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Where Are They Now: Miroslav Reljic

“I arrived at the refugee camp after our escape, and I saw two paths laid before me. My life at a camp for an undetermined number of years, or education and opportunities that I will create for myself.”

August 5th 1995 Miroslav and his family lost everything. Their home had burned down, and they escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs. After a 140-kilometre escape, they finally made it from Croatia to Bosnia. Without a home or support and in a strange place, it would have been easy to lose hope, but Miro has always been an outlier, resilient, driven and positive.

Immediately after arriving at the camp he went to work to change his circumstance, enrolling in school and looking for a way out. While attending school in Kosovo, and later in Belgrade, Miro would send letters to the Canadian Embassy requesting entry, “I didn’t know any English, so I had a friend translate what I wanted to say in English, then I reproduced that letter over 200 times by hand and mailed it to the Embassy every week for 4 years!”.

In 1999, Miro was finally granted refugee status and a month to pack and migrate to Calgary, “it was an easy decision, Canada was the land of opportunity, and I had very little to pack”. Miro arrived in Calgary speaking limited English but eventually made his way to Immigrant Services Calgary to begin his vocational and educational journey. For the next few years, Miro worked part-time jobs while going to classes, listening to tapes and working on his English, and always rising to the top of his class. Through grit and determination, in 2004, Miro earned a BA in Economics from the University of Calgary and a Diploma in Coaching from Cambridge University.

In 2013 Miro founded Reljic Coached, a coaching company that helps with transition and change. Now, Miro is a go-to advisor and executive coach to various global companies such as Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Airbus, New York Stock Exchange, TransCanada and many others. Miro is the only Canadian leadership and career coach to be selected for three consecutive years to coach executive MBA students from 32 countries at the prestigious Cambridge Judge Business School, ranked among top 5 business schools in the world. He was awarded the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award in 2017 and the Immigrant of Distinction Award for Community Service in 2018.

In addition to all his accomplishments, Miro always finds time to give back, and he has provided pro-bono coaching to more than 5,000 newcomers in Canada and continues to be an outstanding ambassador for Immigrant Services Calgary.

Follow Miro @reliccoached on Twitter, on Facebook at Miroslav Reljic or visit him on LinkedIn http://reljiccoached.com/index.html

This is the first of a series of stories that Immigrant Services Calgary will produce on our Alumni and past IDA winners. If you'd like to tell us your story or if you'd like to know more about Immigrant Services Calgary, volunteer or support our agency, please drop us a line at info@immigrantservicescalgary.ca