Petr Zima

Career: 
Head of MINI at BMW Group Czech Republic

“I really appreciated that University of New York in Prague provided a well-balanced mix of scholars and top professionals in its faculty,” says Petr Zima, who has been the head of MINI at BMW Group Czech Republic since May 2016.  “We not only got the benefit of their academic background, but also got to work on real-life business cases.”

A native of Prague, Petr was drawn to UNYP thanks to its international degree offered in Business Administration. After obtaining his degree, he decided to take his career international, something he says he wouldn’t have done if it were not for his studies at UNYP. “The faculty was international, bringing together people from various fields and continents,” he says. “The same was true for our class as we were more than eight nationalities. This prepared us for teamwork in multicultural environments.” 

After UNYP, he spent a semester in Canada and then moved to Sweden for a Master’s in International Business. It wasn’t long after his graduation when he joined the automotive industry. He spent 9 years at Toyota in positions that ranged from product planning to marketing and sales to dealer development until being headhunted by BMW. “I have to say I enjoy it–both the business part as well the cars that are real fun to drive” he says. 

Now he is responsible for the overall strategy of MINI for the Czech market, including sales plans, brand positioning as well MINI dealers. With all the technological advancements in the automotive industry, he is looking to the future. “Autonomous driving, connected services, plug-in hybrids and gesture controls, are not in the far future. It is happening now,” he says. “It is great to be part of these changes.”

No matter how high he climbs the career ladder, he still thinks of his time as an undergraduate. “UNYP was great for my future career and studies, and it was a lot of fun as well,” he says. “I met lifetime friends, and now all of them work in top positions in various companies and countries.”

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