Andrea Daňková, acting graduate, Department of Dramatic Theatre, DAMU

The trajectories of our life and career journeys can be straightforward, or they can be convoluted, with many sharp turns, nooks and crannies, and detours along the way. The changes and challenges that life has in store for us can be great. What matters most is that they eventually lead to a happy and fulfilled life – and not just in career terms. The following stories of personalities from among AMU graduates illustrate this statement.

Achieving a nationwide change in the healthcare sector is certainly not an easy task, yet it is not impossible. This is what Andrea Daňková believes and pursues in her professional capacity as the secretary to the Director of the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Prague. In addition, she also teaches correct techniques of communication with patients to medicine students. She says she has found her niche in healthcare and does things that make the most sense for her life. “Actually, I was admitted to DAMU while still a grammar school student, and I was taking my school-leaving examination while in my first year at DAMU already. But even then, I felt that this might not be the right career path for me,” says the graduated actor who also happens to be a graduate of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University and a holder of an MBA degree in strategic management. “I have great plans in my head and a voracious appetite for changing things. I also want to benefit the society. My job in the healthcare sector allows me to do just that, and that’s really fulfilling,” says the Director’s secretary. She adds that art and the acting job are both beautiful and meaningful, but holding such a job, you permanently depend on someone else and cannot really steer your journey, and that does not suit her. “I think it’s a pity when you graduate in your field, then realise that it’s not exactly ‘your cup of tea’, yet you lack the courage to change. Then, you end up living a sad life. I mean, we spend so much time at work! This is also why it’s so important to do a job you love,” Andrea says, understanding that the decision-making involved is usually informed by many factors that do not exactly make it easier. “Your family may take issue with the fact that you graduated in a certain field, having invested so much energy into it, yet you eventually do something completely different. You need to be able to defend that for yourself. Your new colleagues may also be suspicious of you initially. I too was compelled to prove that I wasn’t ‘just an actress’ at the beginning – that I can just as well be a top executive,” she explains and adds she can never relent in her effort. The requirements and expectations of her are still huge. Despite that, she wants to encourage others who, like her, find that they ‘are not on the right path’, to not worry and do something else. “It’s good to have the courage to change things while you can, because this becomes increasingly difficult as years go by,” Andrea points out. Out of her acting activities, she has only retained voice acting. “What gives me the biggest joy, though, is being able to complete a high-profile project, put together a consortium, or negotiate a donation from an external company that helps us to finance a vital piece of equipment. Then, of course, seeing happy patients,” she concludes.

Text: Monika Otmarová
Photo: Andrea Daňková

31. May 2023