Graduate of ŠKODA AUTO University - Ing. Ivan Vaněk

Mladá Boleslav is the hometown of our graduate Ing. Ivan Vaněk, who currently works for the British luxury car manufacturer, Bentley Motors Ltd., where he undertook his six-month internship as a student of ŠKODA AUTO University.

​As he says, the opportunity to travel abroad during his studies opened not only his eyes, but also the door to his future job. In his free time, Ivan likes to travel – his current favourite destination is Mladá Boleslav, where he likes to go on vacation.

You studied the Bachelor’s and follow-on Master’s degree programmes dealing with finance. Why this field? What is the most important thing you learned during your studies that you now use in work?
I chose finance because money talks. Moreover, I have always been fond of money.
Studies at ŠKODA AUTO University allowed me to obtain expert knowledge mainly in economics and finance. I use both in my current position in the purchasing department. A colleague of mine once said that if the purchasing department does not annually save at least as much as it spends, its existence is pointless. This is clearly an exaggeration, as the purchasing process needs to play its part anyway in order to ensure there are parts to build cars. Nonetheless, I still remember this phrase because it illustrates the importance of finance in terms of pressure on the cost of purchased parts.
My university studies also taught me soft skills such as communication and presentation skills. I believe they are at least as important as professional qualifications. More than half of my work is communication with others, whether they are suppliers or co-workers in Bentley. Almost every week, I have presentations in our local purchasing forum on the status of projects or recommended supplier nominations.

Why did you choose ŠKODA AUTO University for your studies?
After finishing secondary school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I went to the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and after about three days I realised that it was something I definitely did not want to do. I moved back from the dorms in Prague to Boleslav about a week after the start of the semester. At that time, I became interested in ŠKODA AUTO University and after initial contact, we agreed on the start of my studies there. It seemed like a good idea. I did not want to lose the whole semester, and I thought that if I quit my studies once again after only a week, at least I would not have to move anywhere because it is my hometown.

What did you appreciate the most about your studies?
Definitely the friendly individual approach of the school to each student. I think this is a major advantage compared to some of the larger schools. Considering my current position, I have to emphasise once more the opportunity to travel abroad to work within the VW Group during my studies. This is something not every school can offer, and it can open your eyes as well as bring more opportunities.

You currently work in Bentley Motors Ltd., the luxury car manufacturer. What is it like to work for such a prestigious brand?
It is nice to work for a company where you can be really excited about its products. It is also gratifying to see external positive feedback. For example, Bentley recently launched its SUV model called Bentayga, which sparked a very positive response in the media, among the public and especially our customers, which made us very happy.

How did you get to your current position? What did you have to do before you started working in Bentley? Was the process complicated?
In 2013, I did my internship in Bentley for six months. As I’ve mentioned before, I think that the opportunity to travel abroad for internships within the VW Group is one of the greatest benefits our school can offer. The internship at Bentley was a great experience in all aspects and I thought I could return one day.
After graduation, I started looking for a job and I checked the vacancies on Bentley’s website. I found out that there were several open positions in the purchasing department, where I worked as an intern. I applied for the job and I was later invited to the assessment centre in the UK.
As for the complexity, it was more complicated than it could have been, because of bad luck. Lufthansa cancelled my flight the night before my departure. It was the time when its employees went on a strike. I quickly booked a flight with Jet2, but there was a 10-hour delay due to bad weather. In the end, I got to Manchester airport around 4 in the morning. No trains run at this hour. Originally, I wanted to take a train to Crewe, where I had booked a hotel. I had no other choice than to improvise and I didn’t get much sleep before the interview. However, in the end I managed to get there on time (out of breath with a suitcase which I originally wanted to leave at the hotel!) and everything went well.

What do you like the most about your work?
Tangible results, a great international team and the overall work environment and atmosphere. Despite all the stress, deadlines and other things, everyone keeps their sense of humour.

You moved to the UK to work. How do you like the lifestyle? Was it difficult to get used to living abroad?
The UK is quite a comfortable country to live in and one can get used to living here easily, including driving on the left side of the road and shifting with the left hand. The basic features of lifestyle do not differ that much between the Czech Republic and the UK. However, there is something I cannot get used to and that is separation from my girlfriend, family and friends.

What do you like to remember from your studies at ŠKODA AUTO University?
To be honest, the time after the final exams when I was finally able to say: It is done! Nevertheless, I have to add that I met a lot of great people here, and we have a lot of stories to tell, though some of these stories are not suitable for publication.


The students of ŠKODA AUTO University and their colleagues from OTH Regensburg attended joint lectures in a new course called ITR. As part of this course, our students visited Germany for three days. The innovations cover not only teaching, but also introduce the latest technology in international supply chains in the automotive industry. 
​The JEUL project (Joint Enterprise University Learning) continues in 2019. The first meeting took place in January at Banking University Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. ŠKODA AUTO University's delegates this year were the Rector Pavel Mertlík, Petr Šulc and Jan Lachman. In addition to the two-day meeting itself, our delegates attended two seminars that followed up on the meeting.
University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City (UEH), 19-22. 11. 2018

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