22 Oct 2017

Decide about the CEMS Alumni of the Year

Dear CEMS Alumni,

Take part in the CEMS Alumni of the Year Elections and decide, who are going to be two CEMS Alumni of the Year 2017.

For the first time, the Czech Republic has candidates in both categories:
Petr Smid nominated for CEMS Alumni Senior Leader and
Tomas Laboutka nominated for CEMS Alumni Junior Leader.

What makes Petr and Tomas truly inspirational leaders? 
Both share an incredible passion for what they do, are innovative, have amazing leadership skills and business expertise, yet stay humble and modest.

Don't miss the chance and vote in the CEMS Alumni of the Year.

Category: CEMS Alumni Senior Leader

Petr Smid: Head of Consumer Marketing, Central and Eastern Europe @Google

Petr is a 2005 CEMS graduate. He is now working hard to bring the best of Google’s consumer technology to users in Central & Eastern Europe.
Being a CEMS and INSEAD MBA graduate himself, he’s passionate about education - leading frequent workshops for students, professionals, startups, and other businesses. He has always enjoyed travelling, skiing & ice hockey ... for the past 3 years all of this with his little daughter.
Petr’s Interview,  Petr on LinkedIn  Vote for Petr

Category: CEMS Alumni Junior Leader

Tomas Laboutka: CEO & Co-Founder, Board Member @HotelQuickly

Tomas is a 2010 CEMS graduate. He has been is CEO & Co-Founder at HotelQuickly and recognised by Forbes in the category 30 under 30.
His sharings - "Learn to make great decisions and develop the courage to follow them through. Embrace the CEMS network: the friendships you make and insights you gain from fellow students, alumni, partners, and colleagues fuel us for life. So make the most out of them and say “yes” to success!"

Pavlína on behalf of the CEMS Alumni Board Team
Find out more about our activities on our BlogFacebook and LinkedIN

19 Oct 2017

CEMS Talk on the topic Going the Other Way: Are you living the life You want to live?

Alternative career choice as the main topic, three amazing speakers, no slides, informal atmosphere, beautiful venue, engaged audience: unique CEMS Talk with unique findings.

Our October CEMS Talk took place in an art gallery, a perfect location to discuss Going the Other Way choices. A key question of the evening was simple: Are you living the life You want to live? 

We are extremely happy that this topic raised a lot of interest among CEMS students and alumni and thank all for all the rich discussions that arose during and also after the CEMS Talk.

Although all three speakers have started their career in the corporate environment and until today they are managing projects and people, their career paths have been all but ordinary. It was such a refreshing experience to spend an evening with these extraordinary, smart, courageous and humble people, who do really create an impact on the society and world around us. 

What is the key take away from this CEMS Talk?

  • Explore what is truly important for You in Your life. Once You find it, do it.
  • Pushing does not work. Be open and let things, people and situations come to You.
  • Slowness brings answers to key questions in life.
  • Follow Your intuition first, before making any decision think it properly through  (not the other way around)
  • Have good friends, who will help You to come back on Your path, when You are wobbling. 
  • Have great teachers, who will inspire You. 
  • Leave your comfort zone & take a break from your normal life.
  • Follow Your personal values in Your life as well as in Your career without compromising them.
  • Follow the signs
  • Give back

CEMS Talk concept:

  • Every CEMS Talk is dedicated to a unique topic related to life and career in today’s world. 
  • Speakers are chosen based on their level of experience and relevancy for a chosen area. 
  • The audience is built from CEMS students and alumni, both Czech and international. 
  • The main purpose of CEMS Talk is to share real, authentic and honest stories and thereby inspire members of the CEMS Community in their future life and business choices

Who were our three speakers?

Dagmar Goldmannova: Philanthropy consultant and project manager

Dagmar has left her corporate career in order to do what she loves - helping others in a meaningful way. She was working on projects in many countries in Africa, Asia and eastern Europe. Since December 2016, she is leading a philanthropic consultancy company back in the Czech Republic.

Her main advice for others: Be the one, who is deciding about Your life. Let things come to You. 


Jakub Stransky: Spontaneous and inspiring financial expert

Jakub's dream was to serve a local community. He has been working in a local Czech production company, studied PhD, lived in Lyon, taught CEMS subjects at the university, joined the Institute for the examination of totalitarian regimes and recently is enjoying his sabbatical - i.e. parental leave. 

His main advice for others: Live the life that you want to live. Have great people around you.

Valerie Kozelska Schafer: Socially conscious entrepreneur

Valerie has managed to combine her great business talent with the deeply rooted wish to help and support others. During her MBA studies in Taiwan, her and her husband, have started to build their social enterprise. Living in a small Moravian village, Valerie is managing their own company and at the same time is renovating a historical building in the center of Znojmo.

Her main advice for others: Be open, opportunities will show up. Do what you believe in. A life is too short to waste it. 


We thank to our exceptional speakers for their time and effort as well as to all attendees for joining this great evening.
We are looking forward to seeing you at one of our next events.
on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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PS: Thank You for Your positive feedback shared during and after the event :)

E.g. One of the many reasons why CEMS is a great choice: The frequent and insightful events with Alumni. Shoutout to the Alumni Team for organizing this talk! 
Florian, current CEMS Student

15 Oct 2017

Membership benefits

Dear alumni
Have you ever thought of becoming an official, paying member of the association or renewing your membership?

The benefits

There is a number of benefits which you can get by doing so:

  • You get access to the CEMS Student & Alumni Directories currently consisting of 11 000 alumni and 1 000 students.
  • You get access to all global events - e.g. the Annual Events, Career Forum, Waltzing Days, or events organized by professional groups.
  • You get access to online and in-person mentoring as well as the online job market.
  • You will receive the CEMS magazine and eNewsletters.
  • Last but not least: By paying your membership fee you allow the local committee (yes, it is us :-)) to organize more and better events. And - you somehow give back what you get from CEMS.

If you want to know more please let us know or check the CAA website.

Our plan for the next year

In the upcoming year our goal is to increase the number of paying members and thus improve our activities and also re-gain our right to take part and vote at CAA Assembly.

on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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10 Oct 2017

Impressions from the General CEMS Alumni Assembly 2017

What an impressive team of dedicated, smart and mature people, who can not only discuss, share best practices and brainstorm about future direction of the CEMS Alumni Association but also create a clear strategy, split responsibilities and motivate each other to act upon them.

This is the very first impression that comes to my mind when reflecting on the General CEMS Alumni Association (CAA) Assembly held during the first October weekend in Warsaw.

The General CAA Aseembly 2017 was hosted by the LC in Poland and the Warsaw School of Economics. The participants were CAA global board memebers, CEMS Alumni global team and presidents of LCs. 

The Czech Republic did not take part in this event for several years. Nevertheless it seemed as if we were always represented considering the very warm welcome from all other attendees and the immediate inclusion into the future strategy setting. 

The CEMS Programme is very well known for the highly engaged community of CEMS Students. 

Yet seeing the same level of dedication and commitment among experienced CEMS Alumni reminded me again how unique the CEMS Alumni Community actually is and that CEMS is without any doubt an amazing life-long learning journey.

Apart from the intense official programme, there was also space for social gathering and informal get-together. After the weekend in Warsaw I again understood the full meaning of the unbelievable Polish hospitality

What are the key updates from the Warsaw meeting?
  • We have a new CAA Board with Alberto Constans as the new CAA President. There is tremendous amount of experience, expertise as well as the dedication among the team members of the new board team and LC Presidents. 
  • Thanks to the broad CEMS Alumni sruvey held recently, we have objective in-depth insight into the preferences of CEMS Alumni all around the world
  • CAA Board has defined a clear global strategy:
    • Getting the basics right
    • Building strong and unique value proposition of CEMS Alumni  

Which global projects will be Czech Republic contributing to?
  • Delivery of the CEMS Alumni LC start-up package 
  • Driving Thoughtleadership and CEMS Social Partnership
  • CEMS Talk to become a global concept

What are the goals of the Alumni Community in the Czech Republic after the Warsaw event?
  • Increase the number of active CEMS Alumni and work pro-actively with fresh graduates
  • Expand the CEMS Alumni Board Team
  • Continue with regular CEMS Talk and bring them also online
  • Deliver one flagship social event per year
  • Intensify the collaboration with CEMS Club Prague 

What do we need?
  • We need Your help and support. If you are interested in the CEMS Alumni Community and want to join as a new member of the CEMS Alumni Board or rather offer a hand on an ad-hoc basis - please let us know at cemsalumni@seznam.cz
Stay tuned. There is a lot coming in the CEMS Alumni Community :)
Warm regards from Warsaw,

on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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9 Oct 2017

CEMS Breakfast: connecting CEMS Alumni and Students

On Friday, October 6th, CEMS Alumni and current CEMS Students got together for a delicious CEMS Breakfast at Secret of Raw in Prague. 

The official topic of the day was Digital transformation and its implications on the future career of CEMSies

The whole event was held in an informal atmosphere, so the open discussion between graduates and soon-to be graduates was covering as broad topics as career opportunities, hiking and exotic vacations.

Key take-aways from the event:

  • If you are not 100% sure of what you want to do, choose a career that allows you to experience different functions.
  • CEMS is just the beginning of a truly international experience.
  • Stay connected with the CEMS community after graduation :)

Feedback we have received:

It was great to discuss new ideas accompanied by a delicious breakfast! Kate, CEMS Student

What I found very nice is that Alumni are still interested in meeting CEMSies. Also it was really nice to hear about their experiences from studying and working and career paths. Personally, I was lucky to have met a person from my future exchange university and I got really useful tips. All in all the unique value of being a CEMSie was proven and it was an inspirational morning. Monika, CEMS Student

We are looking forward to seeing you on other CEMS events co-organized by CEMS Alumni Association and CEMS Club Prague,

Florian Brezina (CEMS Club Alumni Representative)
and Pavlina Simurdova (CEMS Alumni President)

on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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30 Sep 2017

CEMS Breakfast - Digitalization and its career implications on 6 October

Dear alumni
Enjoy the breakfast with current CEMS students and discuss the hot topic of digitalization and its career implications. This event is co-organized with CEMS Club Prague. There is a limited number of available places (for alumni as well as students) so register as soon as possible. For more info you can check the facebook event.

Location: Secret of Raw Cukrarna, Rumunská 265/25, 120 00 Praha 2
Registration: cemsalumni@seznam.czcemsalumni@seznam.cz.

on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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CEMS Talk - Going the other way on 16 October

Dear alumni
I would like to invite you to another CEMS Talk event. This time it will be devoted to cemsies who chose not so typical career path for a cemsie.
How did they end up in the role they are doing now? What are they enjoying and what are  struggling with at their careers? What does the statement "make an impact" mean to the? What kind of lessons have they learnt about life and career choices so far?

Who are the speakers?

Jakub Stransky: CFO at Institute for Study of Totalitarian Regimes
Jakub is an exceptional financial expert. Instead of living in Wall Street, he has been managing finances in a one of the top institutes in the Czech Republic. Before that he worked in a NGO and also taught at the university. Come to explore his story, find more about his motivation as well as learn about the reality of a daily job in a non-corporate sector.

Dagmar Goldmannova: Executive Director at Via Clarita
Dagmar has left her HR career at L'Oreal to lead international NGO projects. In 2016 she founded a company providing philanthropic consultancy. Join our CEMS Talk to explore what is means to manage philantropic consultancy, how corporate HR differs from HR in an international NGO and what working in NGO is really like.

Valerie Kozelska Schafer: Founder at Coelsol & Preserver of Stara pekarna
After working at Henkel, Valerie relocated to Taiwan to study MBA. Back in the Czech Rep., she has founded a social entrepreneurship business importing solar systems and also started to renovate an old bakery house. Which learning from the corporate world can be applied in own CSR business? Why studying MBA can change one's life? How to run business from a small village?

Where does it take place?

At Nová galerieBalbínova 26, Praha 2

Ready to come?

Then sign up at cemslumni@seznam.cz and join us on Monday 16 October at 7pm! Check out the Facebook event.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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24 Sep 2017

CEMS Talk on the topic Building BIG: What an impressive start to CEMS Alumni autumn 2017!

Three top speakers, engaged attendees, beautiful venue, and great wine tasting created an unforgettable CEMS Talk.

What is the key take away from the CEMS Talk on the topic Building Big?
  • Learn from the best ones: Get the job in a top company in your area of interest
  • Become an industry expert: Understand the business you are in
  • Follow your personal values in your career as well as in your business without compromises
  • Find what you enjoy: Go for it, work on it, stay hungry, humble and persistent
  • Find a gap: Fill it in with a unique offering
  • Grow wisely: No need for rapid jump up
  • Choose great people who are better than you are: Don’t go only for good ones.
  • Be flexible and adaptive: See and use new opportunities that are constantly arising
  • Follow the signs
  • Give back


CEMS Talk is an event concept inspired by TED talk:

  • Every CEMS Talk is dedicated to a unique topic related to life and career in today’s world. 
  • Speakers are chosen based on their level of experience and relevancy for a chosen area. 
  • The audience is built from CEMS students and alumni, both Czech and international. 
  • The main purpose of CEMS Talk is to share real, authentic and honest stories and thereby inspire members of the CEMS Community in their future life and business choices.

Who were our three speakers?

Jan Hrdina: an extraordinary entrepreneur

Jan has managed to grow a family owned business into an internationally recognized company, #1 on the Czech market for wooden products. 
His success lies in the combination of:
  • unique product offering, 
  • focus on top quality, 
  • choosing the best people and 
  • following and embodying his personal values such as: fairness, honesty, transparency, family business, ecological approach, giving back. 

Radomir Salitros: a top star all across

Radomir became a VP in an Austrian banking group before he turned thirty. 
With his CV and experience, he could have had easily an amazing and secured career in the financial industry. 
Instead he decided to do what he enjoyed. He moved back to his home town in eastern Slovakia and founded a company producing luxury beds that is one of the top companies in this field internationally.
What is the magic behind? 
  • being transparent and honest,
  • staying hungry and humble, 
  • following the signs, 
  • learning from the best companies and then applying that in own business and 
  • based on his experience not trusting anyone.

Frantisek Peterka – a modern start-up entrepreneur

Frantisek does not see a difference between doing business in a digital or real world. Frantisek has already managed to establish and grow several top digital companies. 
His passion is the first stage of the entrepreneurship journey: building new company. 
Aiming to build a business for his wife, he founded the biggest and most successful shopping platform for kids and mums in the Czech Republic. 
Frantisek’s secret is build upon:
  • his desire for building new solution for customer needs, 
  • being adaptive, flexible and open to new opportunities and 
  • doing business with people he can trust as his family, friends, former colleagues.

We thank to our exceptional speakers as well as to all attendees.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our next events.
Pavlina on behalf of CEMS Alumni Board

PS: We are extremely happy for you feedback, below a few notes:

Hi Pavlina
Just wanted to thank you for a great event on Thursday, I had to leave quite early so didn't have a chance to say it in person Looking forward for more events like that
Nika (CEMS Student)
Dear Pavlina, 
thank you so much for organizing the event yesterday - we all loved it! 
Kate (CEMS Student)
Ahoj Pavlíno, 
včerejší akce totální liga, smekám za organizaci a děkujeme za úsilí, které jsi tomu věnovala.Budu se těšit na dalších akcích
Richard (CEMS Alumnus)
Ahoj Pavlina,
Este raz dakujem za pozvanie a perfektnu organizaciu vcerajsieho eventu. Bol to velmi inspirativny a myslim, ze aj najviac autenticky event zo vsetkych CEMS podujati, ktore som dosial navstivila. Tesim sa uz na dalsie stretnutie. 
S prianim pekneho dna,
Gabriela (CEMS Student)

on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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25 Nov: CEMS Alumni family event

Dear alumni
come and join us at another family event (yes, that means that the majority of participants will not be alumni but only potential cemsies :-)). The last family event went pretty well, no children discouraged from becoming a cems student and not parent went mad.

Where: Brumbambule (reservation made by Judita Bihellerová)
When: 25 November starting at 10:00 AM
Registration: Via Facebook or send me an email

Looking forward to meeting you and your children!

on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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11 Sep 2017

CEMS Talk - Three inspiring stories - one topic: BUILDING BIG on 21 Sep

How to turn a passion into something "real"? How to build on it and grow? How to expand? How to build BIG? There are the questions for our next CEMS Alumni event on 21st September at 7pm. 

Who is this evening focused on?

On those, of you, who:

  • want do some movement in their career,
  • would like to start your own business but are not sure how,
  • are entrepreneurs and want to move own business forward,
  • simply want to meet with inspiring people.

Who are the speakers?

Jan Hrdina: Managing Director at Asko a.s.
Jan has managed to turn his passion for wood into building a top company with wooden products in the Czech Republic. Jan is one of the most recognized personalities in the CEMS Community and for years a big source of inspiration for many CEMS entrepreneurs.

Radomir Salitros: CEO & Co-owner at Saffron Beds
In 2007, Radomir left his consultancy and banking career in order to follow his desire for quality sleep. Not only he established a successful company producing luxury and healthy beds but he also managed to acquire a major investor helping Saffron Beds to expand internationally. 

Frantisek Peterka: Founder and former CEO at Prodeti.cz, Founder and CEO at Driveto.cz
Frantisek is a modern entrepreneur, who has built two successful eCommerce companies within past 8 years. After creating, leading and lately selling the biggest eshop with goods for children in the Czech Rep., he has started recently his new project driveto.cz

Where does it take place?

At the FloorFloor! venue at Na Pankráci 30 A, 140 00 Praha 4

Ready to come?

Then sign up at cemslumni@seznam.cz and join us on Thursday 21st September at 7pm!

Want more :-)?

A part of the evening will be dedicated to little wine tasting

In case of any questions, please let us know!

Your CEMS Alumni Board