Even the most experienced businesspeople and entrepreneurs admit networking is tough. Especially when you're new to the game.
But for students at EU Business School (EU), building a network is the easy part. The international, highly-ranked business school has four campuses, which students are encouraged to transfer between, in Barcelona, Geneva, Montreux, Munich. It also offers a range of courses online so students have the option to learn remotely.
The campuses may be spread across Europe, but they all have one thing in common: each is dedicated to connecting students with the wider business world.
One way the business school does this is by digitally connecting members of its 26,000-strong alumni network. Referred to as the “alumni hub”, EU Business School's award-winning online platform connects past and present students around the world, so they can share news, post events, or even just reach out for advice.
Christoph Kastenholz from Germany, who graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from EU Business School Barcelona in 2013, found the platform extremely useful throughout his studies.
“There was a good community,” says Christoph (pictured right). “I was connected with alumni who shared advice with me, which impacted my career choices.”
And the advice was clearly valuable -- Christoph has since gone on to co-found Pulse Group, a market leader in influencer marketing, and was recently named one of Forbes Magazine's 30 under 30 for media and marketing.
Now living in Hamburg, he manages a team of 70 people around the world but still finds time to check in with his fellow alumni.
“Throughout my time at EU Business School in Barcelona I met lots of interesting people; some of them have gone onto found their own companies too. I'm still in touch with many of them today,” he says.
Along with developing its internal network -- which includes faculty with years of practical experience who are active members of the international business community -- EU often invites guest speakers to present to the students.
Past speakers have included Nestlè chairman Paul Bulcke and Cisco Systems' Head of Talent Management Dubravka Novkovic.
Recent EU Business School graduate, 20-year-old Victoria Ivakina from Russia (pictured below), attended many of the events while she was studying for her degree in International Business at the campus in Munich.
“Some were very impressive,” she enthuses.
Attending one such event shortly after she graduated in 2017 helped her connect with the company where she is now interning.
“Lots of startups were there and when I heard the one I'm now working with speak, I knew immediately I wanted to apply,” she says.
There and then, Victoria took the contact details for a representative of the company, and after a short but intense interview process was offered the internship. As she sees it, meeting the company face-to-face at the event was key to landing the internship so quickly.
“It's pretty complicated to get an internship in Munich and can take a long time for a company to make a decision. But I got to meet directly with the company at the event which really sped things up.”
It was just one of many times that EU connected Victoria with an influential company. As part of its mission to help its students kickstart their careers, all campuses organise regular visits to various local and international companies.
While she was studying, Victoria got the exciting opportunity to visit the BMW factory in Munich, where she was fascinated to learn all about the production line.
Christoph, too, recalls visiting the Barcelona Stock Exchange, which gave him first-hand insight into the stock market. Combining classroom theory with practical experience was one of the aspects he enjoyed most about his time at the business school.
“I always loved the practical insights throughout the course. It was never just studying books, but always had a real-world edge to it which made the subjects more relatable,” he says.
Both students agree that the connections they made through their studies have positively impacted their career paths, and helped them to graduate with a strong and active network.
“It was amazing because after I graduated and felt a bit lost, I knew I wasn't alone,” says Victoria. “The university really helped and I've made a lot of future business connections that I can contact in the future.”
This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by EU Business School.