Anže Šterbenc is a second-year student from the Faculty of Entrepreneurship at GEA College and an aspiring entrepreneur. In the future, Anže plans to become a successful company leader. In this interview, Anže tells about the way towards achieving his goals.
– Hello, Anže! Tell us a little about yourself.
– I’ve just finished the first course at the Faculty of Entrepreneurship at GEA College. I am a young entrepreneur enjoying the process of work and creativity. I am currently working on establishing a start-up to develop a marketing software solution for large companies with a large number of clients. In our company, we believe that the future of marketing is aimed at people. Therefore, we are striving for more efficient and personalized marketing techniques.
– You’ve just said that you are working on the establishment of a company. Do you already have some experience in this sphere?
– Yes, sure. In the past, I already had my own company – Laurus Customs. We were selling customised sports sneakers. We even managed to sell them to the two largest sports shoe stores in Slovenia – Sneakers and Tomas Sport. Then my partner left the business and I closed it. However, it became an excellent experience for me, especially if considering my young years.
– Tell us what has brought you to this particular faculty and to this educational institution.
– At first, I entered the interdisciplinary study programme in Programming and Management. My task was to make money. At that time, I already knew that I wanted to start my own company. However, I soon left the programme because I was not interested in it. A year later, I visited the Information Day at GEA College, received positive impressions and decided to enter this educational institution. I remember that I was most convinced and inspired by the Assoc. Prof. Dr Jeraj.
– What, in your opinion, should be the ideal educational institution?
– The model is extremely simple – 90% of practice and 10% of theory. I have to admit that the theory does not seem to me at all insignificant, just the opposite. We must understand the basics, we must understand, in our case, the business language, the language of marketing. But this is not enough. If you cannot apply this knowledge in practice, on the example of a specific problem, then such knowledge will not bring you much benefit. I am glad that at GEA College, we have enough opportunities for practising. In addition, global trends indicate that – at least in the largest companies such as Google, Amazon, etc. – they develop their own educational programmes because the management knows for sure what competencies future employees will need. That is, we are talking about specific knowledge that already has practical value in the labour market.
– How do you think the school-to-work transition of young people should be ensured?
– There should be a cooperation of companies with faculties and other educational institutions. Companies need to actively engage in attracting young people at the same time giving information to the sector of education about the kind of personnel they need or will need. In this situation, young people, as they say, would warm up to their work feeling themselves a part of the company and realizing the role of the knowledge that they currently receive in real business life. Of course, now I’m talking only about entrepreneurship, but I’m sure that this may also apply to other industries.
– What do you think are the most serious challenges that your peers face in making plans for the future?
– As the main problem or challenge, I would highlight the fact that the majority of young people do not know how to realize themselves after they graduate from high school. That’s hard to say why this happens. Sometimes, at the age of 18, it is difficult to decide what you want to be in a certain number of years. I also believe that today’s young people are more spoiled. Many of my peers believe that they will achieve everything with their hands behind their back, that success will come to them by itself. At least, I have exactly such an impression. It seems to me that we are inspired by the success stories of famous personalities and we would gladly have similar biographies. However, it is important to understand that the majority of these stories are the result of hard work, while we see only the final outcomes.
– How do you measure success?
– With money. After all, if you are financially independent, you are free. You have an image in society. Of course, I want to say that this is only my own opinion. I cannot generalize. I may be wrong.
– Do you have an example to follow in the business world?
– Yes, I do. This is Gary Vaynerchuk.
– I was immediately interested in his business and life philosophy. It is well known that he is the president of VaynerX, a modern media holding, and the Executive Director of the Vayner Media Advertising Agency. This is a person who can talk about many things, and what he says is close to me. When I think about my future, I always remember his words about the importance of doing what you love to do. It motivates and inspires me.
Outside the business world, basketball player Kobe Bryant made the greatest impression on me. Despite all the titles and earned money, he constantly enjoyed training, struggling and living with sports until the last second of his playing career. In general, it seems to me that one can find a lot in common between entrepreneurship and sports.
– What are your plans for the next 10 years? Whom do you see yourself in the future?
– Of course, I see myself as an entrepreneur. I see myself waking up in the morning and going to work with pleasure. I am completely independent financially. I resolutely and persistently cope with business challenges. In addition, I spend my time with people I love and feel comfortable with. However, at first, I must complete my studies. I want to become the most successful company – the one that would be a good example for employees. I would like to learn how to get the maximum result from my (future) employees. I would also like to understand the basics of finance and accounting. It seems to me that this is perhaps the key knowledge that you need to master in order to achieve success in business.
– Thank you for the interview!