The effort always pays off! Don't give up on your dreams

You are a successful alumni of the Zagreb School of Economics and Management. What prompted you to choose ZSEM’s program? What has influenced your career development the most from ZSEM? (What knowledge and skills have you gained during your studies that have given you an edge over colleagues from other institutions in the job market?)

At the time I joined ZSEM I was working in the pharmaceutical industry for a Croatian corporation. I ran a corporate communications department at that company. Although I already had a Master’s degree in Public Relations at the Dublin University, I became interested in the MBA program because it offered a number of subjects in economics, which I, as a journalist graduate, lacked. I considered several private schools and how ZSEM had the reputation of being the best private school was outweighed by the decision to enroll ZSEM. Today I know I made the right decision. Of course I gained new knowledge and skills, especially in economics, which was perhaps most important to me. But what I would also like to point out is that my MBA helped me build the much-needed confidence I needed on a day-to-day basis as a manager, and later it came in handy for a private business I started. As the years went by I realized that it was not just the knowledge and skills that mattered in the business, but the way the individual presented his ideas and intentions. You need the wisdom to choose the right moment and the confidence to not give up your ideas.

What would you advise our students to do in a successful career? Is there a particular aspect of study and work that you should concentrate on if you want to find your dream job easily?

I think we should always follow our dreams. If you don’t have dreams – something you strive to be, even if just an idea, then this is the first step where you should start. Today, with all globalization (everything available to us) and general awareness raising, there are many ways to connect with ourselves in order to clarify what we ourselves really want and can do. If that first step is resolved, in the sense that the individual knows what he wants, then the path to that goal should be wisely planned, that is, in this case, a dream job. It is sometimes the case that young people live a little in the illusion of expecting hills and mountains after graduation. One needs to be realistic and aware of the country in which we live and what the real options are. Also, very often (as in other walks of life) compromise will occur. For some, for example, what matters most is financial compensation, they may very well need to sacrifice some of their private lives and time because a high-paying job will require them to do so. While, for example, others with the most important social factor may suffer a small paycheck for a good atmosphere and company at work. These are the personal criteria of each of us. A successful career advice is to always strive for work, because in the end, the effort is always worth it, not to give up on your dreams, although it may sometimes seem that your dreams are put on hold. Never ‘stick a knife in the back’ with a colleague at work, and this is also a case of out of work. Focus less on other people’s lives and other people’s problems, and “sweep” daily in your own backyard. Small steps do great things, be patient and gentle with yourself. There will always be a place in the job market for hardworking people.

Why did you decide to start a business of this type and what exactly do you do? What is Plasma Saal Ltd.’s core business? How much did studying at ZSEM help you in this?

PlasmaSaal deals with alternative treatment techniques such as diagnostics and frequency therapy, quantum medicine, etc. At PlasmaSaal, we take a holistic approach to healing, which means that a person is viewed as a whole, made up of spirit, mind and body. If one has kidney problems, we will not concentrate solely on the kidneys, but will talk to the person and try to determine what exactly on the mental level has led to pain at that point in the body. The kidneys as an organ are associated with fear, so often people who are afraid of something (or everything) in life in the long run may ultimately have problems specifically with that organ. And until the cause of the problem is resolved, the problem can never ultimately be resolved. I have always shown an interest in natural healing methods, healthy foods, physiotherapy and other complementary methods. So the founding of PlasmaSaal somehow came naturally.

Most businesses share the same or similar initial assumptions. It doesn’t matter if you sell technical goods or food supplements, because some of the umbrella laws in terms of organization, buying, selling, purchasing, diversifying your portfolio are always the same. And this is where education helps you – to know what is there, to be aware of your options. Of course, each industry is a story in itself, and has particularities in business, but it is something that is learned with experience. Importantly, the foundations are solid, which is what I got at ZSEM.

What employee profiles does your company hire / seek? How would the ZSEM team handle this kind of work? Why?

In addition to their traditional education, ranging from economics to psychology, employees of PlasmaSaal still have various additional education in bioresonance medicine, hypnotherapy and some other techniques and skills. PlasmaSaal is a very specific company, and dealing with holistic medicine, as with allopathic (western) medicine – should come as a call. Given that it is a daily work with people, emotional intelligence, the responsibility of the therapist, empathy, cordiality and the desire for the well-being of all clients is essential.

What would you send as the most important message / lesson to all students and young people who are uncertain about choosing a career or finding a job in the job market and looking for their roles in the world?

That they are not afraid to try. How else can you know that something (does) not fit you unless you have personally experienced it. The world is changing in such a way that today it is normal to change careers completely, several times in the working life. We need to try until we find the ‘something’ that truly fills us. And when we finally find the ‘something’ we need to be so free to allow everything to be transient and to appreciate the time as long as it fills us. Sometimes the “something” can last a year or five years and then it can start to weaken. It is then a sign that it is time for a new search and new challenges…

What are your recommendations and tips for current ZSEM students?

For those younger (who are studying full-time) the message is that they enjoy the present moment and their student days. Personally, as a student, many times I thought about when I would be completely financially stable one day, I strongly wanted the day to come as soon as possible. Eventually that day came too fast. Today, with a break, I know that I should have enjoyed the moment more. For those older people (like me who have studied with a job) the message is: endure, I know it’s not easy, but in the end, it will be worth all the money you will earn this way. In my generation, I had colleagues with young children at home and responsible bank jobs, etc. The real art was to juggle between private life, business and study. But we all somehow succeed in the end. Like I said – the effort always pays off in the end. If it wasn’t the hard way, we wouldn’t appreciate it the same way.

Finally, I want to share that through my MBA studies at ZSEM, I met wonderful people, some of whom are my true friends today, with whom I continue to grow and share my life.

Interlocutor: Ana Prelog