Jan Brabec

Career: 
Managing Director of Investment Banking, Erste Group

“My education is complete now.”

It’s always interesting to hear about an academic path that deviates from the norm, and Jan Brabec’s story does not disappoint. After dropping out of a philosophy degree in 1992, Jan was swept up in the whirlwind of opportunities created by what he calls the Czech Republic's ‘decade of change’. He started a career in banking that would see him working internationally, rising to director level, and then returning to complete his studies, graduating from the University of New York in Prague in 2005 with a Banking & Finance MBA.

When his undergraduate philosophy course did not live up to his expectations, Jan followed in the footsteps of his businessman father, and found a position with a local bank. Ten years later, now the Head of Capital Markets at Erste Group, Jan felt it was time to return to academia. He narrowed his study options down to two choices – studying at a school of economics or completing a managerial MBA – and decided that only the MBA would add value to his current situation. Jan’s selection criteria for a college or university were clear: he wanted to study at an English language school, in Prague. UNYP fit the bill.

“A piece of cake!”

Juggling rigorous academic studies, a demanding career and a family sounds like the ultimate work-life challenge, but Jan found that the workload of the UNYP course allowed him sufficient time to balance everything, studying in the evenings and attending classes every second weekend. Jan is also keen to point out that his real-life experience in the field facilitated his studies: “We had a corporate finance section of the MBA, and I’d worked in corporate finance at the bank, so I knew everything from the other side.”

“I gained some unique insights and a very different perception of other industries”

Most people who contemplate university study think of it as a way to acquire knowledge, and as a result, career opportunities. However, Jan was already an executive-level professional in his field, and his reward for two years of study was unique to his situation. Jan had spent ten years surrounded by people from the banking sector, and he says that “being in a class with marketing professionals, accountants and entrepreneurs really widened my scope, and I met some very interesting people.” In fact, many of the relationships he made ten years ago at UNYP are still strong today. “I still meet with four or five businessmen who were in my class,” Jan says.

But perhaps Jan’s most important result is that he no longer feels any guilt for leaving his studies back in 1992. With a UNYP MBA, Jan can now happily say that his education is complete.

Learn more about Jan's program

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