Kathrin Egger | I started my own business while I was still at university

Kathrin Egger defines herself as a globetrotter and that led her to choose Business Administration with a focus on International Business Studies. She went straight into business for herself while she was still studying and now she can combine her many skills. We met her for an interview.

Please tell us a little about yourself: My name is Kathrin Egger. I am 26 years old and I come from the small village of Obervellach in the beautiful Mölltal in Upper Carinthia.

What are your hobbies, what do you like to do in your free time?

As a little globetrotter, I love to travel. I enjoy learning about new countries, cultures, languages and people. And I also make use of this when I pursue my great passion for photography. Having grown up in surrounded by mountains, I also like to spend a lot of time outdoors. On a mountain or by a lake is where I can best switch off.

Can you tell us something about your CV up to now?

After finishing secondary school in Obervellach, I completed my school-leaving examination at the CHS Villach, specialising in art. During this time, I developed an interest in photography, but also in languages, accounting and marketing. After finishing school, I spent a year in the USA. I was an au pair near San Francisco in California. This experience abroad was one of the best decisions I have made so far and has strongly influenced my further course of studies. I learned to speak English fluently and knew that I would choose a degree programme that would allow me to pursue an international career.

How did you find out about the University of Klagenfurt?

I lived in Klagenfurt before I started my studies and was already familiar with the university. Nevertheless, I decided to go to university in Graz at that time – partly because of friends. However, I quickly realised that the degree programme – focusing on IBWL – in Klagenfurt would be a much better fit for me. That’s why I switched to AAU in my second semester.

Why did you choose the programme you are studying?

I wanted to pursue an international career. But since I also had many different interests, such as languages and marketing, I didn’t want to commit to a specific area. So I chose International Business Administration, which offers insights into many different fields. I was able to explore my own interests in the individual, optional specialisations.

What milestones have you been able to master in this study programme to date?

My most important milestone was completing my Bachelor’s degree within or below the minimum period of study. I was able to do this despite having a part-time job and spending a semester abroad. I am also very proud of my Bachelor’s thesis, which deals with the (among other things negative) influence of social media on tourism and which received an award from the province of Carinthia.

What do you remember most?

The friendly environment throughout the campus. Students know each other and help each other out, professors are mostly very supportive, and in general, the university services, such as the ÖH Student Union or USI Sports, are great. I would no longer consciously opt for a larger university.

What challenges still lie ahead for you?

I embarked on my journey into self-employment at the beginning of this year. As a social media manager and photographer, I now work in the very fields that excite me and that I enjoy. Of course, the launch was and is a challenge – but it’s one that I am happy to tackle.

Where would you like to be in 10 years?

Over the next few years, I will keep travelling the world and continue to develop my career in this way, i.e. even beyond Austria and perhaps Europe as well. In 10 years, I hope to look back with pride on my own flourishing business. For me, it is important that the work should continue to be not only a means to an end, but that it is really connected with joy.

What came particularly easily to you when studying?

Anything that reflected my interests. Marketing, Spanish, Accounting,… As soon as you study for exams with content that excites you, the subject matter feels less dramatic. In general, it helped me to always remember my goal of finishing my studies quickly and then taking the next step.

What came less easily during your studies?

Intensive exam weeks. Often, multiple exams take place at the same time and it can be difficult to concentrate on a single subject. This often requires more planning and organisation than you might have expected at the beginning.

How would you describe the University of Klagenfurt to a good friend?

If you find the perfect course of study, I can highly recommend the university. Perfect size, lots of international students and – a super campus within walking distance of the lake. The ideal conditions for a chilled-out student life.

How would you describe Klagenfurt as a place to live?

Klagenfurt is not a big city, but it is nevertheless lively and is increasingly becoming a hip place to live for young people. Set on the shores of turquoise Lake Wörthersee and close to the mountains, Italy, Slovenia, etc., the city offers a high quality of life. Simply Klagifornia.

Do you have a role model? If yes, who and why?

There is no specific person. I generally admire people who consistently pursue a goal or a passion and follow through with something – no matter what third parties say about it.

What would you like to achieve in your life?

I want to be happy – by which I mean that in each stage of my life I want to put into practice the things that signify happiness to me. Right now, for me, it’s travelling and working in a flexible way, independent of location, thanks to my self-employment.

Kathrin Egger studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Branch of study International Business Administration