The Change Institute: Do we ever stop learning?

The Change Institute: Do we ever stop learning?


Hi everyone!


In today’s episode with me are four IT enthusiasts who started an organisation,  “Change Institute”, with a single purpose to motivate IT professionals to volunteer, mentor and guide people from the IT sector in Croatia throughout their career.

Their first program is called Mentoring Byte, and it’s their way of giving back to the community that raised them and creating an even stronger one. 


Who are they?

Our speakers and founders of “Change Institute” are Lora Pleško, Nataša Kapov, Andrea Knez Karačić and Marina Grljušić, who have an extensive background in the IT industry.

An absolute powerhouse of IT enthusiasts!

So what motivated them to start the project Change Institute?

They say it’s much, much easier than you would think. The team had an idea of how to make the IT society in Croatia better, and a few girls got together and quickly talked about the idea of having a mentor. In the end, a small idea turned into u big project. 

When a group of enthusiastic women get together, there is nothing they can’t do.

“You can help a person a lot by offering a new perspective.” – Nataša K.

The idea behind the “Mentoring Byte” program is to have a simple application process if you need a mentor. On their website, you can look at the list of mentors a pick the one you would like to work with. Simply write a letter to your mentor and get in touch with them. If you don’t know who to pick, in the application, you can write down what type of mentor you would like to have, and the girls will choose a mentor for you. 

The mentees need to be from the IT sector, where the goal is to encourage the growth mindset and offer a wide range of mentors from different areas of business and industries, not just for the IT sector.

  “The biggest challenge is people’s mindset” – Andrea K.K.

Let’s try to keep it simple. There are 3 types of mindset that they’ve faced over the years. 

  1. “I don’t know anything, and I’m afraid to ask.”
  2. “I know everything, and I don’t need to grow.”
  3. “I know enough in my area, but it’s not enough to teach others.”


Do we ever stop learning? Can a mentor, at one point, become a mentee again?

“We never stop learning.” – Marina G.

A mentor is a person who can not only help you save time and energy but he or she can provide you feedback on your progress and connect you to a network of professionals who can help you throughout your carrier.   

A mentor can become a mentee during a mentoring session. Even in mentoring sessions, a mentor can face an area that they are not so familiar with. At that point, you will start asking and learning about new things and broadening your experiences. It’s also a way to keep learning new areas and solutions that you can pass on to your mentees afterwards.

“We are not born with a mindset. It heavily depends on the environment where we grew up.” – Lara P.

If we have a supportive environment and a mentor that can guide us from our younger age, we can also develop an entrepreneurship mindset. A mentor in life can lead you to the places you might not be willing to go by yourself. 

Today, the collective mindset is changing. Being an entrepreneur is finally interesting where we are seeing a lot of success stories in Croatia, which is where mentoring jumps in. People will need to learn to ask for help. 

It’s important to know it’s ok to fail, and mentors will be there to help you along the way. 

I have to say, there is no stopping to where these ladies are headed. 

Also, do not miss the QUICK & EASY WAVES! – Random questions that I was dying to ask them!

Websites/ Reference mentioned in the podcast:

Website: https://changeinstitute.wixsite.com/mentoring-byte/info

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcast, Anchor, Breaker, Overcast and Radio Public.

Thank you for listening and watching the podcast! I hope you liked it.

If you want to reach out to me, give me your feedback of just go for a coffee, click on the link below.

Guys have fun and make some waves!

With love,


Maria Simurina
Maria Šimurina
Account Executive at Imago Ogilvy

I had the opportunity to work with Tena for two straight years on the Franck tea category, a category and the brand that was especially dear to her and me.
In the Client-Agency relationship, the Client’s trust is crucial, and I could sense that with Tena, which of course reflected on the cooperation and working atmosphere on each project.
She left the creative thinking to the Agency with great confidence, and with her knowledge of the category, she further enriched each project.

What I especially loved about Tena was her emphasis on excellence and high quality, from the smallest communication material, all the way to the 360 ‘campaign concepts.
I want to thank her for all the joint projects, late production hours and gatherings and I wish her much success on her new journey!

Dario Galinec

I worked with Tena on several projects after she was appointed responsible for digital marketing in Franck. The most important was Franck webshop implementation, where she was the project leader. Tena manages to get along with pretty complex project coordination on a number of activities through all internal organizational units (IT, Supply Chain, Sales, Accounting, …) as well as with external partners working on webshop functionalities, design, payment execution etc. She is young, curious, ambitious, knows what she wants and not afraid to pursue it.

Tea Zavački
Entrepreneur and Business Coach

I had the opportunity to work with Tena on a few occasions, among others, as a part of a design thinking workshop. During the workshop, we developed a solution applying design thinking methodology and tools such as in-depth interviews, customer journeys, and prototyping. Because of her creativity and proactive approach, Tena has been a valuable part of the team. Above all, I value her positive attitude and team spirit, and she comes with my heartfelt recommendation.

Marketing Manager

As Marketing Director, I had a pleasure to have Tena in my team as a Brand Manager and afterwards Digital Manager. Tena has excelled in these roles, exhibiting high levels of productivity and work quality. She possesses the ultimate “can do” attitude while taking on all tasks with positive energy and a smile. Her upbeat personality and engaging personal style enable her to interact effectively with the whole team as a great team player. Proactive and inspirational, she takes the initiative to go beyond the expected parameters of her job.
Tena is not only out of box thinker- there is no box to put her in as continuously suggesting new approaches and ideas to implement in fast-changing market environment.

Senior Brand Manager

In the last two years, I had a great privilege to work and cooperate with Tena while she was a brand manager as well as a digital manager in Franck. Professionally I can say that Tena is a responsible, reliable, hard-working colleague and great team player always ready to help. Despite her short work experience, with her acquire knowledge, she successfully launched several products, campaigns, helped in setting up of brand strategies and in the digital transformation of the company. She is continuously seeking new knowledge and proposes new ideas on how to maximize promotional activities as well as how to improve the business in general. Any team or company can benefit from her knowledge and skills. But above all that Tena is a great person and dear friend that I would like to have and keep in my life.