‘You have to be aware that if you don’t take care of yourself on your way to becoming CEO, you either won’t succeed or you’ll hit a wall once you’re there. With Lucy Network I want to create a platform where we support each other so that won’t happen.’
Monica Tesanovic is about to enter the working world and already set on making a difference. With Lucy Network, she wants to create a platform that companies reach out to when they are looking to hiring young professionals. We had the chance to sit down and talk to her about social sustainability, good leadership and what it feels like when you have to change your career path.
It was something she had thought about doing for over a year. Starting a platform for young women with different backgrounds and working experiences. A place where they could help each other grow. After a trip to San Francisco Monica decided to go for it and start Lucy Network.
– I had met so many inspiring people in the US and I thought, I’ll try and see what happens. It definitely required some courage. But feeling brave is important, it’s something I try to be as often as possible.
In the future she wants to get to know people with different jobs, to have a broad network. Working across industries and helping each other, especially women helping women, is one thing Monica hopes to contribute to through Lucy Network. Growing up in a small town outside Vimmerby in Småland, she moved away from home at seventeen to study to become a hair- and makeup stylist. After graduation from high school she worked at a salon for two years before there was a turn of events.
– My doctor sent me a letter saying I couldn’t work as a hairdresser anymore. I had become allergic to the chemicals.
Monica’s decision to study hair- and makeup had been dependent on the fact that she was tired of school. Now she decided to give it another try and move to Uppsala to study strategic communication at the university.
– I thought, I’ll study as long as I enjoy it, and it turned out I did. Of course, there was a little bit of disappointment that I couldn’t continue with what I thought I’d do for the rest of my life. I was angry that I no longer seemed to have my destiny in my own hands. But my parents, who came as refugees from Bosnia in 1993, have always encouraged me to work hard and they have showed me that if I want something, I have to get it myself.
At the moment Monica is an intern at Number 10, a PR firm in Stockholm, and this June she will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications. Besides her parents she was especially inspired by her first boss at the hair salon, Marie Sevlidis.
– She was a cool and stubborn woman who listened to what you had to say. She had a clear vision of what she wanted but always made you feel a part of it. She was inspired by other industries and wanted to create a sense of community. A while ago a woman at a Lucy Network event said, choose your leaders with care. I’ve been lucky. I’ve only had good leaders. I’ve heard horror stories where everyone goes quiet as soon as the boss walks into the room. That’s not a heathy leadership.
Lucy Network’s main focus is social sustainability. All of its members are high achievers and Monica emphasizes the importance of taking care of yourself while growing in your career. She says there is a problem today where companies want to hire young women but also view it as a risk because many suffer from mental health and stress-related issues.
– You have to be aware that if you don’t take care of yourself on your way to becoming CEO, you either won’t succeed or you’ll hit a wall once you’re there. With Lucy Network I want to create a platform where we support each other so that won’t happen. We want to help each other grow and be brave both in our personal and professional life. All the members of Lucy Network already have good leadership skills and we want to help them develop that. Because they are the future.
With Lucy Network, Monica Tesanovic is showing the way.