Studies at Cambridge and work in the City of London? Yes, it is possible and UNYP graduate is proof of that

Author: Petr Rieger

Petr Rieger ,,My main and very straightforward advice is to never stop studying and working hard." 

1) Peter, you are a graduate of bachelor program in Business Administration. What did studying at UNYP give you?

Besides the development of my business English and other communication and presentation skills, I learned many soft skills including how to ‘think outside of the box’ and work in teams. Additionally, UNYP has been successful in attracting experienced lecturers from whom I learned on both the teacher-student and personal levels during my accelerated studies. Lastly, UNYP provided me with a highly international base where I was able to learn from my peers and develop lifelong relationships.

 2) During your studies you have focused on gaining work experience with international companies. On what did you focus?  In what field of business did you want to enter?

Besides gathering experience and networking opportunities during my finance-oriented internships across Europe, I answered probably the most challenging question that all university students should ask themselves – Which career path to take? At the end of the day, the MBA was a clear choice for me and I am very grateful that I was given the chance to learn at Hartenberg Capital from the leaders in the local private equity sector.   Although participating in large buyout deals in Central Europe and finishing my bachelor studies at UNYP at the same time was rather challenging, working with professionals, like Jozef Janov, provided me with experience that I could not ever even imagine. It was quite common during my last semester at UNYP to sit in a classroom one day and travel abroad to work on deals ranging above 100 million euros the day after. I am very thankful for this enhancing experience.

3) We know that you participated in an open competition in applying to the Rothschild Company, you have succeeded and you will soon be moving to London. Can you outline how the open competition ran and what your work will be?

The brightest people from all over the world come to London to compete for job positions in the City; hence the competition there is very tough. On the other hand, as my mentor and UNYP alumni - Tomas Kubica - puts it, the tough competition is what makes it fun. When I applied for the position with the private equity division of Rothschild, I had no expectations. However, as I was passing each level of the recruiting process, I felt that my chances in succeeding against students from not only leading European universities, but also Ivy League schools, started to increase as well. Finally, after 6 weeks of a very intense recruiting process consisting of numerous interviews, video conference calls and case studies, I received a call from London offering me the position. I realize that the working environment in the City will be exceptionally demanding, but I believe that it will be an excellent help in my career.

 4) In addition to your professional success, you have also succeeded in your academic life. You have been admitted to the master's degree program in Finance at the University of Cambridge, which annually accepts only around 20 students. This is a great success.  What do you expect from studying at this prestigious university, and how you will combine work and studies?

As you said, getting into Cambridge is tough. On the other hand, there were many people from UNYP, such as Professor Tanweer Ali, Dr. Andreas Antonopoulos and the whole ESC office, who significantly helped me with the admissions process, and I am very grateful for their help. Education at Cambridge is focused more on academia and I look forward to spending a year of my life in this academic town with its beautiful architecture. Conversely, I am still considering another offer that I have received - to study Finance at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  These are very pleasant and yet quite difficult decisions to be made and I find them very rewarding. In the long term, I am planning to return to the Czech Republic and participate in the future development of the private equity sector in this region.

 5) What would you recommend to UNYP students? What are the keys to success?

My main and very straightforward advice is to never stop studying and working hard. Recent graduates are entering a world that is more competitive than it has ever been. Graduate schools and employers will examine ones full academic and professional performance; therefore, only those who can consistently achieve good results will be given a chance. The other factor that I find also very important is to be surrounded by the right people who can support and motivate you to reach even better results.


Peter, thank you for sharing your experiences with us and we wish you much success in work and  in your personal life and studies.

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