Story about the impressive Career of the 26-year-old Alen Žunić

161106038-4_xxlAlen Žunić, a 26-year-old man from Zagreb, whose origins also tie him to BiH, is probably the youngest doctor of sciences at the University of Zagreb this year and the best student of the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb in its history. In his career, Alen has a biography that not many people can boast with.

Alen graduated from post-graduate studies at Harvard, he learned from the biggest names in architecture, he has ten books behind him, six of which were written by him, he published more than 210 scientific and expert articles, critiques, overviews and studies on architectural opuses and heritage, and he is an associate of many expert magazines in Croatia and the world.

“Before I started the fourth grade of high school I have almost never hear of the architectural studies nor did I have any special interest in it. In the end, it turned out I chose the best possible faculty. Already at the beginning of the second year of studies I received Dean’s award for the best success. I also won two Rector’s awards. I managed to graduate with a GPA of 5.00 and total grade summa cum laude both in bachelor and master studies, and for now I am the only student of architecture who managed to do that. Of course, that was just an encouragement for my further work. I also spent some time in foreign schools – AA from London and ETH Zurich,” Alen says.

Alen finished his post-graduate studies at Harvard.

“Those were the best two years of my life. My main goal was to see what the world of architecture offers, and Harvard is absolutely the strongest point of architecture in the world at the moment. I went after experience and acquiring language, not after some target knowledge. Being the smartest is not enough there; you must be resourceful, communicative, fast in reacting, competitive,” Alen says.

What is especially interesting is the fact that Alen became a doctor of sciences at the age of 25, which does not happen much often.

“As much as I heard, I am the only architect in Croatia who became a doctor before the age of 30, and this year I am the youngest doctor at the entire University of Zagreb. A lot of effort has been invested to finish the doctoral dissertation so fast. It is written on 710 pages. Of course, the dissertation would have never been that good without my mentor, who provided great guidance and counseling,” Alen explains.

In addition, Alen had the opportunity to work on ten books so far, six of which were written by him, and some of them were even translated to English.

Alen says that his main goal currently is to take some rest after intense work on the doctoral dissertation. He added that he already found an extraordinary faculty for post-doctoral-assistant position, not wanting to reveal more details until everything is official.

“Of course I wish to open my own office one day, but there is still time to implement that project,” said Alen. Alen’s story intrigued even the magazine Playboy, for which he gave an extensive interview.

Alen advises young people to invest their energy in things they love and to believe that everything is possible. Second recommendation is networking, to meet people out of their country, region and even Europe and that it is the only way to progress. Without networking, everything stays on limited exchange of knowledge and experiences and there is no moving forward.


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