Through the cooperation with the Croatian Olympic Committee, PAR University College has recognized the need for quality education of athletes by making possible for student-athletes to be educated according to a special programme in Business Management. PAR University College pioneered the dual career of athletes in the Republic of Croatia.
At PAR University College, the emphasis is placed on consultative teaching, adapting examination terms to athletes’ obligations and mentoring approach to the student. We came up with the idea of forming a sports study group in 2008 through the cooperation of PAR University College (then Rijeka Business Academy) and the Rijeka Sports Association, the umbrella sports organization in Rijeka. From the very beginning, the City of Rijeka supported the investment in the education of the region’s top athletes.
Many top athletes have chosen to study at PAR: water polo players Samir Barač, Anđelo Šetka, Sandro Sukno and Ivan Krapić, an athlete and Olympian Sara Kolak, sporting director deputy of the Football Club Rijeka Ivan Mance, tennis judge Anja Vreg, football players Luka Marić, Ivan Vargić and Diego Živulić, skiers Ana Jelušić and Matea Ferk as well as volleyball players Bernarda Brčić and Ivana Kalebić.
- more than 10 years of experience of dual careers of athletes has been recognized by the European Commission, which co-finances numerous PAR projects through the Erasmus + SPORT programme
- since 2017 PAR University College has been a member of the European Athlete as Student, a student association which brings together numerous universities, clubs and international Olympic committees to monitor the dual careers of athletes
INTERVIEW: Dominik Mulac
The young stopper of NK Orijent is one of the most successful students of PAR
Interviewed by: Ana Marmilić
Photo: Damir Donadić
Dominik Mulac, a 20-year-old NK Orient 1919 player, is not a typical footballer. With a professional engagement in sports, he is a second year student at PAR Business School. After 12 years in the younger ages of NK Rijeka and one season in the Italian club USD Ciserano, in July this year he is coming to the club from Krimeja.
Dominik, you are the winner of the Summa cum laude award at the PAR Business School for academic excellence. How do you manage to balance daily training with college commitments?
Yes, I am very happy and proud for the award because it speaks best of my hard work and commitment in college. It is difficult to operate on 2 tracks in parallel, but this is the best proof that it is possible. I also hope that I have at least removed the prejudice from football players.
Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile, especially since I often travel to matches. Every time I’m free, I come to college. When I have afternoon trainings, then unfortunately I don’t get to lectures. Last year was a bit specific because I played in Italy and after returning to Rijeka I passed 13 exams in a month and a half. The most important thing is good organization, I knew I had to solve my obligations, and so this year I know my obligations, which I am gradually fulfilling. I thank the professors for meeting me many times and most of all Niki Ostojić from the Study Records who helped me plan when I will take which exam. This year, however, I plan to go to the colloquia. My home club NK Orijent encourages us players to further education and invest in their own future and provides us with good conditions for studying.
A grade point average of 4.9 is certainly commendable. May I ask from which course the one and only four came from?
read economics, which, along with the Fundamentals of Business Economics, is certainly one of the most demanding courses. On the other hand, mathematics and statistics were easier for me since I finished the natural sciences and mathematics department at the Andrija Mohorovičić High School, where I gained excellent prior knowledge.
When did you start playing football, that is, when did you become interested in football at all?
As a kid, on the playground, probably like many others, and at the age of 7 I went to the NK Rijeka Football School where I spent 12 years, then 1 season in Italy, and in July this year I came to the Orient.
What position do you play in the club and which player can you single out as a role model?
I play as a stopper, I can also play as a back midfielder, but mostly it’s a stopper. My role model is Nemanja Vidic, who, in addition to playing for my favorite club Manchester United, is the epitome of dedication and sacrifice. Probably while watching him play, a love for football and the stopper position was born.
Do you consider studying to be a kind of investment in yourself?
Of course, especially because in football you never know. You should always have a backup plan because some injury can always happen. Surely my studies will give me some new levels and dimensions, and maybe one day I will decide on a business venture in football.
How do you look at the statistics that very few footballers manage to secure their future financially through football?
Yes, only 0.012 percent of footballers succeed. I always hope for the best in sports, but I have common sense concluded that I need to have something for after a sports career, and for that reason I enrolled in the study of “Business Management” at the PAR Business School. I learned about PAR from several NK Rijeka players at the end of high school while I was still playing there. After finishing school, I took a break for a year and in Novi list I came across an article by Akademski PARtner. I researched a little more and saw that Business Management might interest me and I wasn’t wrong. Once again, I would like to thank all the professors for their obligations in football.
And one completely stereotypical question for an athlete, despite the fact that you are very young and at the beginning of your career – What are your plans for the future, or where do you see yourself after a sports career?
Well I would definitely like to stay in football, either as a coach or in some other position. But it may be too early for some big plans for the future.
athletes about PAR
Igor Salamun, basketball player
Ivan Mance, Deputy Sports Director of NK “Rijeka”
Ivana Miloš Prokopić, volleyball player