At ŠKODA AUTO University, you first graduated from the Bachelor’s degree programme Business Administration and Financial Management, followed by the follow-on Master’s degree programme Law in the Global Business Environment – what is the most important benefit in terms of practical use in your professional life?Regarding my Bachelor’s degree, the half-year compulsory internship was the most beneficial. Even though the internship was not in ŠKODA AUTO, it allowed me to experience a real job with everything that comes with it. It is a great opportunity which, if used correctly, yields contacts and experience that can be very useful later in life. Another great benefit of studying at ŠKODA AUTO University is the fact that lectures are given by experts in their respective fields, making the learning experience more beneficial to students.
You also went on a study visit to Seinäjoki in Finland – how do you remember this part of your study journey?
I like to remember my Erasmus in Finland. It was a great experience, both good and bad. I must say the experience is very difficult to describe and if I could recommend Erasmus to other students, I would say go if you can. Everyone has heard this cliché before, but it is true. Erasmus allowed me to discover a new way of learning, become more independent, get to know the different habits of students from other countries as well as Finland and its beautiful countryside and cities, but I also started to hate its cold weather and darkness by the end of my stay. I was looking forward to being at home again.
You did several internships in ŠKODA AUTO during your studies, but after graduation you decided for a different industry for your career. Was the automotive industry not interesting for you?
I was interested in working for ŠKODA AUTO. I applied for the trainee programme. I was not selected and am very happy today that I wasn’t. This allowed me to get a job in Estée Lauder and gave me an opportunity which would take a long time to get to in ŠKODA AUTO as a graduate. However, I still believe that ŠKODA AUTO is a great employer.
So, you currently work in Estée Lauder. How did you get to this job and what are your responsibilities?
I contacted Estée Lauder, even though they were not looking for anyone. First, I worked in HR on trial, after three months part-time in marketing and at the end of this contract I got an offer in PR. I never thought about PR, but PR found me. I cannot even imagine doing something else.
I am taking care of PR for seven brands (Estée Lauder, Tom Ford, DKNY, Michael Kors, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tommy Hilfiger and Aramis). I communicate with journalists, prepare press releases, manage social media for Estée Lauder, cooperate with bloggers, vloggers and celebrities, organise events and prepare printed promotions for our customers. Working in PR is diverse and involves meeting new people and discovering interesting places. Sometimes I feel like it is too much – there are several new products to be launched every month, you need to make your output visible and you constantly need to report and defend your work. Nevertheless, I intend to continue working in PR.
You mentioned working with vloggers and bloggers. How do you like working with them?
When I started working there, communication with bloggers and influencers was only just starting. The company was neglecting this channel and considered it a low priority. Much has changed over the last two years. Companies now understand why this communication channel is so important. Bloggers and influencers are now an integral part of every campaign we work on. They are now considered a legitimate marketing channel used to reach out to customers.
I cannot say that cooperating with them would be good or bad. Cooperation and communication differs from person to person. It is important for me to be consistent and set the rules of cooperation clearly. I try to get to know each person well and tailor the different campaigns. First, I let the bloggers try a product so that they can fall in love with it. I never persuade anyone to work with us. Our products are so exclusive after all that we can choose. I don’t want to work with the type of people who will promote anything as long as it is paid. I only work with those bloggers, celebrities and vloggers who have the trust of their audience and who are convinced about our products and love them.
Do you have any advice for students who would like to take a similar career path and work in PR of similarly oriented companies? What should they focus on during their studies?
There are PR study programmes at Charles University and other universities, but this is not the approach I would recommend. I think that ŠKODA AUTO University is the optimal choice. The programme Law in the Global Business Environment and all the knowledge and experience it provides will allow you to work in any industry. General knowledge is much more useful for a PR position compared to being specialised and in a way limited only by a specific field of study. Of course, it is good to know something about the given industry, but sometimes common sense and intuition are far more valuable than graduating in the given field. If one day I feel like I am not enjoying PR anymore, I can still work in other fields.
Final question – if you were to choose your university again – would you go for ŠKODA AUTO University?
I cannot say. I did not study at any other universities (except for the one abroad). Of course, there were days I was a bit bored, but I like to remember my studies, that is for sure. What I enjoyed the most were the psychology courses with Mr. Pavlica, law with Mr. Šmejkal and overall all the courses taught by real experts, whom I had the chance to meet during my studies. Another great thing about the school is the facilities, the library, study room and its beautiful environment for all students. I think that people realise this only in retrospect.I met many wonderful people during my studies and we’ve been friends ever since. So, to answer your question, I would definitely choose ŠKODA AUTO University again.