Swimming and diving champ Jana Ciric ’20 broke six records during her tenure on Pace’s Division II team. You might have met her before—she’s a dedicated math tutor as well as a programmer, and she’s from Niš, Serbia.
Student-athlete Jana Ciric ’20 has cultivated quite the broad range of interests and accomplishments. She’s an active member of Pace’s swimming and diving team, as well as a computer science major with a passion for mathematics and programming. That was what initially drew her to Seidenberg. “I have been really influenced by the positive effect technology has had on humanity in the recent years,” she told us. “When it came to making a decision about what I [would] be majoring in, I knew I wanted to be a part of [that].”
On the athletics side, Ciric is in it to win it—literally. She’s earned the Northeast-10 Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Sport Excellence Award two years running, and she broke six—count ‘em, six!—of Pace’s swimming records. “Ever since I was a little kid, I loved being in the water,” Ciric explained. “Thanks to swimming, I met my best friends, visited many different places, and even came to the US. These reasons always remind me why I love being a swimmer and why I am always grateful to have chosen this sport. It has presented me with many great opportunities and taught me many valuable skills like time management, incredible work ethic, determination, and perseverance.” Ciric’s family, she says, who live 5,000 miles away in Niš, Serbia, “are always cheering me on and following all of my meets.”
As an international student, Ciric has cultivated a broad perspective that’s only strengthened by her impressive professional background. She’s interned at a number of different industries in a variety of different locations; from a mobile app developer in Serbia to a financial firm in Connecticut to working with EDI (electronic data interchange) in nearby Purchase, NY. Not to mention the fact that she’s also an intern at Seidenberg, as well as a tutor at Pace’s Learning Assistance Center. “All of these experiences taught me different skills, embedded different values within me, and made me grow as a person,” Ciric explained.
She had some important advice for anyone looking to land a new opportunity, too. “Take on challenges. If I hadn’t gone out of my comfort zone and accepted that first internship, I am not sure I would have had two more after that.” Hear, hear!
In her work as a mathematics tutor, Ciric has shown a demonstrated interest in teaching—something that started at home. “Both of my parents are professors, so I guess [that] passion for teaching runs in my family. I love helping out other people and tutoring enables me to do that.” Her approach to assisting her peers with their work is a seemingly simple one, and yet, can be applied to any leadership role. “In order to adjust to the learning abilities of each student, I first try to get to know [them],” Ciric told us. “During the session, I like to create a motivating environment for learning and to be flexible. These strategies assist me and the student [in] having a great, mutually beneficial relationship! They also enable students to become independent learners.”
When asked about what fun facts most people might not know about her, Ciric said she writes her signature using the Cyrillic alphabet and, like all of us, is an avid binge-watcher. “I have [seen] The Office seven times,” she explained. Big mood tho.
It’s clear Ciric’s dedication and passion for so many subject areas will serve her well in the future. We’re excited to hear about all the records she continues to break!
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