A university degree offers no guarantees, but it is an excellent starting point for a stellar professional career. Here, we introduce you to three graduates from the University of Klagenfurt who have made the very best of their professional opportunities.
A university degree gives you a good foundation, but there’s more to it than that.
Solveig Menard-Galli studied Applied Business Administration in Klagenfurt and is now the Chief Performance Officer (CPO) of the Wienerberger Group.
After graduating, she initially started out as a research assistant at the university, but soon realised she wanted to pursue a career in the world of business. Her first role was with Pago International in Klagenfurt, where she worked as a controller: “At the time, Pago operated as a subsidiary of Brau Union, and over the course of ten years I held various financial positions culminating in Chief Financial Officer.” Following the takeover of Brau Union by the Heineken Group, Solveig Menard-Galli joined the Heineken Holding in Amsterdam.Today, she is a member of the Managing Board of Wienerberger AG, the world’s largest brick producer with 200 production sites in over 30 countries.
This is her advice for future students: “A university degree gives you a good foundation, but there’s more to it than that. There are always plenty of new issues that come up and need to be properly addressed.”
Don’t memorise passive data, but rather go out and find it.
Eva Krallinger-Gruber, a native of Salzburg, studied Journalism and Communication Sciences at the University of Klagenfurt.
She has worked in large marketing offices in France, Belgium, America and Switzerland, among others. Today, she is her own boss and uses the online city magazine “Fräulein Floras Favourite Hangouts” to show what Salzburg has to offer. Along with her husband, she is the driving force behind the blog and is about to launch her own magazine. When we ask her whether her academic studies have helped her in her professional life today, she replies: “Absolutely. Maybe not so much in terms of the content, but certainly in the approach I take to acquiring knowledge and implementing projects. At university you can learn in a way unlike anywhere else: Don’t memorise passive data, but rather go out and find it.”
To all those who are just embarking on a course of study, she recommends, among other things: “Enjoy your time as a student! Once you leave university, you will never again have this much time for yourself.”
Break out of the comfort zone, that’s the only way to grow.
Rudolf Ball graduated from the University of Klagenfurt with a degree in Informatics and in 2008 he dared to take the leap into self-employment.
In 2010, he founded the company Symvaro GmbH, which specialises in the development of smart city apps specifically for the areas of waste and water. One of these is “Waterloo”, which provides digital support to water suppliers and users for the annual calculation of water consumption and the obligatory replacement of water meters. The company has succeeded in gaining extensive investments and today it has over 20 employees. He tells us: “Being an entrepreneur is the very best job in the world! I develop new concepts, inspire customers and put ideas into practice together with an amazing team.”
His advice to anyone who has yet to launch their professional career: “Work part-time while studying and boost your interpersonal skills. Complete various internships and switch frequently in order to gain valuable experience. And: Break out of the comfort zone, that’ s the only way to grow. Also: Give your mother a kiss and head abroad, or establish a start-up. Or a family. Or all of these things.”