10 Dec 2017

CEMS Talk on the topic Digital First: Business and Philanthropy in the Digital era

Digital career as the main topic, three amazing speakers, no slides, informal atmosphere, a beautiful venue, engaged audience: great CEMS Talk with vivid discussions.

Our November CEMS Talk took place in a co-working centre Opero, a perfect location for the topic Digital First. A key question of the evening was rather simple: What is career in a digital environment like? 

This CEMS Talk offered not only a unique chance to uncover a bit of the magic behind companies such as Google, Uber or Airbnb but also brought a real variety of choices and approaches how one can direct his / her career in a digital environment. 

What are the key take aways from this CEMS Talk?

  • Use digital tools to get rid of repetitive tasks and focus instead on project bringing innovation and people development. 
  • Be bold, trust in what you do and and use the opportunities arising around.
  • Build your own network and use it - incl. the 2nd connections (i.e. friends of friends).
  • Don't give up and follow what you believe it even when obstacles show up. 
  • When going for a new job, choose a company culture fitting your personality. 
  • Do not evil in anything you do. 
  • Choose a career fitting your lifestyle and life values.
  • Find something you want to fight for. And do it.

Who were our three speakers?

Vaclav Graf: Turning from GO to become a shared economy expert

Trips Marketing Manager Central & Eastern Europe at Airbnb

Vaclav's career is the most colourful mix one can imagine. After submitting a thesis about selling visas on eBay, he got offered a job in a governmental office in the Czech Republic. Soon after that, he joined OECD. When working on a project solving a housing situation in New York, he got fasinated by the concept of shared economy and looked for opportunities in this area. Later he became a key expert on the shared economy in the Czech Republic - bringing both Uber and Airbnb to the region of central and eastern Europe. 

His main advice for others: Use social media to your favour. Get in touch with those your are interested in. 

Petr Smid: Inspiring CEMS & Google Enthusiast

Head of Consumer Marketing, Central & Eastern Europe at Google

To describe Petr, I would say a great wave of inspiring energy. Petr is well known for his passion for both CEMS and Google and his desire to help others to succeed. After finishing his studies, he became a consultant at McKinsey. Just before the financial crisis came, he joined the MBA programme at INSEAD. Almost two years after finishing his MBA studies, he joined Google and until today is a greatly passionate Googler. During the Talk he mentioned three reasons he likes about the Google company culture, i.e. appraising performance, driving informality and creating positive impact. This year, Petr has been nominated for the CEMS Alumni of the year as the first Czech candidate in the category of senior leaders. 

His main advice for others: Choose a company culture fitting your personality.

Michal Zwinger: Socially conscious digital entrepreneur

Managing Director at Levebee.com (Vcelka.cz)

Yet studying CEMS and starting his career at Henkel, Michal is everything but a typical CEMS Alumnus. His desire to help others to live a happier life brought him soon from the corporate into the entrepreneurial world. Starting with the opportunity that seemed as the easiest back then - a tool helping people to read more efficiently, he created his first business. The company took off very well. Though the shining results were hitted by an unexpected law suit that his company eventually won. Yet it slowed down the company development considerably. The new restart came with a project vcelka.cz, an app helping kids and people with dislexia to learn to read. Michal mentioned a great thought: Find something you want to fight for and simply do it. 

His main advice for others: Be open, opportunities will show up. Do what you believe in.

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

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

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