From volleyball to marketing

“Teamwork and leadership skills are important, but so is being human in every aspect of our lives,” Chara Papadopoulou recounts the lessons she learned as a professional volleyball player. The former Greek national player came to Klagenfurt in 2020, where she subsequently became aware of the Master’s degree programme “Media and Convergence Management”. Now in the fourth semester of her studies, she is preparing for a career in marketing.

“When I took my first course in digital marketing during my Bachelor’s degree, I knew this was the right path for me,” says Chara Papadopoulou. Here, she is looking back at her studies in “Management, Science and Technology” in Athens, which she completed in 2019. At the same time, she pursued her career as a professional volleyball player: “It was tough to combine the two. But at least I developed good time management in the process.” Her sport led her to the first league team ATSC Wildcats in Klagenfurt, and it was here that acquaintances told her about the opportunity to study in Klagenfurt: “I visited the campus and was delighted with the modern facilities and the location close to the Europapark and Lake Wörthersee. The fact that this university also offers a degree programme in English that meets my personal interests proved to be perfect for me.”

What Chara Papadopoulou appreciates most is the interdisciplinary nature of the degree programme: “This gives students the chance to take courses from a variety of disciplines.”  The fact that you have a lot of autonomy in choosing courses is an added bonus. The fellow students also reflect diversity: They contribute their experiences from many different countries and cultures to the degree programme. Meeting solely online was challenging when the degree programme first started in 2021, but it was all the more exciting to meet in real life on campus when this became possible later on. “Also, in most of the courses the groups are relatively small, so we always managed to interact closely with each other.” This exchange is especially important for students who go abroad to study. “The key is to ask, ask, ask! Plus, it’s also important to take advantage of what the university has to offer outside of your studies so that you can meet new people, discover Klagenfurt and find new hobbies.”

These days, Chara Papadopoulou primarily lives in Vienna, travelling from there to attend courses in Klagenfurt. During her second semester she completed an internship with OMV; this was followed by a part-time job in marketing for a small company, which offers her a lot of flexibility. “I never get bored!”, she declares.  Chara Papadopoulou would like to continue in marketing after graduating, not least because social media constantly create exciting new opportunities. Living in Austria, she greatly appreciates the high quality of life – both in Klagenfurt in the midst of nature with the nearby lake, and in Vienna with the opportunities offered by a city with over a million inhabitants.