You come from Prague – how did you end up studying in Mladá Boleslav at ŠKODA AUTO University? Do you remember what made you interested in the school?I’ve always been interested in cars, and during my high school graduation year, I started using our family’s first-generation Octavia. The idea to go to a school related to cars or the Octavia itself was born at that time.
You founded the OctaviaClub before starting your studies at ŠKODA AUTO University. Was this related to your choice of our school?The Octavia was the root of all this. I took care of the car and made some modifications to it. I also wanted to try something completely different than everyone else in my year.
In 2005, you were one of our first students to do an internship in Bentley Motors Ltd. in the UK. What was the selection procedure back then? Was it difficult to adapt to Bentley?We had to go through an internal selection first, which was based on grades and level of English. This was followed by a phone interview, if I remember correctly. The adaptation process itself was shock therapy in a way. We had a small stipend and no income at that time. Essentially, we had to find a place to stay in a few days, which we could afford to pay for together, and then figure out the rest. In numbers, the stipend was 450 pounds, and we had to pay 333 for the accommodation. We would not have done it without our parents’ help.
In retrospect, what do you appreciate the most about your studies at ŠKODA AUTO University? The professional approach that has trickled down from ŠKODA AUTO as well as the connection with the real manufacturing environment. The obligatory internship semester is perfect.
You worked for Renault after graduation. How did you end up working for ŠKODA AUTO’s competitor? What were your responsibilities in Renault?I started working for Renault in the form of summer jobs after high school graduation. I received a full-time job offer right before finishing my Bachelor’s Degree. I took the offer also because of my slowly declining French and because it was close to where I lived.
You currently work outside of the automotive industry, but still in sales. Do you see any differences between working in the automotive and in other industries?I must admit that I spent a long time considering the decision to abandon cars. After 8 years in the automotive industry, I really did not feel like moving into a sector that was completely unknown to me. Eventually, the desire to try something new was stronger and plastic seemed very interesting. I do not regret my decision today. Moreover, I did not abandon cars completely thanks to the OctaviaClub.
Many people believe that our graduates can work only in the automotive industry. What do you think about it?This is certainly not true. Of course, we do have better prerequisites compared to graduates from other schools thanks to the connection with ŠKODA AUTO, but I do not think that a ŠAVŠ graduate would have any trouble finding a job elsewhere. My own experience only confirms this.
You came back to Mladá Boleslav after a few years, this time for work. What is your current job and what led you to return to the region? It was actually a coincidence that brought me back to Mladá Boleslav, to Kosmonosy to be precise. As I have already mentioned, I moved to plastics, specifically to PET bottles and PET preforms used for their manufacturing. At first, I worked in a large multinational company in Mělník, only to move to a much smaller company with the same, but more specialised products. As we are a small company, only 5 years on the market, in addition to sales I am also responsible for production planning and purchasing of raw materials. Again, it was the desire to try and learn something new. From a billion-dollar company, supplier of leading beverage brands, to a starting business with entirely different issues. However, as one of the owners likes to say, pressure gives birth to diamonds. So, we are trying to create a smaller, “plastic” diamond of sorts.