CEMS Club Prague
QUARTERLY Winter 2013
“Sharing is Caring - The CEMS Way” Find out how different CEMSies relate to this interesting concept
CEMS Annual Events - Barcelona 2013 Find out the developments and experiences in Barcelona
CEMS goes CSR
Learn how CEMS Club Prague is doing its bit for the society
What is in... Welcome Addressess
CEMS Academic Director & CEMS Club President welcome you
A Look Back at the Semester
CEMS Career Forum - Budapest 2013
"Sharing is Caring - the CEMS Way"
CEMS Club Socializing Team give you a fun recap of the semester as it was!
Marta Dolli gives you an insight into the CF in Budapest
Get to know how different individuals relate to this interesting concept
CEMS Annual Events - Barcelona 2013
Corporate Social Responsibility as an Integral Part
Being CEMS is Not Always About Working "Corporate"
CEMS Goes CSR
Learn about the experiences from the CEMS AE in Barcelona
Find out how Ĺ KODA Auto gives back to the society
An insight from a CEMS Prague Alumni and Entrepreneur
CEMS Club Prague does its bit for society
JIŘÍ HNILICA Dear CEMS stakeholders, This year CEMS such celebrates 25 years and VŠE celebrates 15 years of CEMS membership. In my view it is not just the years however true achievements of CEMS alliance that have no peers worldwide that must be honoured. Since 2008 CEMS has undergone tremendous changes that most likely will pay off – from european dimension it has converted into a truly global network actively reinforcing alongside and across its pillars, i.e. students, alumni, academic and corporate partners. Being a part of this great society inspires all its parts to act in directions and in cooperations with others to make it even greater – the part and the whole coexist to deliver best results. While achieving let´s do not forget the values upon which CEMS is built – the values that should be reflected in all what CEMSies do: • the pursuit of excellence with high standards of performance and ethical conduct; • understanding and drawing upon cultural diversity with respect and empathy; • professional responsibility and accountability in relation to society as a whole. Only with these values it makes sense to fulfill CEMS mission. Only with these values the mission makes CEMS unique, - and sustainable at the same time. Jiří Hnilica Academic Director
MARTA DOLLI DILS Dear Readers, The end of the year is as always approaching faster than imagined and deadlines, exams and Christmas are coming closer. This means that an intense semester is coming to its end, intense in terms of the demanding work and concentred learning we had to do, but also in terms of the unforgettable experiences we enjoyed! It is a pleasure to have this second issue of CEMS Quarterly and to look back together on an amazing semester in Prague with our team-building weekend in the Czech mountains, Welcome Event with our Corporate Partners in Prague, CEMS Day, CEMS Drink, Running Dinner, traditional CEMS Gala Night as well as a few new events. The Mentorship Programme started this semester, bringing alumni and current CEMS students together in pairs to gain insights into the real working life, as well as mutual sharing and learning. Furthermore, we had the pleasure to introduce the new concept of CEMS Stage. The first two CEMS Stages in a series of public speeches by international managers open not just to CEMSies but also to other VŠE students was a great success. Another big project started in the middle of the semester: CEMS goes CSR. Supporting a charity project with money collected during our CEMS Great Gatsby Gala Night was not enough, we wanted to enlarge the idea and go beyond financial support. Therefore we started to create a closer relationship with the NGO Slovo21. But you can read more about this on page 21. Finally I want to thank you for the great time we spent together and wish a very merry Christmas to all of you! Enjoy the time back home, enjoy your exchange semester, enjoy the New Year with its new challenges, and I really hope to see you soon again. Marta Dolli Dils, President - CEMS Club Prague
CEMS Club Prague wins the Best CEMS Club Award! As the current president of CEMS Club Prague I had the special pleasure to take the Award for Best CEMS Club of the year 2013! It is a great honor seeing the work of CEMS Club in Prague awarded for the third time and being part of this amazing group! Huge Thank you to all CEMS Students for your votes and feedback and we are looking forward to celebrate during Christmas Party! Marta Dolli Dils
CEMS Club Prague 2013/2014 at the Old Town Square Photo: Nina Jakešová
Round-up of Semester - Jana Musilová & Kathrin Born Again, the semester was packed with a big variety of events. For us, these events where the greatest moments of the semester. We hope that you, most importantly, had a great time as well. We would like to share the highlights with you:
September 25 Welcome Event Just after the semester beginng, we hosted the first official welcome evening.You could hear the traditional CEMS questionnaire from every corner: Where are you from? What is your home school? Host school? ...It was an evening full of introducing between home students, exchange students, corporate partners, professors and the new CEMS Club. The evening brought lot of new contacts and the beginning of many new friendships.
The welcome event was a great opportunity to meet my fellow CEMS students at VSE and also to get acquainted with the CEMS corporate partners in Prague. The atmosphere was really casual while we concluded the evening with a nice buffet and a drink. Norman Stuivenwold
September 27 Prague City Tour On a perfect sunny autumn day, a small group of first semester students and exchange students went to discover the beautiful center of Prague. Our private tourguide Eda Cmunt showed us not only the must sees but also some hidden gems. After this day we had a long list of in-places to check out during the semester.
Photos: Nina jakešová, Michal Koža
By foot the group discovered the beautiful old town and was able to learn interesting facts not only about Prague but the Czech Republic in general. Did you already know that contact lenses were invented by a Czech scientist? After a rewarming cup of coffee the Prague castle was climbed and everyone enjoyed the great view over the entire city from there. Whenever possible, the guide gave some helpful advice on where to go out. Charlotte Segebarth
October 4-6 Teambuilding Weekend The teambuilding weekend kind of kicked of the semester. We had plenty of time to mingle, enjoy the place in the mountains and just have fun. In many, many interactive games the team spirit evolved. Highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night costume party under the “Gods & Goddesses” theme. Hear what our most inspiring god - the "Spaghetti Monster" - has to say about it: Petr Boroš
Is there any other event where you can see bisons, roll in a sleeping bag, carry two buddies on your shoulders, go swimming at 2am and even meet all the ancient gods in just two days?
October 25 CEMS Great Gatsby Gala Night “Hotsy Totsy” - this password was the entry code to be welcomed in the beautiful venue at Na Marjance. Women dressed in glitters, men having a bowtie. The Roaring Twenties atmosphere was enhanced by a funny magician and a professional Charleston lesson. By the time of midnight at latest everybody forgot about being in the 21st Century and enjoyed completely the Great Gatsby era.
October 30 Running Dinner Eat, Run, Fun - this claim pretty much nailed down the running dinner experience. And the evening got spiced up even more by a lot of surprises and uncertainty. Teams of two people were enjoying a delicious three-course-menu all around Prague - but without knowing what they would be served and who would be the hosts and their guests.
The Gala Night was cool as always. This year we had a magic to make the night even more magical and enjoyable. We also learned how to dance, which was quite entertaining and motivated people to get our of their chairs. Overall it was definitely a night to remember.
I enjoyed the running dinner because it enabled me to get to know my classmates from different side. It was fun to get invited to other people's homes and see how they live. The best part of this event was definitely the food. We had the opportunity to taste 10 different kinds of sushi and at the end got catered by guys who raised the bar even higher.
CEMS Career Forum - Budapest 2013
- Marta Dolli Dils
Before the annual career forum in Budapest, the CEMS Club Conference takes place in Corvinus University. CEMS Club Presidents come together to share best practices, improve communication and discuss the future development of the CEMS programme.
Photo: B. Gular
• 2 Days Conference • 22 Presidents present • 4 Representatives from SBR • 16 Presentations • 2 Speeches from Company Representatives • 2 Representatives from CEMS Headquaters • Endless Coffee!!! The CEMS Club Conference 2013 was the reason for me to leave Prague already on Wednesday and to start the time in Budapest on Thursday morning at 7am. In the beginning of the conference everyone presented the local CEMS Club shortly answered the question what we are most proud of. CEMS Club Prague prepared a short video to answer the question. You can find it under: http://www.cems.cz/who-are-we The programme continued with some more insights about how to organize a CEMS Club, we shared best practices and CEMS Club Prague was invited to present the Great Gatsby Gala Night. Moreover we learned about Corporate Partner Guidelines, and how
We were expecting a lot from this conference. Working on many different projects aimed at facilitating the CEMS Clubs’ activities, we were looking for as much input as possible from the Presidents, in order to get a better look at the realities they are facing and address their problems as well as we can. On that matter, the outcomes of this conference exceeded by far our expectations! - Anthony Solaire, SBR, HEC
to better cooperate with other CEMS Clubs. Furthermore Skoda Auto and Daymon Worldwide were invited to give presentations about their company and internal and external communication. Finally we had the chance to get in contact with Denisa Zicháčková, focusing on Corporate Relations from CEMS headquarters. It was definitely an interesting conference in Budapest, rounded up by the Career Forum over the next weekend. It was insightful for further CEMS Club Activities but also helpful in order to share ideas about further development of the future of CEMS together.
For the Student Board and especially its team CEMS Club Support the CEMS Club Conference is an extremely important event in its annual agenda. Not only can we present our initiatives and projects to one of our main stakeholders and ensure our ideas’ diffusion. We are also able to connect people who work more effectively as a close community. That is why we aim at inviting multiple representatives from the CEMS Headoffice and other Student Board teams to engage with the club presidents in discussions and workshops. However, most importantly we try to foster the bonds between the Club presidents as we are convinced that there is great potential in learning from and working with each other across national borders! - Philipp Sommer, SBR, UoC
Sharing is Caring - The CEMS Way
- Anna Lemke & Adithya Kumar
Christmas time has always been a period where you get to share some wonderful times with those you truly care about. In this special section, we try and find out from 4 different individuals what CEMS has shared with them and how they are giving back to the CEMS network
Elisabeth Lange: "CEMS has given me friends for life!" How would you say have you personally benefitted from CEMS? CEMS “gave” me the best intercultural experience one can expect from a study program. Working with people from all over the world on projects, sharing one’s experience, attending team-buildings together etc. has not only advanced my intercultural skills, but has also “given” me friends for life across the globe and especially in Prague. Besides that CEMS has given us insights into the corporate world that regular study programs do not offer. You were the previous CEMS student board representative for Prague. Would you say this role has enriched your CEMS experience? In what way? Working as the SBR takes this whole positive CEMS
experience to an even higher level: you work with some of the most motivated students on projects that have the purpose of improving the CEMS experience for everyone. Sometimes it is quite challenging to transforms the student’s voice, which you are representing, into tangible output, because we only meet three times a year and processes are sometimes slow. But when you see things changing because of your initiative you feel that you have given something to the CEMS community.
Elisabeth Lange is a recent CEMS graduate from VSE and went to HSG, St.Gallen for her exchange. She was the Student Board Representative for Prague during the year 2012/2013 and is currently pursuing a Doctorate at St.Gallen
In what way is the role of the SBR connected to “giving” for you? Working as the student board representative you certainly “give” a lot as well: mainly time, energy and effort.
Unni Krishnan: "I hope to be a successful CEMS Alumnus" Unnikrishnan is an exchange student from IIM, Calcutta spending his CEMS exchange semester at VSE and is pursuing a postgraduate degree in management after having worked with Accenture as an IT consultant in India and United States. As you know, IIMC has been included into the CEMS alliance from this year, what was your initial reaction to this development.? IIMC is one of the best management institutions in India. So when IIMC tied up with CEMS for the Masters in International Management program. I was really excited and felt even more proud of my institute. It feels great to represent my institute through the CEMS program here in Prague. What prompted you to apply for the CEMS program? It was simple. CEMS is one of the best international Masters program. Some of the world's best universities are part of it. So an opportunity to study abroad for a term with some of the best students from around the world was really appealing to me. What were your expectations when you got your exchange to Prague?
To be honest, I had not heard much about the university before getting selected for the CEMS program. But I was excited about coming here because I had heard lot of great things about Prague from my friends and relatives. So I basically came here with an open mind to experience new cultures and make lot of new friends. How has the experience in Prague and Europe been so far? It has been brilliant so far. The block seminar with Skoda was great. The classes have been excellent. CEMS club Prague has done an amazing job organizing many corporate events and dinners giving the students ample opportunity to network with the corporate partners. I have had time to travel a bit around Europe as well. It has been great. What are some of the highlights of the CEMS program in your opinion, which you are taking back with you to India?
Key highlights would be 1. The interactions with students from different cultures and backgrounds through academia and social events. 2. The networking with corporate partners through seminars and social events 3. Last but not the least, some of the great friends I have made during my time here. The CEMS spirit has always been about sharing and exchanging, how do you think you as a student can give back to the CEMS network? I have benefitted a lot through the corporate interactions and seminars organized as part of the CEMS club. I believe I can give back to the CEMS network by promoting and organizing similar events, hopefully, as a successful CEMS alumnus.
(Photo: Archive of E. Lange & U. Krishnan)
Sharing is Caring - The CEMS Way
- Adithya Kumar
Gillian Pritchett: "I'm proud to be a CEMSie!" Ms. Gillian Pritchett is a British Canadian who works in Consulting and also teaches the International Business Strategy course as part of CEMS in VSE. She pretty much divides her time between Prague, UK and Canada where she lectures at several universities. Besides her professional life, she likes travelling and meeting people from other cultures. When was your first acquaintance with the CEMS program? And how was your first teaching experience? 3 years ago, when I started teaching the International Business Strategy course. I haven’t heard about it before but I think it’s a great program. What I liked was that all the students were working together as a unit. In comparison with other MBA or Master programs where people sometimes did not integrate themselves into the group, here in CEMS it was a pleasant experience to observe that everyone were cooperative and cohesive as a group of students from diverse backgrounds. Also there is definitely a strong sense that “I’m a CEMSie!” which can be compared to similar situations with students who go to Eaton or Oxford. Are you proud to be a CEMSie? Yes, of course! Even if you are a lecturer and are only in the fringes of the whole periphery, you still feel proud of being part of the CEMS network! I am definitely proud to be a CEMSie as well! Where would you be for this Christmas? With my mum in England. But in the past, we as a family, used to go to Nuremberg for Christmas every year which started rather impromptu and we have been going there ever since. Having heard testimonials from others who had visited this charming place before, about the Christmas markets, museums, nice restaurants, concerts, etc, were just some of the few reasons why we started this tradition and I look forward to carrying this forward in the future. What about Prague? Did you manage to feel the Christmas spirit yet? Oh yes, definitely! Even though I don’t stay here, I come here quite often to teach and I manage to go to places in Prague that are
not that tourist driven. I especially like the Christmas Markets in Namesti Miru as it has a lot of traditional crafts and devoid of tourists which makes it even more appealing. What is your notion about “Sharing is Caring”? Caring is when you want to help people, defend somebody – defend their interests, you have to care about values as well, being honest is I think a form of caring. Treating people with respect, being willing to put yourself out, go the extra mile and step across the boundary and helping a person even if you are not necessarily skilled in that area. And what I like to do as a lecturer is share my knowledge, especially if its new stuff for the students, that’s great! You have to teach from the heart, in my view, and not just about earning money! I think you have to want to share your knowledge. And therefore caring is also sharing your time later on, with your former students for example. And do you agree that people tend to be more giving/sharing during the Christmas period? During our trips to Nuremberg, when you are in a restaurant, often you will be eating at a communal table along with complete strangers, yet when they leave they always wish “Have a nice Christmas!” You sense there is a true Christmas spirit as you start talking with them, build some camaraderie and get to know these people in a much better way. Wanting to share this joy of Christmas, in my view, is a very authentic thing you do. And since I go back home from the university via the Christmas Markets at Namesti Miru, I can very well experience the Christmas spirit on a daily basis!
Talking about the CEMS spirit, how do you feel it and what is your expectations from the students and CEMS network? I think there is definitely a great sense of camaraderie and the notion that “We are CEMSies!” Its kind of like CEMS is a family and a professional network and I think that they help each other out in tight situations which is very unique to the CEMS network. For me, if a student writes to you after finishing the course asking you for some advice, suggestion, article, reference, etc, is a payback which I appreciate a lot. Depending on the choice of the student to continue this relationship; even if only a couple of students out of the entire batch write to you, you know you had some impact on them or they trusted your judgement or they valued you as a referee. But in the future, you can also talk to these students asking them for suggestions on a guest speaker, or get some insight about their sector/industry, connecting current students with former ones, and that in a way is also your payback. And from the CEMS Alliance, I think the status that I receive when people tend to perceive it in a very positive way can be compared to experiences when people say that they teach in Oxford or Cambridge. You are automatically seen in an elevated position and people respect and value your opinion a lot. Finally, do you have any special Christmas message for our readers? Other than wishing you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas, I would suggest you all to take some time from your courses and go have some fun! Because even that is very important! (Photo: Archive of G. Pritchett)
Sharing is Caring - The CEMS Way
- Jan Keprta
Melle Li: "Sharing is a big part of my culture" She resigned from a prominent Hong Kong headhunting company 3 weeks after being promoted. She turned down a placement in the finance program at the University of London. Instead, Melle Li, packed her bags and moved to Prague to study CEMS.
Photo: Archive of M. Li
“I don’t think expensive programs give you better education unless it’s the TOP 10,” she says. Judging by her experience it sounds like she knows what she is talking about. Her first visit to Prague came almost a year ago. At that time it was for personal reasons but she also started to look around for opportunities. It’s been three years since she graduated from a bachelor program in Hong Kong and she was ready for a change. “Even though I got some job offers I knew I didn’t want to work here because the market didn’t have the international vibe for me.” She looked at MBA programs, programs at Charles University until finally she found out about CEMS. Melle names all the positives, “it was in English, affordable and well ranked.” She appreciates CEMS for the diversity of its curriculum. “It’s almost like a junior MBA program,” she says. “Studies are important, but it’s also about networking.” Is it possible that she always thoroughly calculates her next move? “I chose Prague as it is a good base and the opportunity costs of me quitting my job and moving here were the lowest.” Next semester she will be in St. Gallen and it is again a well thought out step. “I will be looking for an internship or a job afterwards and Switzerland with its prosperous economy is the place to do that,” says Melle.
With the Christmas season fast approaching her head is full of ideas what to do with the free time during holidays. “Christmas’s been always a vacation time for me,” explains Melle. “While my European friends are going home for Christmas, me and my Hong Kong friends, we are usually travelling and visiting each other.” Even though she finds CEMS more demanding than her previous studies in Hong Kong, it seems that deciding on where to spend the New Years Eve is the toughest decision she is facing right now. London, Paris and Berlin are all on the list. My interview with her was almost over when I realized I haven’t asked her what pops into her mind when the evidence of holidays being just around the corner is hard to escape. While we in Europe take Christmas as an excuse to spend time with our families for people in Hong Kong it is mostly a time of Christmas parties, going out to clubs and having a good time with their friends rather than sitting down to fried carps, schnitzels or roasted turkey in the quietness of their house. Sharing is a big part of the culture. “It’s an unwritten agreement that when you order a meal in the restaurant you are willing to share it with others.” Melle and couple of her best friend throw a Christmas bash each year. Melle says “it’s a tradition. We each invite our friends and it’s our way of saying thank you for what they did for us during the year.” This year is going to be the first party she is going to miss in while. Melle is spending holidays in Sweden.
CEMS Annual Events - Barcelona 2013
- Martina Fischerova
The CEMS Annual Events (AE) are always the highlight of the CEMS MIM year. Being held at the end of November and organized by one of CEMS partner schools and CEMS Head Office, the AE brings together academic staff, CEMS alumni and fresh graduates for discussions, meetings and networking.
Photo: Archive of CEMS, St. Gallen 2012
That was all I knew and heard before I left for my first AE last year. After my experience in St. Gallen 2012 and Barcelona 2013 I cannot help but more than agree! In Barcelona on Saturday, November 30, 700 out of 1000+ fresh graduates received their diploma from the hands of the CEMS university rectors and deans during the AE hosted by ESADE Business School.The atmosphere during the opening and the demeanor of the graduands were radiant and lively and I was very proud to be part of all of this and be the one who read the names of the 28 (out of 39) VŠE graduates who came to Barcelona with their families and partners to enjoy and celebrate this rather important milestone of their life. This year was unique not only by number of graduates who sucessfully finished their CEMS MIM studies, but also because of the 25-year anniversary of the whole alliance. The birthday mood in the air was not limited to just Friday evening during the Annual Meeting or on Saturday afternoon at the Graduation Ceremony, but also during Thursday and Friday meetings of the academic staff. When the alliance was founded in 1988 by 4 european universities, the Czech Republic was still part of Czechoslovakia, hidden to the western world behind the iron curtain. If I count right, this year was the very same year when the graduates were about to be born and I myself, was a curious small girl with two ponytails asking nosy questions.
since then and from a european initiative it has became a global and mature adult. The CEMS graduates have also germinated to being open-minded, young people with doors opened to the whole world. At this moment I would like to point out one important fact. The opportunity of being part of CEMS spirit for all of us wouldn’t be possible without the initiative of prof. Jaroslava Durčáková. As a Vicepresident for International Relations, she brought VŠE to the alliance in 1995-1996. Thanks to her and also to her sucessors, doc. Bronislava Hořejší and prof. Hana Machková, we as the CEMS local office have a very good background to fullfill the CEMS global mission statement: „to educate and inspire future generations of global business leaders.“ I am very happy to be part of CEMS office at the local level. As any other job, things usually go smoothly and you can see the progress or feel the joy of a job well done. When challenges and tougher times come, I always think of Annual Events for a while – of academic staff meetings where we discuss various matter and share knowledge across the alliance and also of a great atmosphere during the ceremony. Seeing things from this wider point of view always gives sense to accomplish even the most complicated tasks. I hope that the graduates will also cherish their wonderful memeories from Barcelona in their minds and reminisce about them whenever they will face the need to cheer themselves up.
It was incredible to realize these facts during the event and see how the reality has changed. The CEMS alliance has grown up a lot
CEMS Annual Events - Barcelona 2013
- Eduard Matús
CEMS Annual Event is the highlight of the CEMS community’s year, period. Bringing together all the various stakeholders of CEMS, it has unique, crispy atmosphere, which is almost materializing in the air – be it during the graduation ceremony, community parties or gatherings of alumni & academicians. As a student, who graduated in Barca, I will try to summarize my point of view of this event and I hope you can excuse the slightly nostalgic tone in my paragraphs. Each participant had probably a very colorful mix of motives for traveling to Barcelona: some of my peers saw it as an excuse for escaping the work life they’re already deeply buried in in order to meet up with old friends; some looked forward to experiencing new city; others did not attend the event, seeing it “as a rather expensive party”. The motives vary and overlap. However, the fact that there were roughly 700 graduating students plus their families and friends, who took part in the ceremony, speaks for itself. This event has gravity like no other. Running a show for roughly over 2 thousand people is a highly demanding project and from my perspective, the team of ESADE did a very good job. The registration process went smoothly, graduation ceremony ran (almost) on time, keynote speakers arrived and drinks were served after the main part of the program. Of course, there surely were some minor glitches that could have been improved, but they can be excused (be it preparedness of some speakers during the ceremony, capacity & organization of wardrobes, or the main party on Saturday, which did not follow the unspoken rule of Barcelona that fun usually starts at 2am!). So all in all, organization-wise, the event lived up to standards, which are expected from such a solemn occasion. Graduation itself was a long awaited, but also a very dreaded occasion, as the uncertainty of future can be worrying. For us CEMSies, the
expectations concerning our work environment are set quite high – be it the expectations regarding the challenges we are going to face, or the people and colleagues we will meet and work with. During the ceremony, I have realized that for me, it was the latter factor that I have valued the most in our community, as CEMSies are a great bunch of open minded, enthusiastic and motivated people. I have experienced this during the two years of studies, while working on various projects or in the CEMS Club Prague, but also during the ceremony itself, by witnessing the whole hall roar up in support of a solitary graduate of the Ivey Business School. The unity and friendliness of our diverse community is inspirational and to me it is one of the factors, which I will seek and foster in my future work environment. Personally, the “cherry on the top” was the award for the best CEMS Club in the Alliance, which came back to Prague after a one-year gap. I feel very honored that I have had the opportunity to be part of this organization in the academic year 2012/13 and to contribute to the CEMS community. My sincerest thanks to all our fellow students, academic staff, partners and the whole CCP team! In conclusion, the trip to the CEMS Annual Event 2013 in Barcelona was a great closure of my student life and I am already looking forward to attend the next year’s edition in Brussels as an alumnus!
Photo: Archive of M. Dils
Corporate Social Responsibility as an integral part of ŠKODA AUTO ŠKODA AUTO is the biggest manufacturing company in Central Europe, the biggest private payers of corporate tax and the biggest private employer in the Czech Republic. According to these facts it is only natural for ŠKODA AUTO to behave responsible towards its employees, customers, owners, business partners, general public and also towards surrounding regions. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has always played a key role in the company. Social area is, at ŠKODA AUTO, covered by CSR Strategy focused on four global priorities – road safety, technical education, children care and barrier-free mobility and two local ones – employee care and cooperation with the regions. These priorities are being fulfilled by various activities and projects. Environmental issues are tackled by specific GreenFuture strategy, which aims to encourage ŠKODA AUTOs ecological sustainable development. Last but not least, ŠKODA is traditionally also a big supporter of culture and sports in the Czech Republic. In the area of road safety ŠKODA has always been very proactive as a car manufacturer and a traditional brand in the Czech Republic. Educational online portal “Playful ŠKODA” offers to children and their parents, an interesting and interactive way of learning about safe behavior inside and also outside the car. Nationwide competition supported by ŠKODA - “Road through the cities” is honoring every year the best infrastructural projects that helped to calm traffic in the Czech cities and towns. This year through specific grant schemes, ŠKODA supported 10 specific projects improving the road safety in the surrounding regions to the company’s locations. As an addition to that, ŠKODA AUTO road safety research team
helps to improve cars safety and also participates at informative events for public and professionals - “Safely in car” or “Days of road safety” - to enhance general knowledge about this issue. ŠKODA stresses the importance of technical education and currently cooperates with many schools (kindergartens, elementary, secondary schools, universities) on various projects. Encouraging practical experience ŠKODA donated to schools, 288 cars since 2008 and this year will add another 18 to that number. In the grant scheme focused on popularization of technical education at elementary schools, 8 projects improving the studying conditions were supported. ŠKODA also became a partner of science educational center IQ Landia in Liberec, where children can explore the world of technics by themselves directly. With competition called “Young designer” where small children from kindergartens were drawing their “ŠKODA dream car” company tried to approach this new generation to motivate and support them in creative thinking. On a national level ŠKODA actively participates and supports the project called “POSPOLU” which aims to incorporate ideas of dual education into the Czech educational system – testing the impact of practical experience of students directly in the companies. Moreover ŠKODA tries
Photo: Škoda Auto
to strengthen dialogue between state administration, schools and employers on regional level by creation of the so called “Sectorial agreements”. Thinking ahead ŠKODA AUTO has its own VAT school, university and support education of its employees. Another area important for ŠKODA, as a family oriented brand, is children care. Since 2002 ŠKODA supports project “Clinique clowns” that by using humor in healthcare tries to help mainly children in hospitals and make their experience more bearable. “Laughter is the best medicine”, they say. Furthermore ŠKODA focuses, in cooperation with Tereza Maxova Foundation, on supporting disadvantaged children from orphanages by helping them acquire the right educational habits for better school results and by supporting them when entering labour market in order to become successful and independent. The forth main area where ŠKODA is active in is barrier-free mobility. In this field, long-term support and cooperation with “Center Paraple” shall be stressed. This center helps people with handicap in convalescence and with reentering the “normal” life after injury. Program “ŠKODA Handy” focuses on personal mobility of handicapped people and offers professional counseling in 8 offices in Czech Republic on how exactly to buy an adjusted car. Next to main 4 global priorities, together with Trade Union KOVO, ŠKODA in its CSR strategy also emphases specific activities in employee care and regional cooperation. ŠKODA cares about good working and living conditions of its employees and offers
them a big scale of various social benefits, health care, work – life balance programs and also options for further professional growth. Regional cooperation focuses on various topics, but mainly cooperation in the field of infrastructure, security, social issues, education or environment. ŠKODA does not forget about the environmental protection, covering that topic by a separate strategy GreenFuture. This strategy aims to reduce the impact of the company and its products on environment. Since 2007 ŠKODA has established a socio – ecological project called “For each car sold in CZ one tree planted” through which company has supported planting of approximately 363.000 trees adding this year another 60.000. Engagement of employees in this project is crucial – either by picking the places for planting or the planting itself. Furthermore ŠKODA AUTO is active in many cultural and sports activities on national and international level. Among main partners can be found Czech Philharmony, National theater, National technical museum, Festival of classical music “Smetanova Litomyšl“ or International film festival for children in Zlín. This year ŠKODA also became partner of photography exibit World Press Photo in Czech Republic. In the sport area ŠKODA is partner of Czech Olympic team, Czech Paralympic team, ice hockey league and also a big supporter of local sports clubs. Simply said social responsibility for employees, society and environment shapes the corporate culture of ŠKODA AUTO and has become its integral part.
Photo: Škoda Auto
Smart Cities - Meet the future
- Lívia Botková
Sharing economy – Trends and visionaries: Peer-to-peer sharing is concept that recently boomed with people getting use to share with strangers not only information on social networks, but also underused assets. It constantly makes us think about further extensions and limits. Can sharing economy improve our wellbeing, our environment and become the base for smart cities? How real is the trend and who are its pioneers in Czech Republic?
Imagine the cities without traffic jams, without car accidents, without noise and smog and no need to look for a parking place. How would you like to live in that city? How would you like to save 80 % of your current spending on mobility? Martin Hausenblas, Co-owner & Founder, Liftago “Imagine the cities without traffic jams, without car accidents, without noise and smog and no need to look for a parking place. How would you like to live in that city? How would you like to save 80 % of your current spending on mobility?” Martin Hausenblas, co-owner of Adler and man behind Liftago introduced the vision that initiated Liftago. Ondřej Krátky, co-founder of Liftago explains “This will obviously take decades till realized, so we were thinking what is there that we could do now. So we’ve started with the mobile app for taxi. We’re bringing transparency in the prices and efficiency to the system that decreases congestion. We believe that what has started as the taxi app can be the platform for bike sharing, car sharing or effective use of public transport in the near future. And we want to actively participate on these trends.” Martin goes even further. “And what if those cars could drive by themselves? So called autonomous mobility, systems developed for unmanned ground vehicles, is no sci-fi with R&D of companies such as Google, Volvo and many others. Cars won’t need drivers, the need for owning a car might vanish. The reason for having a car is to move from point A from point B. Imagine we already have the smart cars and what happens when you need the car is that you order a car, open it with your phone, the car will take you whenever you need and you don’t have any more troubles with the car – no parking, no washing, no paying insurances. Immediately
the car is available to somebody else. If this happens, the number of cars might decrease to one eight, because majority of time the cars are only standing on the street and taking the space. Less cars mean less parking space and more traffic lanes. Cars can be smaller and their energy consumption will be lower because of shorter distances and the fact that they would be used in majority of cases by one person.” The synergies go further to decreasing the number of car accidents, decreasing fuel (energy) consumption, emissions and overall costs for personal mobility.
When dreams meet reality… How real is the idea of autonomous mobility? Are we going to see driver-less cars on the street in one decade? Could this be opportunity for Czech Republic to be the leader in? Martin Jahn, president of Automotive Industry Association (Sdružení automobilového průmyslu), expressed his doubts during his lecture at VŠE.“First of all, legislation is of big issue. For instance, who would be responsible for possible car accident – owner or producer? Second, such an innovation would require significant changes in infrastructure. Czech Republic is big car manufacturer; however the innovation lead will come from abroad. Autonomous mobility is certainly topic where car producers, particularly in premium
segment are active, like Audi in VW concern, however there are another topics resonating in car industry these days like hybrid cars.” Mr. Jahn is also very sceptic towards the idea of car sharing. “Car is no commodity. Cars are differentiated by their positioning and different cars are connected with different values, it is big part of consumers’ self-expression too.” There are such activities in USA (relayrides.com) and in Germany (cambio-carsharing.de), but as Mr. Jahn added they need certain conditions to be fulfilled in order to make this business case profitable. “Usually some municipality assistance is desirable, for instance there are some restrictions in entering the city, or level of congestions makes it close to impossible to find a parking slot. Also, the demand has to be high enough to push the prices below what taxi charges.”
“Access trumps ownership” However recent generation of Millennias is different to some extent. Sharing underused assets is becoming rather rule than exception. We travel abroad and rent flats from strangers (Airbnb.com), we rent bikes in majority of European cities; we raise money through crowdfunding when we want to start our businesses. We rely more on strangers and online services when we want to bake bread (pečempecen.cz) and we want to live more intense even in the anonymity of the big city (zažítměstojinak.cz). All this community services and activities are build on two important elements – trust and memory (saved users’ feedback). Isn’t it all we need the utility from using an asset instead of utility from underused assets in our ownership? Coming back to the car sharing example, Ondřej explains “People buy car, but all they need is the transport capacity.” This so called sharing economy has important implications for distribution and communication model as well. “We thought why not just to give the marketing budget back to
our users. So we came up with the idea where you charge the taxi driver with the fee and give half of the revenue back to those who helped us spread the app among potential drivers and passengers, all this with free registration and no binding contracts. So the application goes two ways – it arranges the taxi and pays the commissions from collected fee back to the “marketers”.” Internet aggregates demand and supply while technology does the rest in matching it. Sharing is answer to materialism and overconsumption, but as it expands, multiple unhealthy syndromes occur, mainly in terms of legal liabilities, insurance issues and (un)declared income. Starting in one region, growing through the world, there are sites for sharing everything from musical instruments to garden kits. Part of it was also enabled through Facebook “sharing-everything” revolution, because it eased the idea of sharing with strangers. The recent fuzz around these business models only “confirms their value and growth potential.” As Nelson Mandela (RIP) said “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” This could be the case of future mobility, too. The trend is coming and brave visionaries like Martin Hausenblas who follow the trends and believe in their visions are big inspiration in the story of the change that’s quietly happening around us. For further references see: The Economist, All eyes on the sharing economy, March 9, 2013, p. 13-15.; Liftago.cz
Photo: Like Cars Sky
Being CEMS is not always about working "Corporate"
- Jan Plajner
Even though the CEMS MIM Programme has been created mainly to shape international corporate employees and managers, there is an increasing number of alumni who decided for a different career. Entrepreneurship is on rise among CEMS Alumni as well as Students. Let´s see how does the CEMS studies and community help you to get your company started and what are the basic “rules”, a modern entrepreneur shouldn´t forget about. I was never able to answer one of the basic questions at the interviews. “What´s the plan? Where do you see yourself in 3 years?”… I mean what kind of a question it is after all! Firstly there are always so many possibilities and life offers such a variety if you stay with your eyes wide open so then what is the “right” answer? “Well you know, in 3 to 5 years I see myself in your position or maybe a little higher…” No, probably this is not a good thing to say at the interview to your future boss even though you mean it because you studied for it. I would say many of you have already crossed this question at the interview and if you knew the answer, it´s just great and I admire you for it. If you didn´t and it was because you would see it as setting yourself too much restrictions then you should consider to become an entrepreneur – and don´t worry, it won´t make you less CEMS than your fellow Students or Alumni! Selected under the same criteria but still very unique personalities – that´s what CEMSies are and always will be. This is why some are excellent in finance and some in human resources and some in connecting it together and getting things done. Having said that, no wonder there are Alumni going for corporate life and Alumni opting for starting their own business. After launching my own brand and running my own company for several years I can say that I have used very well all the knowledge CEMS courses provided me with ranging from the finance, leadership, brand management, marketing, human resources, CSR….. This, together with open mind, international overview and knowledge of case studies of big successful corporations make you think global but act local. It was just after couple of months in the business that a friend of mine told me: “You know I would never think that such a small company can think and act as a big and successful brand.”And he was right – implementing what big ones do in smaller scale and adapted to your company size is the differentiating point. No matter what your qualities are, be sure that CEMS can give you solid background for the field you decided to work in. For me it was a general overview in many disciplines, as I speak for Entrepreneurs, and ability to look for business opportunities and many good contacts I was later on able to foster. Some of my key business partners are CEMS Alumni which opened doors to faster cooperation and sense of trust in each other´s abilities. This is something you cannot pay for in business.
All in all, don´t worry if you still haven´t decided who you exactly want to be in the future. Just stay with your mind open and grasp the chance when it´s coming – it will get you there automatically and naturally. Yet, being entrepreneur is not always easy and there are many challenges and pitfalls you can come across. We could spend hours and thousands of pages identifying them, analyzing and consulting how to avoid them or use them in your own good but every business and every case is so unique that it would be a loss of time. At the same time there is no need to explain that a sound business plan, clear marketing strategy, unique product, detailed finance plan, perfect leadership and HR are keys to success – this is something you know from the courses. The truth is there is more to be done to make it work and it´s more about soft skill and your personal attitude. From my own experience I´d consolidate it into the following 7 points which I hope you find useful if you ever start your own business. The examples that I give along are from my raw food restaurant business but can be easily transferred to any other venture.
Form vision, trust in your project and don´t get off your direction Once you decided to launch it you have to be 100% sure it´s THE thing. It´s you who live the project and the vision you gave it and only you have the power to make people believe in it. For example many though we were foolish to start a raw food restaurant in the Czech Republic and many would come with “good advice” – how would they do it, what we should sell or how we should communicate. One day you will hear this but the next day exactly opposite opinion strikes you.The golden rule here is listening to the critical mass and don´t try to satisfy everyone. You won´t be able to and if your product / service is good it will find the customers just the way it is.
Be flexible, reliable and customer oriented Always provide the best customer service you possibly can and
think of yourself being in a position of your customers. A little extra you provide in service will come back to you eventually. Also remember that there are no small deals. Well served lunch in the restaurant turned many times in much broader cooperation or bigger deals in form of caterings or food deliveries for us. You shouldn´t underestimate the potential of your customers.
and to share some contacts with him. I could have seen it as a competition but I didn´t and gave him what he asked for. Now a week ago, he called me again and told me his concept wasn´t profitable enough so he stopped but he now works for a grocery retailer. Therefore we set up a meeting and will be now looking for cooperation. A little help can finally bring you big benefits.
Use your qualities as well as those of your employees
Get yourself a good partner
It´s a lot about you but not only. Be sure to hire people you trust and you can rely on and who can cover your weaknesses. If your quality is advertising and marketing, focus on it and hire accountant to deal with numbers and “papers” you hate so much. Don´t waste your time on things you´re not comfortable with because it just takes too much of your energy. Trust people but make sure they deserve it. Should you have any doubts on loyalty and honesty of your employee, fire him as soon as possible.You don´t need anyone who is not in-line with your goal.
Be honest to others and yourself Sometimes it´s hard for entrepreneurs to stop for a moment and reconsider or just to say no to another possibility or project. Learn to see things real and don´t promise to your business partners things you cannot do. Easy to say, hard to do but nobody will hate you for giving them clear answer rather than pulling their legs and thus wasting their time.
Help others and ask for help Sharing is caring so don´t be afraid to share your contacts or ideas. Of course you don´t want to build yourself a competition but if your product or service is unique then nobody is able to reproduce it (at least in short term). Several weeks ago, a starting entrepreneur approached me – and it was via CEMS network – and asked me to give him some advice on how to start his own restaurant business
You wouldn´t imagine how many good project failed just because of internal figts and disorders. Being in a business partnership is like a marriage. You have to share everything and what´s worse, at the end of the day, you have to share money too. If you´re entering a business with another person imagine her/him as your wife/ husband – if this is impossible, forget about it – divorce hurts.
6 months rule This goes with being honest with yourself. Usually, if your business doesn´t get in black numbers or at least is not having a positive trend within 6 months, you should consider turning it down. If it is THE product or THE service, market will soon react. Business failure is not the end of life and not a shame – it just happens. To sum up, there is a lot of things you can get during your CEMS studies and I wanted to point out that CEMS is perfect not only for future corporate profiles but also as a starting point for entrepreneurs. On the other hand only practice makes perfect and you should be ready to keep learning all your life. Starting up your own company is a great and challenging thing to but make sure you do it in the “new age” style – with joy, with purpose and cause, for your customers and your satisfaction. If you do it right, the rest will. And I believe this is valid not only for entrepreneurs but for everyone. Jan Plajner is a CEMS Alumni and the Owner at Secret of Raw, a Raw food restaurant in Prague
Always provide the best customer service you possibly can and think of yourself being in a position of your customers. A little extra you provide in service will come back to you eventually.
CEMS Student Board Meeting in Barcelona (26.11. – 30.11)
- Anna Lemke
Student Board Representative for CEMS Prague, Anna Lemke, gives us an update on the happenings from the CEMS Student Board Meeting in Barcelona
New CEMS Youtube Channel: h t t p : / / w w w. yo u t u b e . c o m / c h a n n e l / UC7W3I1LBdML8_c8Bvjm-DXw
New Generation Consulting: http://www.new-gen-consulting.com/
New CEMS Merchandise Store: http://cems.cecop.net/en/
Like our Site on Facebook!: CEMS Student Board
As in previous years, the third annual Student Board Meeting took place in the same city as the CEMS Annual Events which were hosted by ESADE in beautiful Barcelona this year. From Tuesday till Thursday, we had internal meetings with the other Student Board members and talked about current issues at the different universities and also discussed the progress of the many projects we are currently working on. The main achievements during this meeting include a finished report on the Financial Times Ranking which was presented to the CEMS Head Office and contains many recommendations on how to improve the ranking again. Also, we launched the new CEMS Merchandise store – you can now buy CEMS Merchandise online all year round instead of just ordering it before the career forum! Finally, the Global Sustainability Team of the Student Board had intensive meetings with the founder of New Generation Consulting who handed the leadership over to the Student Board. We are already looking forward to many new and interesting consultancy projects and can’t wait to get more and more CEMSies involved! My personal highlight of the Student Board meeting was the longterm cooperation we were able to establish with the CEMS Alumni Association (CAA). From Barcelona on, we will have a separate team within the Student Board taking care of Alumni Relations and working closely together with the CAA in order to improve the collaboration, engagement and visibility of the CAA among CEMS students . Because let’s face it – the CAA is an amazing opportunity for all of us CEMSies to continue this amazing experience after our studies! I am so proud of this cooperation since I have been
responsible for alumni relations every since I joined the Student Board and will now be the leader of this newly formed team. I already have many ideas on how to cooperate with the CAA and can’t wait to get started with the projects. If you ever have any input for me, please approach me anytime! From Friday to Saturday, we as SB members were able to join the CEMS Annual Events which meant taking part in different governance meetings (e.g. the General Alumni Assembly, the Corporate Partners Meeting, the Program Managers Meeting etc.) and also attend the celebrations in honor of the 25th Anniversary of CEMS as well as the Graduation. The whole week was again a very intense and gratifying experience which a lot of new impressions and inputs and gave me more motivation than ever to continue contributing to the Student Board and helping to continuously improve our CEMS experience! I am always grateful for input from your side and also available for any problems, opinions or suggestions you are having in terms of CEMS. Please feel free to contact me via email@example.com or simply approach me at university. Thank You and Merry Christmas!
CEMS Goes CSR!
- Aylin Akyolová & Marta Dolli Dils
Christmas is round the corner and the spirit that harbors during this festive season across the world is “giving and sharing”, and CEMS Club Prague would like to spread the holiday cheer by informing you all about the project of NGO Slovo 21 that we decided to support this semester and will continue to do so in the future. The project entitled “Mother, father, I want to go to school!” ("Mami, tati, já chci do školy" in Czech) aims at improving the academic possibilities of children from underprivileged backgrounds. Non- governmental organization Slovo 21 was established in 1999 in Prague. Their main goals are to improve the integration of immigrants, combat racism and xenophobia, protect human rights as well as to provide media support to minorities living in Czech Republic. Slovo 21 achieves this mainly through projects focusing on education, culture, media, and public awareness. The project we strongly support aims to educate parents of children from underprivileged backgrounds (usually from Roma minority) about the educational possibilities and rights of their children and to fight against segregation of these children in schools. Lack of information that parents have is one of the most common reasons why their children end up being placed in special schools, which limit their academic opportunities which invariably causes the segregation of Roma children in Czech educational system presents a quiet significant concern in our society. In order improve this situation, Slovo 21 is organizing workshops in various cities (with the highest numbers of Roma population) in Czech Republic that inform the parents about the educational possibilities and rights of their children. These workshops are mainly done through role plays, so that parents can understand the situation in a better way. The parents are also informed about the possible consequences of their children if they are placed in a special school.
knowledge and gain practical experience from different projects and create an impact on the most vulnerable in the society. The projects on offer differ by content and time horizon. There are mid to long-term projects, which help the general management of the company with special focus on strategy, marketing, finance and corporate identity consulting and short to mid-term projects include teaching English & Math, mentoring students and translation of company websites. However our special focus in on a very interesting project called “Create Something New” where participants get the opportunity to work together with students from underprivileged backgrounds and create a project from scratch.The teams are given room to use their creativity, open-mindedness and flexibility to come up with projects that aims to raise public awareness on selected issues. We are very proud of our cooperation with NGO Slovo 21 and look forward to creating positive impact on their initiative through our active participation. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to Get Involved! Follow us on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CEMS-goesCSR/463045347150013 Project Link: http://www.slovo21.cz/index.php/extensions/vsechnyromske-projekty/310-mami-tati-ja-chci-do-skoly
CEMS Club Prague extended its first support through a monetary contribution of 6.250 CZK which we raised through the sale of raffle tickets during the CEMS Great Gatsby Gala Night held on 25th of October 2013.We also agreed on long term cooperation with the organization by engaging our students in Slovo 21’s projects. This led to the launch of the “CEMS goes CSR” program where students have the opportunity to create a visible impact and gain volunteering experience by participating in various projects. By actively engaging, the students, not only help themselves through improved opportunities, but also get the opportunity to apply their
Photo: Archive of M. Dils
How to navigate in a world that is changing faster than ever?
- Ján Búza
With the exception of fortune tellers no one can ideally predict the future. At least that is what they say! We can acknowledge the fact that change is inevitable and we see constantly new innovations and developments happening across the world. But then, how can companies prepare their long term strategies? And do attempts to forecast the future actually make any sense in a world that is evolving constantly? The guest speakers of our second edition of CEMS stage held on December 12 tried to answer these rather complicated questions. Lenka Krobová who is a manager and Peter Ilgo, an associate in the Prague office of A.T.Kearney prepared a lecture on which they introduced students to methods their consultants are using when advising companies on strategic foresighting. After a brief theoretical introduction, the students got a chance to apply their newly acquired knowledge in a small case study.The students were placed in the position of managers of our university and asked to come up with the likely trends in industry of education and also think of some possible ways to mitigate potential threats that might accompany these trends.
Although the topic that the consultants covered was quite broad, they made a really good effort to narrow it down and offer concrete frameworks that could be relatively easily applied in real life situations which the audience appreciated it as much. As one of attendees said: “In contrast to usual corporate lectures that to the large extent resemble recruiting events, this time I had the opportunity to really learn something.” Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow or in ten years, nevertheless we are now in possession of some structural concepts, frameworks and perspectives on how to prepare and evaluate scenarios and outcomes that are the most likely to materialize.
Lenka Krobová is manager at A.T.Kearney with 8 years of experience in consulting. She has rich experience in enhancement of operational excellence (procurement transformation, strategic sourcing, transformation) with industrial focus on utilities, manufacturing, retail and health care. Peter Ilgo is associate at A.T.Kearney with 3 years of experience in industry and 9 years in consulting. His functional focus resides in the areas of banking, insurance, and manufacturing. Photo: Nina Jakešová
CEMS Club Prague Quarterly - 2013/2014
Published by CEMS Club Prague, o.s. University of Economics, Prague nám. Winstona Churchilla 4 Prague, Czech Republic Editor-in-Chief Adithya Kumar Editors Marta Dolli Dils Ján Búza Anna Lemke Lívia Botková Jana Musilová Kathrin Born
Aylin Akyolová Jan Keprta Martina Fischerová Eduard Matús Jan Plajner
Graphic Design Adithya Kumar Nina Jakešová Photography Nina Jakešová & Others No reprints without prior permission of the publisher
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!