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Story #Student Story#Wirtschaft#Tourism and Leisure Management

Student Story: Always be bold but respectful

A look behind the scenes of our bachelor degree programme Tourism and Leisure Management

Lukas Renz is a shooting star. He is from St. Pölten, Lower Austria, has landed an outstanding success with Bärnstein, a natural stimulating drink – whilst still pursuing his degree. Bärnstein was the only food and beverage sector start-up in the top three at the Austrian State Prize for brand of the year.

Lukas thinks that it is a shame that not more people are thinking about going self-employed.

Lukas thinks that it is a shame that not more people are thinking about going self-employed.

Challenges of being self-employed

I’m busy 60 to 70 hours a week, alongside my studies at IMC Krems. Every day is precisely planned. I leave the house at 7am and get home at 10pm – seven days a week. My partner, Martin Paul, was called up for military service and so I had to pick up the slack. In fact, I had already set up a very small business before I started university. Martin is actually the mad guy – he started his first company when he was only 19. He roped me into going self-employed by starting a second company with him.

I first discovered green coffee in Bahrain in the Middle East. There was the initial spark after my internship, when I was 18. We were in an interesting café in Bahrain. The manager was fond of his home-made alcohol-free drinks. This kindled the fire in us: the idea was born, and we began developing Bärnstein.

International context and strong networks

What the degree programme at the IMC Krems gives me is the international context and networking. IMC Krems is really well connected, including abroad. On our trip to Dublin, Martin Meusburger, the Head of Sales for Central and Northern Europe at Dropbox, gave us a lot of insights into how Dropbox has developed and how the business supports its customers in data management. You simply benefit from this extensive network.

The part-time format makes it possible

As a part-time student, the organisational format of the programme is extremely valuable – it’s only necessary to be at the university on Friday afternoons and on Saturdays. I can split up the other days between time for myself and my business. It’s a highly competitive sector – you’ll be out before you know it. I learned to do business from my father who was a super networker. I know that only a small number of us think about going self-employed, and that’s a shame – I want to encourage young people with my story.

My tip

Don’t get involved in things that are no fun for you; and be bold, but always respectful.

About Bärnstein

Lukas Renz’s Bärnstein drink was selected second-best cocktail in the world at the Monin Cup in Paris in 2016. Bärnstein has received numerous other prominent accolades and awards during its short time on the market: www.baernstein.com

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