Anesa Burkic

Member Spotlight: Embracing Cultures

Anesa Burkic

Journey began in 2014

"I believe Toastmasters has an excellent platform and tools that offer skills for life."

Journey Highlights:

  • Becoming vice president public relations for my club
  • Organizing our first Speechcraft series
  • Enhancing my listening skills to learn more about others

I learned about Toastmasters when a manager reached out to me on LinkedIn about a job. I asked her about the Toastmasters awards on her profile and she referred me to a member in Portland. Through him, I learned about a university job fair where the Embracing Cultures club hosted a booth, and they invited me to an open house with a potluck. Being a huge fan of international foods, I was sold.

My club offers a welcoming and safe space for women of diverse cultures and nationalities to talk about their personal goals, family, and beliefs and values, while practicing public speaking and leadership. I was born in Banja Luka, Bosnia, and moved to Germany with my family in the 1990s to escape the civil unrest in Bosnia, then immigrated to the United States in 2000. Through these experiences I did not just meet many people, I also encountered myself. I learned to use curiosity and listening skills to find out more about a person’s cultural upbringing, education and experiences. This allowed me to connect with people and find similarities instead of differences.

I am currently earning my graduate degree in Applied Linguistics and plan to teach English as a second language, as well as intercultural communication. With the skills I’ve learned in Toastmasters, I would like to lead personal development workshops. I believe Toastmasters has an excellent platform and tools that offer skills for life.