Success Story: Ondrej Papez

Graduation: 

Bachelor of International Relations, class of 2018 and Master of Science in International Management, class of 2019

Career: 
Consultant at InfaPartner

How did you initially choose to study at UNYP, and what made you decide to stay there for your Masters degree? 

I first joined UNYP as an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of International Economic Relations program. At that time, I was determined to become a diplomatic ambassador or build a similar career in the area of International Relations. But that didn’t happen, because while combining my university studies with work, I gradually realized that I am more interested in economics and business. Thanks to UNYP’s American education system, I was able to take more business-related courses and modules. Shortly after finishing the mandatory courses, I shifted my focus towards business administration and marketing management—I found these courses to be much more relevant to what I was already doing professionally outside school. I received a lot of practical information, which I wasn’t able to grasp in my international economic relations major, as it was heavily focused on political science and abstract theoretical concepts. This is great for people committed to IR, but it just wasn't my direction, although I did enjoy all the IR department extracurricular activities, such as Pulse Lectures, seminars—and of course, MUNYP. So I took a lot of business-oriented classes, and then continued at UNYP with the University of Bolton for my Master’s program in International Management, because I saw massive potential in what I was already doing. At the time, I was running a music label and an event management company with my friends, so the marketing aspect was of great interest to me. I wanted to know about business development and the financial aspects of managing a business, which was very challenging but very interesting to learn. Most of the modules that I took as part of my Masters’s degree directly and immediately affected my business decisions. 

In your opinion, how did this degree help to shape your career path? 

About three years ago, I started working in the INFA Partner company as a consultant and a key account manager for some of the largest organizations in banking, insurance, and the public sector. I used the resources and scope of my Master’s program to design, write, and propose a new strategic plan for that company, which is now being implemented. We still have to see whether the plan is successful or not, but it’s a vision, and we are building new revenue streams and developing new business alignments that could help grow this company. So ultimately, I think that this Masters’s degree from the University of New York in Prague and the University of Bolton helped my career path, more than any other university in the Czech Republic would do. UNYP has a different approach to education, which is very valuable for me. I was lucky enough to be able to study in the UK when I was in high school, so I valued the different approaches to education already—understanding the difference between the American and British methods, and the Czech approach. Another valuable asset of this program is its faculty. The professors come from very professional backgrounds, and I appreciate that as well. 

Could you please tell us more about the music label you founded with your friends? 

Harmony Rec is a nonprofit organization that my friends and I started about five years ago. It all started as an idea to create fun nights for our friends. Throughout the years, we had to learn a lot of tough lessons but made it through, and currently, we can proudly claim that we have a successful event brand locally and a label known internationally. We have met a lot of producers and musicians around the world, and we have been inviting them to Prague. It all started as an idea to create fun nights for our friends, and now it’s an international music label that sells vinyl, and our DJs travel around the world. 

What do you love most about your work, and what are the biggest challenges? 

I love the creativity that comes with an understanding of a specific issue or problem that the customer might face, and our ability to come up with a solution that ultimately helps the customer obtain their objectives. What I don’t like about the work is the time that it takes before this creative phase happens. Sometimes you can give 150% of your time, but the deal doesn’t happen, which can be disappointing, but again, working in sales, that's the job description.

What advice would you give to our prospective MSc in International Management students? 

I would tell them to go for it if they want to learn something. The program itself relies on self-dedication and self-motivation to do the hard work, and I noticed that the people who already have some business experienceor a job somewhere tend to especially value the experience because they can apply their new knowledge right away. In this program, you will learn from professionals and get first-hand information about the world of business, so if you are eager to gain that knowledge, do it. But don’t go for it if you are only interested in getting a diploma for the sake of saying that you have a degree. 

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