Pandemic encouraged ballet soloist to start studies at RISEBA

Business meets art – the slogan of our university is literally justified by our students. This time we introduce Justina Teličena, 2nd year students of the RISEBA bachelor's programme Business Psychology, soloist of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet Theater.

How did you choose to study at RISEBA?

After graduating from ballet school, I knew that I wanted to study something completely new and not directly related to my ballet career. However, for several years I was not able to find the right programme, the right university, and it seemed impossible to combine studies with a university in order to be able to study fully and develop a career. When the pandemic broke out, I realized that it was the best time to start studying. And then everything came together by itself. In literally a few days, the RISEBA Business Psychology programme came to my attention, which fascinated me with the offered subjects and the possibility of distance learning, which was a very important factor for me. However, my final choice was made thanks to former programme director Anete Hofmane – it was her conversation, encouragement and empathy that led me to make the final decision in favor of the RISEBA student role, which I have never regretted.

How are RISEBA studies and study quality evaluated?

Studies at RISEBA offer very interesting study courses, which not only help to develop academically, but also provide an opportunity to improve yourself as a person. Despite the fact that studies take place in the form of distance learning, they do not lose their quality, the materials created by teachers provide a full insight into the subject to be studied, and I think this is especially important if you choose to study remotely. Business psychology includes a wide variety of courses, and each of them seems very relevant to the programme, but if I have to choose the subjects that seem closest to me, then for now it would be psychology, coaching, stress and burnout management and marketing.

You are the soloist of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet (LNOB) theater. Of course, ballet was your choice as a child. How did this interest start? What was your path to a position in the theater?

As a child, I was a very hyperactive child, and my parents had to use my energy somewhere. So I ended up in a ballet studio, where I studied until I was 9 years old. And it fascinated me a lot, I realized that I want to do it more and more seriously. Of course, the parents shook their heads because they did not expect the child to take their life so seriously with such a profession, but they never tried to dissuade me and always supported my choices, even at the age of 9. And so I got to Riga Ballet School. Of course, as a child, I did not realize how serious the road was and how difficult it would be, but I have never regretted that choice. Thanks to my school teacher, Rita Harlapa, I have been able to achieve a theater position - thanks to her great professional input, rigor and support she provided during the 8 years I studied at school. Since 2018/2019 I am a full-time ballet artist at the LNOB Theater, where I continue to grow and develop together with theater teachers and tutors.

Ballet and business management are two seemingly opposite activities, but now they both make up your daily routine. How do these two areas live together in you?

I would say that these two areas complement each other and provide additional bonuses in each of them. I have noticed that some life choices have become smarter thanks to the entry of management into everyday life, while in academic work I have the ability to judge very broadly and artistically, which often offers something innovative, precisely thanks to the art of ballet.

Admittedly, I have had to spend more time planning to be able to devote time to both studying and working at the LNOB, but that doesn't stop me from finding time to relax or enjoy what I like. I think it definitely has to do with doing what really interests me and brings joy, so I wish any prospective student to find and study in a program that brings that satisfaction and joy to the work done.

I've always been a great planner – I don't like to use my time inefficiently or live in ignorance, so I always try to plan my plans a lot at the beginning of the week, as much as possible in an artist's environment. Admittedly, distance learning is first and foremost a very high self-discipline, because no one but myself will be motivated to study, so I can definitely admit that starting studies has made me even more active in strategic daily planning, especially in matters related to studies, while the self-discipline gained in ballet helps to motivate oneself and do what is planned honestly. At the moment, I have learned very successfully to connect the two sides of my nature in close cooperation, which makes it possible to use the two seemingly opposite sides even more effectively.

In the future – art or business?

The pandemic has taught me not to plan far for the future, because there can always be unforeseen circumstances that ruin our plans. And it is much more painful if they are well planned. So now I enjoy the opportunity to connect two different industries, and who knows, maybe in the future I will be able to successfully connect my life with both industries together, because I think there is always something very interesting when art works with business.

Why is it worth studying at RISEBA?

RISEBA offers modern study programmes that not only develop academic knowledge, but develop each of us as a personality, because we can use knowledge not only in the work and study environment, but also in everyday life. This is also one of the special higher education institutions in Latvia, which offers distance learning studies in a high-quality format, allowing you to study at a time and place convenient for you, which allows you to combine studies with a variety of occupations and professions. If I had the opportunity to turn back time and choose my university again, it would always be RISEBA.



Justina Teličena. Photo from personal archive.


Winter intake in RISEBA bachelor's programme "Business Psychology" will start on October 15!

Justīna Teličena