Step by step, but always forward

We bring you the story of our MBA student Borna Alač.


Step by step to ZSEM! After completing my business management studies in Rijeka, being the summa cum laude of my generation, I wanted to continue my education. I heard great things about ZSEM even during my time as student body president at my alma mater, whilst participating in the Council of Students of the Republic of Croatia.


Then I met the president of ZSEM’s student body, with whom I discussed studying in Croatia with. Thanks to the first hand insight of my colleague, I decided to enroll in the 4+5 program (additional year to obtain ECTS requirement), and into the MBA studies at ZSEM. I had thought about specializing in finance and during my 4th year, I ultimately decided I would go in that direction. Professors from the finance department (Silic, Grubisic, and Alajbeg), as well as the economics department, delivered their lectures in an informative and practical way, thanks to their rich experience. I finally enrolled into the MBA program with a specialization in Corporate Finance.

As the MBA program started, there was more and more talk about the possibility of doing an additional degree program at the partner university, which prompted my desire to go abroad and experience the best business schools in Western Europe. I decided to go to the KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux.


From the end of February, to the beginning of May 2018, I was in Bordeaux where I was not studying Corporate Finance as I was in Zagreb, but in the EBP International program, with a specialization in Global Management. My lectures lasted just over 2 months, at a very intense pace where we had 11 courses. The majority of courses had an emphasis on personal development, managing differences in a changing environment, and developing soft skills. During this period, each student in my program had 15… presentations in front of full lecture halls, from different courses and various topics, which were followed by discussions and debates. It certainly developed both presentation and critical thinking skills. After lectures, followed by spring break, and a short break which we used to explore the region. The city and the region of Bordeaux are rich in natural beauty, cultural events and a distinctive winerys, which locals call “Chateau”, as well as the Dune du Pilat – the highest sand dune in Europe, and the beautiful vineyard of Saint-Émilion.


After completing all my exams, I successfully completed a five month internship in Rijeka for a French company, as a trainee in accounting and finance. I could experience first hand how well organized systems function and apply the knowledge I gained at ZSEM. Personally, it is great that an internship was required, since applying the knowledge I learnt during my studies allowed me to see the differences in Croatian and foreign markets.


I would like to say, that thanks to the knowledge I gained at demonstrated during my internship, I got a job offer from the same company. At the moment, I am currently writing my graduate thesis at ZSEM. I hope that this year I will successfully pass the Grand Oral as the final exam at KEDGE, defend my thesis, and thus gain my additional degree.


The message from my story and my education is that many opportunities are provided during your studies, some of which I could never imagine, but I bravely embarked on new adventures. I have seen the value and success of achieving goals in small steps.

Step by step, but forward for sure!