Proud to be a graduate: IMC alumnus Lisa-Maria Kronreif on practice-based education and her path to an international career

A graduate of the Export-oriented Management programme, Lisa-Maria Kronreif is now Vice Consul with Advantage Austria, based at the International Trade Center in Shanghai. She told us how her degree at IMC Krems helped her to fulfil her dream of an international career.

Export-oriented Management Alumna Lisa-Maria Kronreif told us how her studies at IMC Krems helped her to start an international career.

Why did you decide to study at IMC Krems?

Lisa-Maria Kronreif: I decided against going to one of the big universities and chose the Export-oriented Management degree at IMC Krems instead, because I was looking for a programme with a strong practical focus, where I could study economic topics in small groups. I also wanted a specialist degree programme that was taught entirely in English, which can be hard to find in Austria. IMC Krems is Austria’s flagship institution when it comes to starting an international career – and that was exactly what I wanted to achieve. 

Did you have any particular experiences during your degree that have stuck in your mind?

I can remember a few fascinating visits to companies in the course of the programme, as well as a number of interesting guest lectures and practical elements. Of course, my semester abroad in Russia and my internship in China will stay with me forever.

What did you see as a real “bonus” during your degree programme?

My semesters abroad, without a doubt. No other university of applied sciences in Austria gives you the chance to spend two semesters abroad, and even three if you’re doing a double degree. The wide range of language courses on offer at IMC Krems is unrivalled anywhere in the world, and it’s the benchmark in Austria.

What subjects in the degree programme have been most useful in your current job?

The Foreign Trade Techniques course, and above all marketing have been extremely helpful in my day-to-day work. On the whole, the programme gave me the knowledge and tools that I needed to kick off and drive forward my international career.

Do you keep in touch with your former university, fellow students and lecturers?

Very much so, I still have contacts to many of my former classmates, and I always enjoy coming back to Krems for the Homecoming Weekend and the Campus Ball. I live in Shanghai, where I’m an IMC alumni ambassador and I organise regular get-togethers for IMC graduates in the city. I’m always pleased to meet and chat with IMC Krems graduates and students.

Why would you advise people to study at IMC Krems?

The international atmosphere and team spirit are second to none. It’s a true university town and you get to meet people from various different cultures. What’s more, Krems and the Wachau region are the perfect place to enjoy beautiful landscapes, experience Austrian culture and do sports. You’re not far from Vienna and you have excellent career opportunities here if you don’t decide to head out into the big, wide world after your degree.

How did your career progress after you graduated?

After finishing my degree I worked as a trainee at the International Trade Center in Mexico, and then I did my master degree, during which I spent time in France, Italy and Russia. After that I worked in the consumer goods sector before beginning my career at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber with Advantage Austria.

What exactly does your current position involve?

I’m currently Vice Consul (Commercial Affairs) with Advantage Austria at the International Trade Center in Shanghai, and I give advice and support to Austrian companies looking to expand into China. We assist companies with a comprehensive portfolio of services related to knowledge, platforms and partners, which covers everything from building up professional networks and support with initiating business contacts to simply helping out with information on the local area, language and the economy. Everything we do in China is ultimately geared towards one thing: finding the right partners for Austrian businesses. Good export partners are almost as important as good products. In our role as an Austrian economic agency focusing on international expansion and innovation, we also monitor global trends and give Austrian companies easier access to global know-how through our networks of strong partners in technology and innovation hubs like Shanghai.

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