The four years of my engineering (B-Tech) focused on solving problems and on enhancing creativity. During this time, I studied a lot of technical subjects. It was combined with practical and theoretical knowledge.
I completed my B-Tech and started working for a company. Few years into a job I realised how important it is to have managerial skills if I wanted to excel in my career. After working full time for about 2.5 years, I decided to get a master’s degree but at the same time I did not want to waste everything I had studied previously. I wanted the best of engineering and the management world and after quite a lot of research I came across MSc Course provided by School of Business UCT Prague.
Moving to a new country where I did not know anyone was a very big decision, but I really wanted to pursue this course and discussed it with my family, and they supported my decision. I contacted the admission representative from international office and found them very helpful and friendly making the overall experience very smooth. They helped me every step of the way till the time I moved to Prague.
When I landed in Prague the admission representative was there to pick me up and helped me settle in the dormitory also becoming one of my first friends abroad. I was told while moving here that the language can be a barrier and I was a little frightened in the beginning but as I started meeting people, I found out that they are really very helpful and polite. In my 1.5 years of living in Prague I did not ever feel that language is a barrier here. The younger generation speaks English really well. Prague has one of the best Public transportation system I have witnessed which makes it really easy to move around. As students you also get many benefits as discounts in the University canteen, transportation pass and discounts in some food joints. Prague is extremely safe and is one of the best cities for a student in my experience and now I can say I have totally fallen in love with Prague.
The skills and knowledge gained during my B-Tech helped me with the subjects as many subjects used a mathematical approach. The teachers here at UCT treat us like colleagues which makes the students feel professional from the very beginning. The professors here have a very rich industrial background with years of experience. They use case studies to teach us which makes the classes interesting and even more practical.
I gained exposure to a diverse and international group of UCT classmates as well as their insights on the industries they have worked making a very dynamic classroom environment. Now in my last year of the study program I am so happy I made the right decision to come here, I would not have done it any other way.
Swati Kushwaha, second-year student, Innovation Project Management (MSc)
Admission Representative, School of Business UCT Prague
LEAVING MY COMFORT ZONE WAS THE BEST DECISION I MADE
Everybody knows cliche “never say never”. I have experienced this recently when I applied for Master´s degree programme Project Innovation Management at UCT Prague. As a student finishing another Master´s degree programme at UCT I was thrilled by the opportunity to develop my knowledge in a different field than chemistry.
My and my classmates´ experience with the new programme are affected with COVID-19 pandemic because the classes had to be taken online. It shall be appreciated that the risk of online classes had been taken into consideration before the semester started and so we had a chance to meet with our classmates in person on “adaptation day”. This helped to match faces with the names during MS Teams online lectures. Also, I should mention that I was surprised by the diversity of classmates. There are not only people studying other programme on UCT like me but also already working people, and students from foreign countries. Every subject has also English version so Czech students can meet foreign classmates and vice versa. Our instructors introduced themselves on “adaptation day” so we know who is hiding behind weekly MS Teams presentations which is double important.
At the moment the study is online but at least from my point of view I can say that everyone tries to make it as smooth running as possible. I was pleasantly surprised by larger amount of team projects which is not that common anywhere at UCT. Such team projects can have a form of case studies or semester projects. At least some form of student cooperation is included in almost every subject which is helpful to fulfil our socialization needs. For example, I can mention the subject Project Management, where our team had opportunity to create social media profiles mainly for the Economic programmes at School of Business UCT. Overall, I think everyone imagined studying this semester in a different way.
I have to say that getting out of comfort zone and deciding to apply for Project Innovation Management studies was one of the best decisions I made last year.
Martin Lacka, first-year student, Innovation Project Management (MSc)
What’s the difference between online learning at high school and at university?
As I didn’t study online for my high school classes, I can’t describe the difference. I can say that from my point of view, university studies, either in person or online, have been more time consuming. At the same time, it’s been much more flexible. Nobody is pushing you, nobody is holding your hand saying, “Doing your homework is necessary.” Personally I’m enjoying university—I can arrange my time according to my needs. This includes work, sports and fun, even in these adverse conditions we are facing.
How do you perceive online learning at UCT? What would you emphasize and what not?
All the teachers have been dealing with the situation with enthusiasm, managing the unimaginable and working hard. They’ve been helpful and responsive to all our needs, whether we’re speaking about studies, language barriers or other issues. I’d emphasize the magic of online consultations, the good preparedness of teachers for lessons and the well-prepared study materials. I would only recommend that new students of economic studies get more involved in campus activities.
Have you managed to make any new contacts or friendships during distance studies? Have you taken part in any of the activities that students are offering such as K3S, Senators, Tutors, etc.?
To tell the truth, I’ve made most of my contacts and friendships during the introductory student’s camp. I also met some people during the induction days for students of economics and a few other social events outside of school. I’ve even met some people during online lessons for sure; however, it is a different kind of relationship without meeting in-person. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an opportunity to get involved in any of the events run by student organizations, but I believe it would be worth it. I have, though, used Tutors several times whenever I needed an answer to questions related to my studies. I definitely had no problem emailing them because they’re all very nice people.
How do you deal with loneliness and being separated from the university environment? Do you have any advice for your classmates?
I live with my parents, and I’ve got a few friends who live nearby. So I don't really have to deal with loneliness. When I struggle with it, I play online games with friends to clear my head. I’ve also got a part-time job which takes up a lot of my time, but it brings me some joy. So, my days aren’t so monotonous. Actually, online studies have helped me a lot to manage all my activities. I would advise my classmates to surround themselves with nice people, try to learn or improve a new skill, or read some new books. Make your day with anything new or anything extraordinary. I wish you all good luck and hope to see you soon in ‘Carbon’.
František Ševčík, first-year student, Economics and Management (BSc)
Thanks to the APE Bootcamp we had the privilege to meet and work with the industry experts and exclusive guest speakers, such as from Deloitte Deutschland or FC Bayern München. The course also allowed us to learn how to cooperate with other international students and use in practice design thinking, UX and entrepreneurial and innovative skills. Personally, I really appreciated the emphasis on teamwork and that the course was mainly about doing, not only listening.
Even though this 6-day intensive boot camp was held via Zoom and it was exhausting to sit all the days in front of our computer screens, I was surprised how much educational and fun that could be! I discovered some useful tools like Miro (online shared whiteboard), that significantly simplified the remote interaction, and I did not expect that everything would work that smoothly. My outstanding teammates were motivating me and pushing me forward during the whole week and I am so glad that I participated despite the online version of the boot camp and did not give up. And last but not least, the regular boxing lessons twice a day was the biggest surprise for me - the organizers from the Strachseg Center really did not forget anything!
Because I would like to enroll for my master’s degree abroad and study Entrepreneurship and Innovation, I have just confirmed my enthusiasm both for this area and for surrounding myself with amazing international people. I hope that through my future studies I will dive deeper into entrepreneurial thinking and gain more practice. My long-held ambition is to start my own business, and I am excited that we had the opportunity to build a network of many inspirational people because you never know when you can meet and work together again.
Nicole Paulerová, third-year student, Economics and Management (BSc)
APE Bootcamp participant in 2021
FROM SHY BACHELOR FRESHMAN TO STUDYING IN MEXICO, THAILAND AND TAIWAN WITHIN THREE YEARS
As a 100% conservative and shy person, I would have never thought that I‘d travel more than I have in the past 3 years of bachelor studies, but the International Office has such an excellent and wide range of study abroad opportunities that I was able to pick my dream destination every time.
It all started right at the begining of my studies when we were presented with all the International opportunities available to us as students. During the 2nd semester, I learned more about the study abroad experiences of other students. At that time, I was afraid to leave for one whole semester, so Summer School for 2 weeks seemed like a perfect balance.At the same time, my options were all exciting and exotic countries like South Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan, from which I choose CETYS, Mexico. Long story short, after two weeks in Ensenada, Baja California + two more weeks spent in the USA, I was eager to leave for the whole semester, a prospect which had been “too scary” for me before that.
As soon as I returned, I contacted the International Office to declare my interest in going for an exchange. They were very friendly and helpful, and during the registration round in Autumn, I signed up for a semester at KMITL in Bangkok, Thailand. This country was already half-affected by COVID, but I guess no one can complain about quarantine at the beach. KMITL offers a very similar study program to the School of Business UCT Prague (you can start to understand how carefully our partner Universities are chosen), so I was able to transfer enough ECTS credits for the whole semester. Among Thai teachers, I also had international teachers who brought fresh and innovative ways of learning experience.
When the pandemic entered our lives in March, the school’s reaction was very prompt and classes went online immediately. International students were offered the option of finishing the semester with them but online in their home country. The majority of international students took this option, but I felt pitiful about leaving, so I took a risk and stayed in Thailand. I’m glad for this complex decision because the quarantine wasn’t for eternity, and after a month, another load of travel experiences awaited me.
In the meantime, there were two more major international events organized by our International Office which I regret not taking – the first was a three week visit to Wuhan, China with an intensive business course and the second was the ATHENS one-week programme in Milan. I thought it would be too much for me to take part in these opportunities just a few months before the Thailand exchange. Looking back, I think it was a mistake to let it go.
What now? After sucesfully graduating from the Bachelor‘s program, a Master‘s programme is awaiting me at NSYSU in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I was admitted to the program, so I’m currently spending my time preparing for another two years full of unforgettable international experiences, people, culture and knowledge. I would’ve never considered this plan alone without the leadership and support of my school‘s International Office. Thank you so much for showing me you don’t have to stick to your home country for your entire life, and the world is open and full of possibilities!
Jan Souřezný, graduate, Economics and Management (BSc)
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