Internships as door opener
My decision to study at IMC Krems started with my dream of travelling the world after having earned my school leaving certificate. However, at the same time I wanted to study economics and learn foreign languages. At that time, IMC Krems was the only university of applied sciences that offered an English degree in management and Chinese as a foreign language, with the option to spend two internships and one exchange semester abroad.
I was able to land an internship at McKinsey & Co in management consulting and a second one at Deutsche Bank in investment banking. These internships opened the doors to my international career in corporate finance. After graduation, I worked in the Investment Banking division of Deutsche Bank in London in the Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) department. After two years, I joined Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong and again two years later I moved to the Singapore office, where I was responsible for internal M&A and strategy. After a total of five years in Asia, I wanted to return to Europe and moved to Madrid. Seven years ago, I settled down in Zurich, where I worked in an M&A consulting boutique for the first three years and gained practical experience in business development.
Sustainable travels with a future
During one of my travels, the organisation of climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania turned out to be a real challenge including some hurdles. While writing a book about my travel experiences, I realised how much the porters on the mountain are exploited. The responsible companies present themselves as ethical and sustainable and get positive reviews in travel forums. The travellers are therefore not aware of the effects of their travel decisions and thus promote exploitation. This was decisive for my start-up idea of Fair Voyage: a platform that makes it easy to book holidays with independently audited ethical and sustainable companies.
At the end of 2019, our platform for local tour operators went online, enabling travellers from around the world to communicate directly with local destination experts. In cooperation with independent organisations, we examine tour operators to determine whether they act sustainably and help them to become more sustainable. Other important issues for us are environmentally friendly accommodation, the active promotion of ecotourism projects and transformative educational travels. By the end of 2020, it should be possible to book a thousand different trips in more than a hundred countries directly on Fair Voyage.
Concentrate on market analyses and financing when founding a start-up. Your team should have 100 percent the same vision – this accelerates the growth of the start-up enormously.