ŠKODA AUTO University offers their students an attractive and comprehensive portfolio – quality seminars and lectures, compulsory work experience, trips abroad and even a “Buddy System”. Our student Zuzana Fejglová is gaining a lot of experience while completing a double degree at the University of Applied Sciences, in Steyr, Upper Austria. We asked Zuzka a few questions regarding the programme and many other things besides.
Field of Study and compulsory work experience
Zuzka, at the moment you are in the final year of the follow-on Master’s study specialising in Global Business and Marketing – why have you chosen this field? And what did you study during your Bachelor’s Study Programme?
During my Bachelor’s degree, I specialised in Business Management. I wanted to get a wider scope of knowledge, which is why I opted for Global Business and Marketing as an advanced, professional continuing study programme.
Another reason was the possibility to do the double degree programme that was included. And, last but not least, this study programme at ŠAVŠ can offer me more than the mere basics of marketing.
You have experienced a lot of interesting situations – compulsory work experience during the Bachelor’s degree among other things. Where did you undertake the work experience, and why did you choose this particular company?
I chose the company Continental Automotive for my work experience, which is located in the town of Brandýs nad Labem. I had certain requirements for the selection of a company for my work experience. These included getting experience in marketing and HR and close proximity to Mladá Boleslav for easy commuting. The winner was Continental Automotive. I worked in their HR department, where I was responsible for recruiting new staff. I stayed there for one year and really liked the work. This compulsory work experience is for 5 months (i.e. ŠAVŠ rules: compulsory work experience is in the 3rd year of Bachelor study and lasts the whole winter semester).
What did you gain out of this work experience in your everyday life?
What was the most important? Basically, the overall foundation concept of HR. I also discovered that I would like to develop myself in this area. However, with other work experience in another company, I discovered not all HR departments are the same. Well, somebody can do it better, some worse.
Currently, you are participating in a double degree programme at the University of Applied Sciences in Steyr, Upper Austria. Can you give us details about this programme?
Well, a double degree programme means that a student who is enrolled in FF Upper Austria has the opportunity to complete a double degree – two diplomas, two academic degrees, but he/she must successfully fulfil all study requirements and pass the state exams back in the Czech Republic. Then he/she will obtain a Master’s degree from ŠAVŠ and from FF Upper Austria. All in all, the second academic degree for a half-year study abroad, is a double win.
What interested you the most in this study specialisation?
The current hottest topic has been a vast decrease in study at apprentice schools, and most people feel motivated to obtain an academic degree from a university. However, there is a large amount of academically qualified people, especially with a degree in engineering, which is why I decided that I would like to be different and went for a double degree programme.
What is the main difference between studying at ŠAVŠ and at FF, Steyr, Upper Austria?
There are loads of differences. At ŠAVŠ we are used to having the same subjects at the same time on a weekly basis, and the study unit takes 90 minutes. Whereas, at FF, in Steyr the timetable is different every week and a study unit takes 4 hours. There are some advantages in this system, e.g. one subject is taught on average 3x per month and then you complete it – sometimes there’s an examination, sometimes only a presentation and a term essay, not necessarily at the end of the semester like at ŠAVŠ. However, the quality and interpersonal approach of teachers is much better at ŠAVŠ.
As a part of study in Steyr, you took part in the programme called InnoCamp36. Can you give us some information about that? What did you learn there?
As stated in the name itself, the course lasted 36 hours, scheduled from Friday, 8.00 a.m. till Saturday, 10:00p.m. The students were divided randomly into 8 teams, and each team was assigned a firm and a problem for which they should find a solution. A representative from each firm was present to answer all the students’ questions. The target was to find a solution and in front of a committee made up of representatives from all the firms give a presentation within the deadline of 360 seconds. The presentation was in an unusual way of “sales pitch”, a catchy way of selling a team’s ideas. The three best teams were awarded with a financial prize. My team came third.
Each team was delegated a coach. Who was your coach?
Teams were coached by teachers coming from both universities, e.g. doc Štrach, from ŠAVŠ. However, my team was couched by George, a graduate from FF Steyr, not the teacher. He was just brilliant. He motivated and co-ordinated us, and also served us treats – sweets, energy drinks, juices, etc….it was the right boost for all of us.
Was there a special moment from Steyr which sticks in your memory?
Not a moment, nothing like that. But what really surprised me, after the presentation by students, nobody clapped their hands, instead of that, everybody knocked on the table. It took me a while to get used to it.
Work experience at ŠAVŠ
Since the first year, you have been doing work experience in the IO Department at ŠAVŠ. What do you appreciate the most?
Well, there is no single thing I would appreciate the most. Basically, the work experience at school provides you with contacts and improves relationships among students and academic staff. Moreover, I have the best colleagues and the best boss. It is a great pleasure.
Did you take part in organising many interesting projects and events – preparation for Bentley Days, Cambridge Day, adaption week for foreign students and many others. Which of these events did you like the most?
It is difficult to say which I liked the most. Each one is specific. But all of them have helped me to improve my organisational skills.
You have been also active in the Buddy System programme, which is primarily for students in the first year. What is, in your opinion, the most interesting aspect of this programme?
Freshers receive information directly from those students who are familiar with the school system and processes. You can find basic information online; however, apart from the tips for your study plan, the difficulty margin of subjects, etc. the Buddy system is exceptional in this. As a fresher you can make a new “senior friend” who can guide you through the first steps of your study.
In conclusion, why would you recommend studying here to potential applicants for ŠAVŠ? What do you appreciate the most here?
Undoubtedly, the combination of study and work experience – this is an immense advantage. During the Bachelor’s degree, work experience is compulsory. This is certainly a big plus, then after graduating, one can offer working skills and experience. And I really must say I appreciate the teachers here at ŠAVŠ – they have practical experience and they are able to implement it in their lectures. The school is of a family size, I mean, teachers have an individual approach to each student. I really like that, the fact that you are a part of something which matters and is more personal.