PETOŠEVIĆ PEOPLE: Q&A with Barbara Mencin
Barbara Mencin joined PETOŠEVIĆ Slovenia in 2015 as a junior associate and became our Ljubljana team leader three years later, in 2018. Barbara mostly handles trademark prosecution and enforcement in Slovenia and various other jurisdictions in which PETOŠEVIĆ operates. We asked Barbara about her work, her hobbies, where she would take us in Ljubljana, and much more.
How did you start your career in the IP field?
By coincidence – as a student I worked in a law office that provided services in the field of IP, among other fields. I liked it and I have luckily been able to continue working in this field.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Working with people (I’m kidding!) – although this aspect can be challenging from time to time, it is also the most inspiring part, because I have an opportunity to learn something from each and every person I work with.
What do you most enjoy doing at work?
Resolving complex issues, coordinating work in the office and with other offices, playing detective from time to time. I also enjoy gaining insight into foreign jurisdictions and different industry fields (like pharmacy), having an opportunity to learn something new every day, and working in an international environment.
What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?
Probably in the field of criminal law. My wish was to become a public prosecutor.
What was the first job you’ve ever had?
When I was in high school I sang on the “Maxi Singing Christmas Tree”, a giant stage shaped like a Christmas tree in front of a shopping mall. I was part of a choir singing Christmas carols during the holiday season. It was my first job, the best and most interesting job, and although I was freezing all the time I was happy to be part of this project every year until I finished high school.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
Besides spending time with my family and closest friends, I love outdoor activities like hiking, skiing and swimming. I spend most of my time at yoga classes and have been involved in a yoga teacher training program. I gladly dedicate the rest of my free time to visiting concerts, playing the piano or singing – I am a member of the female vocal group Maroltovke, which is part of a well-known Slovene academic folklore group, France Marolt. Of course, I shouldn’t forget travelling – anytime and anywhere.
What book did you read last?
“Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles.
What is your favorite song/music at the moment?
“If Only” by Andrea Bocelli, featuring Dua Lipa.
What is your favorite dish of all time?
Shrimps, prawns, lobsters… 101 ways!
If you could meet anyone in the world, from the past or present, who would it be and why?
Paulo Coelho – to get some inspiration!
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
I can’t decide between history and languages (I loved literature, not grammar).
What did you want to be when growing up?
A piano teacher.
Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.
I am scared of flying – that is why I try to face my fears and travel as much as possible.
Music is a huge part of my life – I completed music schools for the piano and percussion instruments, I played in a wind and percussion ensemble, sang in choirs at every educational institution that I attended, etc. I am not sure at which point my life turned towards law!
I have a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certificate.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
This is impossible to decide because my “to-learn” list is endless; from sewing, painting, pottery making to mountaineering, ballet dancing, learning at least one additional foreign language, learning to play the violin, and much more.
What is your biggest frustration about the world around you?
The impact of social media on our lives and the lack of moral values.
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
That the only constant in life is change.
What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?
At this point I could write a book to the 13-year-old me, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened to myself. In any case, if I gave it a try it would be:
Don’t take life too seriously.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no; if you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place; if you don’t go after what you want, you will never have it.
Try to like natural sciences and study them harder – it might come in handy one day.
What cities/countries have you lived in?
As much as I love wandering around and I feel at home (almost) anywhere, I have always lived in Ljubljana.
If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?
For me it would be ideal to spend half a year in each of the countries we cover!
If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?
We would start with a walk to the top of Rožnik – a hill just minutes away from the Ljubljana city center that rises above Tivoli Park. We would have a picnic brunch on the grass in front of the Visitation of Mary Church at the top of the hill, enjoying “Rožnik flancat”, a type of fried pastry which is a must-try.
On the way down from Rožnik, we would make a stop at Tivoli Park’s scenic Jakopič Promenade (Jakopičevo sprehajališče). The promenade was designed by the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik and it has become a venue for outdoor photograph exhibitions throughout the year.
On the way towards the city center, we would make a stop at the National Gallery, which holds the largest national collection of fine arts – we would take a look at the paintings of Ivana Kobilca, our famous female painter, and see famous pieces by Slovenian impressionists.
Then, we would take a short walk from the gallery to the city center, passing the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ljubljana, and visit Prešeren Square with the statue of our famous poet France Prešeren (the lyrics of the national anthem are taken from his poem “Zdravljica”). We would take a look inside the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, and finally, we would visit the Cathedral (St. Nicholas’s Church) just a few steps further.
After visiting the central market and tasting local products, we would walk through the historic part, finishing at the Ljubljana Castle on the hill above the city. There is nothing better than enjoying the view of the city from the castle at sunset.
Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.