Professor Spotlight: Adriana Starostová, Ph.D.

The bachelor’s degree programs offered by the School of Business of the University of New York in Prague turn today’s students into tomorrow’s business leaders, by helping them to develop exceptional business skills and enhance their subject knowledge.

In a fast-changing world full of distractions, businesses rely on marketing to get the attention of clients and edge out the competition. The UNYP Bachelor of Business Administration degree curriculum includes marketing courses and electives to give students an understanding of the role that marketing plays within a business, and sharpen their creativity, critical analysis, problem-solving, and communication skills through the practical application of knowledge. 

The professors who teach in the UNYP Business Administration programs are our university’s greatest asset. We continue our UNYP Professor Spotlight interview series with Adriana Starostová, Ph.D. (Lecturer in Principles of Marketing for the University of New York in Prague’s Business Administration program). 

Study Business Administration and Marketing at UNYP to improve your career opportunities and accelerate your cultural and personal growth. 

Could you please give us a brief introduction to your career?

I had started to pursue a career in Event Management during my undergraduate studies in the UK. I organized events for the BBC, the Olympic Games training teams, and hundreds of international students. I then decided to continue my studies, and focus purely on marketing and obtaining a master’s degree. My first proper job was for a small start-up company that sold pay-per-click campaigns focused on recruiting international students for specific university degrees. Somehow, I felt that I might also continue my studies, which is why I decided to return home and continue to work towards my Ph.D. at the University of Economics in Prague. I focused on studying sensory aspects (color and scent) and how their combination affects consumer behavior, finishing my doctorate in 2019. During my research, I taught at the university while simultaneously working as a Concept Developer for Saint-Gobain, a leading manufacturer of building materials. Eventually, I decided to leave Saint-Gobain and pursue a career as an independent marketing consultant and event manager while teaching at UNYP.

How did you get interested in the fields of marketing and event management? 

I became interested in marketing because of one professor who had a certain charm. I enjoyed his lectures, so I wanted to hear all about the subject. I have always enjoyed analyzing various marketing campaigns, and once I started to run campaigns myself and saw the immediate impact, I knew that there was something more to it. It is gratifying to know that you can draw attention to any issue, or drag a thousand people simultaneously to one place. There is this adrenalin that I enjoy during campaigns and event promotion – you never know whether the campaign or event will be a success. While some elements are contingent on luck, many depend on your skills. Somehow – and perhaps contrary to the scientific approaches – I enjoy the combination of these factors. For example, I have recently started using my skills to help abandoned dogs in a shelter. This volunteer job gives me great satisfaction as I get to see a dog being adopted, and to know that it is partially because of my marketing efforts. With marketing, you can select any cause, and if you know how to do it well, you will be able to convince other people. This makes marketing very enjoyable.

Which is your favorite course to teach, and why?

At the moment, I teach only one course at UNYP – Principles of Marketing. For me, it is crucial to provide the right proportion of hands-on experience, theoretical background, and real-life cases to my students. I try to add contemporary case-studies, as marketing evolves very rapidly. This is especially the case for social media management, where approaches that were effective only a couple of years back are now obsolete. However, all students who pass the course must know the necessary – and unfortunately sometimes boring – terms and grounding. Imagine a marketing professional who has never encountered terms such as Marketing Mix or Guerrilla Marketing! To balance this, I try to let my students choose the topics for their projects, and I moderate the outcome. I enjoy teaching the course, but perhaps in a few years, I might consider teaching something a bit more focused. I always feel that the semester passes by so quickly, and there are so many exciting things that I wanted to share!

How did you become an educator, and what are you teaching at UNYP?

I did not always want to teach. Initially, I was expected to teach as part of my Ph.D., and that required completing a course about how to teach. This is where I first discovered that teaching is not only about the stress of public speaking, but also about the joys of helping others understand, and the rewarding feeling when your students make progress.  Moreover, as I experienced firsthand how fulfilling it is to teach, I started to shift my career towards it. However, it turned out that I could not teach in English at my Czech university for procedural reasons. Therefore, I decided to send my CV to UNYP, and despite my first year being affected by the world-wide pandemic, I found UNYP to be a great place to teach. I feel that I can put all my experiences to good use, and help many of the talented students to find their dream career paths.

In your opinion, what are the strengths of UNYP’s Business Administration program?

I have experience studying in various environments – I have been to private and public universities in the Czech Republic and abroad. This gives me a broad range to compare, and makes me feel qualified to answer the question. The first advantage is – of course – the international environment. As we age, we meet fewer new people, but if you study abroad or in a global context, you might make friends for life from different cultures, an experience which not only allows a better understanding of different people but which also may prove useful later in life. Moreover, this is true about lecturers as well – there are lecturers from different backgrounds and approaches, some more academic while others more practical, giving the students a wide range of possibilities. I genuinely believe that at UNYP, we all strive to help students become the best in their field. 

Compared to state schools, I can say that UNYP tries to keep up with the newest resources, and in my experience, the teachers generally try to adopt much more modern teaching approaches, including the use of teaching software and interactive content. 

To summarize – the main advantages of UNYP’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program are the university’s international environment, up-to-date resources, modern teaching methods, and teachers with both practical and theoretical backgrounds who want the students to become the best.

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