Where did you grow up?
In Vienna, Austria – the capital of classical music.
Before entering WBS, you had a successful career in media and public relations in Austria. What was the reason that you wanted to do a MBA?
My whole study and professional background was about media and communication. I earned a Masters in Media Studies & Communication Sciences at University of Vienna before taking various managerial roles in public relation sector. Most recently I worked for Verein neunerHAUS, an Austrian Viennese institution for homeless people, as a PR manager. But I never had any business knowledge, so I thought after doing things in media I would want to gain new knowledge and experience just to be able to move on and to get ready for greater pictures in life.
Five years ago now, you were traveling around the world in more than 10 countries. For someone who’s seen the world, why did you choose Warwick for your MBA?
It’s one thing travelling but studying is another thing! When I was considering an MBA, I knew I wouldn’t want to be far away from home. WBS is good value for money, and one of the most advanced business schools in Europe. Also, I wanted to go somewhere where English is the first language so that I could polish mine! How has the first half of the MBA experience been? Any highlights? The biggest highlight has got to be meeting people from all over the world! WBS has an excellent mixture of culture, and you get to know so many new people. Also, settling down in another country’s been a lot of fun.
What is the best thing about WBS?
Oh, I couldn’t possibly name just one! First of all, WBS has a great campus, including an art centre, a cinema and a concert hall! Then you have lots of possibilities to shape your own program of study. For example, you could take modules from other courses, and WBS has a huge range of classes to choose from. Finally, WBS promotes teamwork more than individual competitiveness. The classes are designed to teach you how to work in a team and as a team. Teamwork and supporting each other are very popular here. What classes are you enjoying the most? Economics. Our teacher, Ben Knight, really knows how to establish initial passion amongst his students. He is also a good motivation trainer. Besides that I enjoyed Marketing a lot as most of the things I already knew from my PR jobs!
Do you find your PR background an advantage in pursuing your MBA?
In my old jobs, I was used to working in teams so this whole MBA experience is not so new to me. I suppose another advantage is that I know how to write as I wrote so much in PR! As a whole I find it do-able for someone coming from PR. As long as you really put effort in and are willing to study hard, then you should be fine.
The average of the Warwick MBAs is 34-year-old with 10 years work experience. So, how would you describe your classmates?
I think we are a little bit younger than that! My classmates have lots of experiences from HR managers to operations experts. We even have an ex-footballer (Jake Edwards who used to play in Australian Football League) and a former military officer! It’s been great to have people with such different experiences around because in your group there’s always a different perspective. You learn more from your peers than from you teachers - that’s for sure. If I can describe them in two words then that would be: ambitious and helpful.
What do WBS students do outside the classroom?
Sinking in the library or shopping in Birmingham? It has to be going to Variety (an on-campus student pub)! Sometimes we go to Birmingham (the second largest city in the U.K) as it’s less than an hour away by train.
What’s next for you after WBS?
A change of career. My future will not be in PR. Full stop. I am interested in developing business ideas for emerging markets. In five to ten years, I can see myself living in Europe and working for an international corporate where I get to travel to emerging countries for business.
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