering, and if there is anything that Flavian would say to himself about transition at the beginning and at the end of his year at Natolin, it would be that it takes 30 years to make an overnight success.

"It takes time, dedication and trust, and while at times the road may seem long, every step, as little as it may seem, is of the greatest importance."

18.08.2020