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Katarina Palcova

MA Jewish Studies

Academic Coordinator, Department of Near Eastern and African Studies at Charles University, Prague

What stands out about your time in the Department?

For me, the Department was unique in how small but friendly it was. The doors were (sometimes literally) always open, whether I needed advice, or I was in the middle of panic attack about my dissertation, or I was just walking by and I wanted to say hi. I feel like I met and got to know almost everyone in the Department, both the lecturers and the students. The quality of the education I received was outstanding, but it is the people there that I will remember forever.

What do you do now? How did HJS prepare you for your career?

I work at the Department of Near Eastern and African Studies at Charles University in Prague as an academic coordinator. That means I work with the lecturers to make sure everything runs smoothly, organize talks and events, help with the Erasmus programme and entrance exams, manage the website, and do anything and everything else that needs doing.

I floundered a bit after my MA and it was my tutor, François Guesnet, who suggested that I should look at the Department of Near Eastern and African Studies at Charles University. I am very grateful that I managed to stay in the academic world, even though I wasn’t ready for a PhD., and get to work in the field that I love. The way HJS was run is a great inspiration to me now that I’m responsible for helping to run the Department here.

What would you say to students thinking of joining the Department?

Not to be afraid. I cannot emphasize enough how nice and helpful everybody is. The workload can be challenging but you never feel like you have to face it alone.