Australia is making business progress

Petra Tadic, MBA student in Finance and Accounting, practice at Fresenius Medical Care, Sydney

Petra Tadic is currently studying at ZSEM with the MBA program Finance and Accounting. During her professional studies, she made her compulsory professional practice in the distant continent, Australia. She is occasionally employed by a hotel company operating in Croatia and plans to continue working for the company after her studies. Read the interview and learn more about Petra’s overseas experience.

Why did you decide to go to Australia? What company did you internship with and how long did it last?

Since my mother was born and raised in Australia, it has always been a desire for me to visit her second home country. Since I have been babysitting a German family in my high school days since my high school days, we have touched upon Australia as my mother’s home country as well as a country that offers many opportunities for young people eager for further learning and business advancement. Being aware of the information I am attending, they offered me an internship recommendation in Sydney at a subsidiary of the German company Fresenius Medical Care, this was an opportunity I could not miss. I sent my resume, did an interview, and finally got the opportunity to do a month-long internship in the controlling department after a second year of college.

What did your work day at Fresenius Medical Care look like?

The work day started at 9am and lasted until 5pm. In the morning, she and her mentor would review the daily tasks and those tasks that had to be done during the previous day. My responsibilities were related to the processing and analysis of monthly and quarterly business data through Excel. The mentor was available to me throughout the day for all my questions and concerns. During the working day, I had one hour break when I was hanging out and sharing experiences with my colleagues.

What was it like to fit into a new culture and way of doing business? What surprised you the most?

Fitting into a new culture was very interesting, I was told on the first business day that they had a deadline to submit a budget for the next year, and that I would have to wait until tomorrow to assign me a mentor and work assignments, my first thought was that I will enter an office full of nervous and at the very least very loud people trying to get the job done on time, but I was greeted with a completely different work atmosphere. My colleagues barely uttered a word, there was complete silence throughout the day, they were completely focused on their work without visible nervousness. I was very surprised because in Croatia I got used to a much more temperamental working atmosphere. Given that the Sydney branch was also responsible for doing business in one part of the Asian continent and New Zealand, I was confronted with different cultures, business practices and modes of communication. My colleagues were more than kind, willing to help and joke, asking lots of questions about Croatia, its beauties, lifestyle and economic situation.

Is medicine the industry you want to work in in the future? What specifically attracted you to this company?

Medicine is an industry that has always interested me because of its strong humane character, but I am currently focused on the tourism sector. What attracted me to this company is its size and business reputation on the European continent.  

In what sense has this international experience changed you? Have you learned any new skills or perspectives on the future?

The international experience has opened up some new worldviews for me, I have met and lived with people of different cultures and views on life, education and work. I learned to appreciate the opportunities provided and make the most of them. I improved my English, business communication and work in Excel, then after discussing with my superiors and colleagues, I decided that upon returning to Croatia after completing my undergraduate studies, I would work in the profession for a while to make it easier to decide in which direction to specialize later. Thanks to my experience after returning home, I was given the opportunity to work in a domestic company, where I spent seven months and gained additional work experience, but also an opportunity for future business development.

What would you say to students seeking professional practice?

She would tell them to constantly work for themselves and invest in their knowledge and not be afraid to step into the unknown. They need to be persistent, show the employer that they care, and learn to present all of their qualities. They also need to be prepared for a lot of work and effort, the situation may not always evolve exactly as they intended, but it should go step by step, persistence and perseverance always pay off. Experience and knowledge gained while working in the profession is immeasurable, so start submitting applications and CVs, whether for practice in Croatia or abroad, contact the Career Center for help or advice.

Interlocutor: Petra Tadic