Lisa-Maria, would tell us a little bit about what you are currently doing?
I work for the trade promotion organisation of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA) and was previously posted to the Shanghai office for three years before relocating to Almaty, where I will stay until 2022. With around 100 offices in over 70 countries, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA provides a broad range of intelligence and business development services for Austrian companies and their international business partners. Around 800 employees across the world assist in connecting local companies with Austrian suppliers and business partners. ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA organises about 1,200 events every year to bring business contacts together. Other services include the identification of potential business partners, the conduction of market research, individual project consultations and organisation of B2B meetings, obtaining legal and tax information, debt recovery, investment location advice etc.
How did IMC Krems prepare you for this job?
My studies at IMC Krems, where I obtained a bachelor degree in Export-oriented Management prepared me very well for my current job. The programme’s focus on international business and trade relations helped me to understand rapidly how to develop highly competitive global markets and how to successfully manage projects. The programme is also characterised by a high degree of internationality, as the third and fourth semesters are spent abroad studying at a partner university and interning for a company. During my time abroad I not only learned a lot professionally, but also about myself as a person.
Where do you live and what do you like most about this city?
I live in Almaty, Kazakhstan since August 2019. Kazakhstan is relatively unknown to the rest of the world and yet it is as vibrant as it is surprising. Almaty, its former capital and business hub, has a mix of Soviet and modern architecture that catches your eye every day. Being at the crossroads of the Silk Road adds an almost romantic spirit to the city, which is just minutes away from the sublime beauty of a snow-capped mountain range.
Why did you take on being an Alumni Ambassador?
Being an Alumni Ambassador allows me to share my experience of the bachelor degree programme and to catch up with fellow IMC students. Both personally and professionally, these encounters have enriched me. Being an Alumni Ambassador also helps me to remain connected to Krems, a city I learned to love as a student, and which still feels like home every time I go there.
Was there a special event you would like to tell us?
One of my favourite alumni meetings took place during a high-level Austrian trade mission to Shanghai. I organised an alumni meeting during one of the evening receptions, in which the Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the Governor of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, together with a large number of leading Austrian businesses, including IMC Krems CEO Ulrike Prommer, took part. It was great seeing the IMC alumni in Shanghai mingle with the members of the delegation and sharing professional know-how and experience.
What is your favourite memory about IMC Krems? What did you appreciate most?
I have many good memories studying at IMC, whether it was learning about different aspects of business and management, working with classmates on group projects and presentations or studying abroad. Yet, I remember one particularly special moment right at the beginning of my studies at IMC. We were in Chinese class and our professor explained a complex sentence structure to us. As most of us did not understand it in Chinese, she explained it again in English. I remember turning to my Austrian classmate to clarify in German and then explaining the concept to my other classmate from Madrid in Spanish. It took me a few minutes to realise that we were speaking four different languages at the same time. I simply loved the international environment in the classroom that moment and the interaction among us students. It was then that I realised I had come to the right place to study.