MRU Alumnus - One of a Few Law Graduates Specializing in This Area in LT with Career Achievements at Such a Young Age that Would Surprise Many - MRU

7 August, 2023
MRU Alumnus – One of a Few Law Graduates Specializing in This Area in LT with Career Achievements at Such a Young Age that Would Surprise Many
Law School

by Jaroslavas Urbanovič, Dean‘s Adviser for Communication, MRU Public Governance and Business Faculty

A dynamic and global environment, global challenges, beginning with gene therapy and ending with the use of artificial technologies in all areas of life, reasonably raise the question of what a person should strive for, what competencies a "good specialist" should have, which career direction to choose? An alumnus of Mykolas Romeris University (MRU), Vilnius University (VU) and Oxford Brookes, the Erasmus-Mundus GOvernance and Administration of Leisure and Sports International Master’s program (GOALS), - the only student from the Baltic States Vilius Lapis shares his experience on how to remain competitive in the ever-changing labor market. Law, politics, sports are just a few of the many areas he is interested in and that reflect the universality of this MRU graduate.

-First of all, how did you start your career and what were your first steps?

During my 26-years, I pursued various goals, which changed over time, but one of the essential goals remained - to promote positive changes in society in this dynamic world. The key to progress lies in the intersections of different fields, knowledge and/or information. First of all, I should start with the fact that I chose law studies rather spontaneously. My whole life before this was related to various activities: politics, sports, especially basketball. It was after my first law studies at the Mykolas Romeris University, when I went to the University of Oslo (UiO), that I realized that I was not going to limit myself to legal activities alone and that I wanted a broader understanding and worldview of what is happening in society. I then started studying for a Masters in International Relations at Oxford Brookes University. The studies provided an extremely deep understanding of the surrounding system and contributed to my further career choices. After returning to Lithuania, I obtained a Master's Degree in Law at Vilnius University. I am currently involved in a project in a unique field, in which the European Union (EU) has invested more than 5 mil Eur. It is the Erasmus-Mundus international joint Master's program GOALS implemented by 5 European universities. I am the only representative from the Baltic countries and I am in second place in terms of evaluation indicators compared to my colleagues from all over the world. It is also interesting that almost all of my studies went side by side along with other activities. I even studied at several universities at the same time, worked in various institutions or simply did various internships/projects at the institutions. All these studies have contributed to where I am now and what directions I choose in my career.

-Sports, politics, law - what connects these three, absolutely different areas and what do they mean to you personally?

I started my career with determination and passion. I took my first steps by immersing myself in sports, which was and is my passion, and law, a field that required a lot of effort. At first glance, these may appear to be very different spheres, but they are more interconnected than one might expect. Everything in my life started with sports. Basketball appeared in my early childhood and is still in my life. Law and politics go hand in hand. I am one of the few law graduates in Lithuania who is not only interested in, but also specializing in the field of sports law. Politics is closely linked here. There are a lot of legal acts and regulatory documents in national legislation that regulate the implementation and development of sports law in Lithuania. At the moment, I also pay a lot of attention to the regulation of e-Sports, because this is a new and unexplored area that requires legal and political solutions. I am one of the first in Lithuania to pursue the development of this topic. My involvement in sport, combined with my legal knowledge, has opened the door to various opportunities in sports administration, legal advice and policy making. Throughout my career, I had to work for years in law firms and state institutions, the European Parliament office in Lithuania, the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the United States of America and the United States of Mexico, etc., and everywhere the benefits of the interaction of these two areas - law and politics - were clearly reflected. Of course, we should not forget the profession of a lecturer, where I am already transferring my accumulated experience and knowledge to my colleagues and enthusiasts in the fields of law and politics. Sports has become more than a hobby - sports industries and non-governmental organizations are currently one of my main activities.

-Everything you have achieved requires a lot of hard work, persistence and effort. You're a graduate of not only MRU, but also VU and Oxford Brookes, and as you mentioned, it's not over yet. What motivates you to go further?

 I will admit that this path, which is really full of challenges and determination, I wonder if I am going in the right direction. I wonder, if all this is worth my great efforts and sacrifices, and where I see myself in a few or a dozen years. On the other hand, I think that universality is extremely important in this world and in a rapidly developing society - people engage in more than one profession, they find themselves at very interesting and very different career points. We have the freedom to choose and create, which is one of the reasons to act and improve ourselves. I am a person of extremely strong character, so I never change my beliefs and always do what I set out to do. A great incentive for me is the appreciation of society or institutions. Last year I was awarded an honorable scholarship named after the Presidents of the Republic of Lithuania. I was the only Lithuanian law student to receive it for exceptional scientific and social achievements. I measure my academic progress not only by scholarships or diplomas, but also by academic publications published, not only at the national but also at the international level. This provides a great opportunity to share the accumulated knowledge by teaching in various seminars or platforms. So, I believe that Lithuania needs professionals, specialists in their fields, who would bring significant innovations to our country. This is what I strive for by climbing the ladder of my career and using my knowledge, the desire to improve, to get to know and understand more and more fields. I am driven forward by an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a desire to stay at the forefront of cutting-edge changes.

-Vilius, we see that your CV is very impressive, but do you have one main goal in life and if so, what is it?

I think that one of the main goals, regardless of all short-term victories or experiences, is to remain human. I had the opportunity to work in many institutions and companies, where I interacted with very different people - from service personnel to managers in the highest positions. In all cases, the people that stand out are those who are polite, educated, know when to speak and when, perhaps, to remain silent. You have to adapt to very different people and always know what the limits are. You can never forget your true values - respect, understanding. All jobs end and career peaks can stop, and life can “just happen” at any time. But it’s good to know, when the end nears, that in all situations you remained a dignified, honorable person that didn’t betray his convictions.

Finally, what do you think are the most important values and skills that a modern person needs to cultivate in order to pursue a successful career?

We are all different and unique, so it is impossible to apply the same standards to all. Everyone is going through their own personal trials, pursuing their career goals and personal life. Personally, I cherish values that help me live a fulfilling life and succeed in my career. These values and my skills are the cornerstone of my personal and professional growth, shaping me as a versatile, dynamic personality, able to adapt to today's challenges. Personal development, lifelong learning, are not only qualities. They are also a serious commitment. So, as you can see, my long, but still youthful and energetic career journey has been characterized by the pursuit of improvement in various fields. My driving force is a passion for positive changes. My education and experience allow me to realize these changes not only at the national level, but also at the global level.