A Day in the Life of an Ambassador Nicola Minasi

Nicola Minasi, Ambassador of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is proud of the possibility to improve the lives of citizens and meet incredibly talented and inspirational people during his two and a half years spent in BiH so far. Though his work is challenging, Ambassador Minasi uses every opportunity available to improve cooperation between Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina and help the country and citizens. Ambassador Minasi describes what a day in his life looks like and which moments have been the most memorable during his time in BiH.

I usually get up early and start working around breakfast time, checking the news and consulting Twitter for the latest developments. On some days I go to the gym or to language class and then to the office. Most of my time in the Embassy is devoted to talking with the staff and managing our work in various fields: politics, trade, cultural promotion, consular affairs and administration.

An Embassy is like a ship and everybody must be professional both personally and as a team member and, indeed, success results only from good teamwork. However most of my time is spent out of the Embassy in meetings, which is the most interesting part of my job. Having access to so many people and being able to learn from them makes every day absolutely special, even when on the road around the country. In those situations it is indeed challenge to stay in the car and tweet at the same time, which is always demanding, especially in the mountains.

Managing time effectively can be quite demanding, especially for an Ambassador who needs to manage his obligations, be present at various public engagements, attend meetings and coordinate with his staff within the Embassy. Despite his busy schedule, the Ambassador looks forward to new engagements, meeting with youth and presenting the opportunities that Italy can offer them.

Keeping focused and managing time effectively is quite demanding. The proposals for meetings are endless, while the pressures and requests from all sides are numerous and unexpected, and sometimes even if you manage to do everything, you still need to find the time to inform colleagues back home about the latest developments.

So making sure that you meet your priorities requires strong mental discipline, as well as a good team. Yet this is also an amazing school in which to refine your skills and I'm always positively surprised at how this continuous effort eventually improves the quality and quantity of your output.

I know that every day is different from the other, but that all of them are filled with the immense privilege of representing my country and being able to use my authority and contacts to do good. Being a civil servant gives you a special power: to administer public goods in a way that can have a positive impact on many people. As a diplomat and as an ambassador that provides me the opportunity to create new relationships, new prospects, new results. Interacting with people, especially younger ones, is something I especially enjoy and I'm always happy when I can meet local students, Italian schools or smart young men and women who are discovering their path through life and the possibilities offered by Italy. 

The proudest accomplishment of Ambassador Minasi's job is his satisfaction at being able to contribute to bettering the lives of citizens and supporting the young people of the country. He describes the country as challenging, deep and amazing and remains fascinated by the beauty of its nature and people.

I'm satisfied when I see that I can help to make people's lives better, by promoting cultural discoveries, creating new jobs and products and, most of all, trying to contribute to a positive outlook in local politics. In practical terms, I'm most happy when I see young BiH citizens coming back from study tours to Italy with new skills and ideas, when I feel the enjoyment of citizens in our cultural programs, attract investments from Italy and establish better communication amongst local actors. In a special country like BiH there is also a responsibility to maintain a healthy approach inside the International Community and I'm always happy when I can mobilise that for the benefit of all. 

I've been in BiH for two and a half years and every day I tell myself that I'm incredibly lucky to serve here. As a foreigner I'm in the enviable position of enjoying the best of two worlds. I'm humbled by the hospitality of BiH citizens and I know I will eventually miss all the smart people that I keep meeting here. In fact, I want to enjoy their company as much as possible and visit as many places as I can. The variety of nature is just wonderful and I love the fact that the sea is also close.

Aware of the challenges of a career in diplomacy, Ambassador Minasi reminds anyone interested in representing their country in this capacity of the complexity and challenges of the posting. Through his posting in BiH, he has become aware of the challenges of being in the spotlight, but the potential and strength of the citizens encourages him to work harder and continue supporting them.

To become a diplomat you generally need to pass an exam that requires knowledge of international history, law and economics. Yet passing the exam is one thing, working as a diplomat is another. I believe the main skill must be to be prepared to constantly learn new things and get used to switching from one issue to the other, while trying to identify the connections between them. Also, being a diplomat puts you in the spotlight and you must learn to deal with your ego. All the best and worst of you comes out in the open and there is no hiding, so be ready to understand those pressures and try to be humble. Use your authority to do something good, not to please yourself.

I'm struck by the depth of people's personal lives and their ability to be normal and special at the same time. Even the most ordinary person here has been exposed directly or indirectly to some of the most difficult tests human beings can face and yet I find a kind of spontaneous, inner wisdom that is the result of patience accumulated over generations. I love to see how, in spite of the criticism of politics and the country in general, people know how to appreciate a multitude of hidden secrets and enjoy them. I see a lot of potential, that can be liberated only if people restore trust among themselves at the social level and then at the political one.

There are many good things that Bosnia Herzegovina can bring into the future from the past. The possibility to live together and accept each other is a priceless value that is important for the whole of Europe and I'd like to help, in any way I can, to help people find the courage to get there. Once people learn to coexist with reciprocal acceptance, this can be the best country in the world.