Klara Crnogorac is a second-year Bachelor in Management (BSc) student coming from Zagreb, Croatia. “I am proud to represent my culture here and, at the same time, I always encourage other Croatian students to join our diverse community!” she tells us with cheerful determination at the very start of our interview.
Klara, in fact, appears to us very charismatic, a feeling immediately confirmed by her words: “My friends describe me as an energetic person, smiling all the time. I am always ready for action, planning new trips and tracking new restaurants or museums to visit. I am also extremely interested in different cultures and traditions, passionate about travelling and enthusiastic about sports!”
Based on her character traits and interests, it is not hard to guess why she thought ESCP Business School could be the perfect fit for her.
The beginning. Choosing the Bachelor in Management (BSc)
The BSc programme allows students to live and study in three different cities, and Klara admits that the idea of exploring a new ‘unknown’ every year was hard to resist. However, before applying, she also wanted to be informed as much as possible about the structure of the courses.
“What intrigued me the most was the combination of hard and soft skills embedded in the curriculum. The offered variety of subjects made me realise that the Bachelor at ESCP was much more than studying economics and finance. The opportunity to dig deeper and understand the business world through psychology, law, international relations, and history definitely won me over,” she recalls.
There is also a second aspect that answers to Klara’s needs and desires: “I truly believe in learning not only through theory but by practice. And this programme focuses on getting working experience and exploring the real corporate world during your studies. This is what I truly value,” she points out.
When we think about knowledge, we often think about reading books, mastering theories, or learning by heart. But there is more to it, according to Klara: “Allowing yourself to explore and connect with people from all around the world is the kind of learning I want, and I believe it is truly preparing me for the future I have pictured for myself.”
The path. Exploring European capitals
Klara’s study track is London–Turin–Berlin, and she has already experienced two of her three choices. “The question everyone keeps asking me is whether I preferred my first year in London or the second year I am living in Turin,” she tells us. “To be honest, this question is harder than it sounds because cities are so diverse. I always go by ‘it’s different’, which is the truth.”
London, of course, is a city that never sleeps. “There I felt alive and important, an incredible state of mind. Just by walking around the city, I literally sensed the beauty of studying abroad and living in a big city.” And despite the size of the city and the almost 9 million souls that inhabit it, what really surprised Klara was the fact that she not even once experienced the awkward feeling of not fitting in.
Relocating to Turin has been a significant change, but she found the purest Italian lifestyle and culture there. “In Turin, I feel mature and sophisticated,” she adds. “Wine tastings, museum nights, dinner gatherings with delicious food are just some of the activities in my daily life. I am so grateful I got the chance to experience ‘la dolce vita’! “
Towards the future. Finding the what, why and how
For many, the years spent at university are the period in life when they can finally discover what they are passionate about and towards which career path their natural aptitudes are pointing. For others, those are the years to be invested in turning their already clear dreams into a goal. But Klara, somehow, found herself in the between.
“I always knew what I am passionate about. However, I didn’t know where to start and what to do to turn my interests into a career,” she admits. “Looking back at the beginning of my ESCP journey, I tried to find myself professionally by applying to different societies and activities. I didn’t know which path to take in the future, and by trying new things, I was hoping for an answer.”
Even lectures and classes gave Klara some keys to better understand herself. “During the first semester, the subject that inspired me the most was ‘Presentation, Discussion and Rhetoric Skills’. Holding presentations in front of an audience was something so natural and enjoyable for me. When I became a Student Ambassador, I once again proved to myself that I am good at and passionate about public speaking and presenting.”
Today, enriched by many diverse experiences, Klara is confident to say that her future is in Marketing and Sales. “Dynamism, creativity, communication, challenges, and leadership are just some of the aspects that make me believe Marketing, and I are perfect for each other!”
Teamwork. Contributing your best
One of the leitmotifs that have accompanied Klara in these two years at the ESCP Business School is certainly ‘teamwork’. “It is indeed a crucial part of our programme. I had already experienced teamwork in different forms in my life, but this time it was a challenge from which I learned a lot. Working in teams is not always easy since we all have diverse approaches to problems.”
However, Klara soon understood that the best way to make a team function is to acknowledge that everyone has weaknesses and strengths and that by establishing honest communication members can contribute with their best. “My strongest contribution is definitely a creative mindset. I am always ready to generate new ideas and pitch new proposals. I will always try to find a creative solution and uniquely approach every task,” she adds.
At ESCP, teamwork is crucial not only inside the classroom. “I am a member of the JET – Junior Enterprise Society, where talented, driven students are providing consulting services for companies, institutions, and individuals all over Europe. Knowing how to function at your best in a team is fundamental to make the most of this opportunity.”
Societies are also the right place to develop many more of the essential soft skills BSc students will need in their future career path. “You have to be responsible and punctual, dedicated and reliable. I am working in the marketing department, specifically in the events division. We organise various events, including educational and networking meetups. Taking part in this Society has been extremely beneficial for me, and it also helped me to expand my network notably.”
Student’s Advice. Challenges are your best asset
As a Student Ambassador, Klara is constantly faced with the most diverse questions and concerns from future students. Still, there is one that unites them all: “How hard it is to make new friends, especially when you are moving to a different country every year?”
“I understand that they are afraid because I was as well,” she admits. “Knowing that you are the only student from your country is challenging, but it has never discouraged me.”
The first principle that has always guided Klara in her adventure at ESCP is to constantly get out of her comfort zone, which is precisely the advice she gives to all future students. “Although it may sound cliché, be open, dare to explore and try to meet as many people as you can. It is a unique opportunity to make unforgettable connections and friendships for life.”
“My second principle is to make the best out of this experience. If you choose the BSc programme, then you should give (and take) the maximum.” Learning a new language or skill, joining a society… Possibilities are countless and for you to explore.
“Remember that hard work always pays off,” concludes Klara. “It may not always be easy, but we are here to walk out of this School stronger and prepared for upcoming challenges.“
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