Why did you decide to attend the full-time, bachelor degree program International Business Studies? What makes it such a special program in your eyes?
For secondary school I attended a commercial academy, and afterwards I wanted to continue my education in that direction, more specifically, I wanted to study economics and management. And the FH Kufstein seemed to be the right place to do it.
The full-time bachelor program International Business Studies was especially attractive for me because of the possibility of doing a corporate internship in a foreign country and the requirement to study abroad for an entire academic year. At the time, the program was the only one of its kind in Austria that offered such extensive international activities for its students.
For these international experiences, I knew it would be important to have a good command of at least a couple of foreign languages. I saw that quite a few courses in the program are held in English, and so I knew I would be well prepared to attend classes in English during my study abroad year. And then I had the choice to learn either Spanish or French – I chose Spanish.
Which courses have you attended so far and what have you learned in or through them?
It’s like I was just saying: the program has a strong focus on business administration and languages, so the courses in these areas stand out for me. In the first semester we had courses like Mathematics, IT, Business Administration, Accounting, Economics, and Economic Law. Combined, they gave us a pretty good foundation. Then, in the following two semesters, we had Statistics, Controlling, Financial Mathematics, as well as Marketing. We also had some more advanced courses in Accounting and Economics. So all in all I developed a deep understanding of the business world, and this was all before going abroad to do the corporate traineeship. Also the English and Spanish courses gave me a lot of confidence with respect to interacting with other professionals in a foreign language.
Have you already worked on any projects at the FH Kufstein? What did the projects deal with? How did you contribute to the projects?
In the three semesters we spent directly at the FH in Kufstein, we did quite a few projects. For example, in the third semester, for the lecture Business Administration, our assignment was to found a company and create a business plan. At the end of the semester the different student groups presented their business ideas in detail to the rest of the class.
For this project, my group decided to take a company that had operations only in Germany and prepared its establishment on the Austrian market. We were very conscientious about developing reliable financial plan and effective marketing strategy. Among other things, I was responsible for the marketing strategy, which included a series of events and the production of merchandizing articles to support the launch.
It was great hearing about the ideas of the other groups, too. They were all very interesting and creative. The project was such a good learning experience because we saw just how much thinking and time is necessary to set up a company.
Where did you go to study for your year abroad? And where did you go for your corporate internship?
I did my traineeship in Valencia, Spain. I worked in the marketing department of the company ESB Sistemas SL. I worked closely with different members the marketing team on a few interesting projects, and I also got a feeling for how the marketing department fits into and interacts with the whole organization. And I was really challenged to use and develop my Spanish skills.
For my year abroad I went to the Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. This year was definitely one of the highlights of the program International Business Studies. The courses I attended were great and I learned a lot. And meeting so many exchange students from so many countries of the world was also awesome. But it was really interesting to be immersed in the Japanese culture and get to know their way of life and mentality; everything was so different from what I was used to, and so it was a true learning experience for me.
What career prospects do you have as a result of your studies?
While at Kansai Gaidai, I attended a course called International Business Consulting. The lecturer had had over ten years of experience working for one of the largest consulting firms in the world. He told us about various remarkable cases he had worked on himself and also asked us to work through several of them to come up with solutions ourselves. The lecturer really awoke my interest in business consulting. I could see myself taking a starting position at a consulting firm to gain some experience in that branch.