Snippets of a Conversation

Vanja Sinanovic-Absmaier ’05

Vanja Sinanovic-Absmaier ’05 was a psychology major from Bosnia. She is currently heading Global Business Services Procurement for Allianz in Munich, Germany, and will soon transition to lead transformation of IT delivery in Global Lines Business for Allianz. She had her Bennie Conversation via Zoom with Abby Hansen ’12.

“I’m a child of mixed marriage, meaning my mom is Catholic; my dad is Muslim. So when I came out of that type of religious conflict, I really had an aversion to religion. And when I arrived at a Catholic university, you know, a Benedictine Catholic University, and they told me that I had to take some theology classes, I was like, No, I’m not going to do that. In my mind they were going to teach me about Jesus and what I can do and what I cannot do and whatever. …

“But I must say, the theology classes I took at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s were so brilliant. They were deeply philosophical – about individual spiritual life. They were covering religion and history and theological aspects and so forth. But we were really free to talk and think and question everything. We were actually stimulated. Which, for me, really helped my soul and really helped my healing and understanding.”