Due to her modesty, Lučka Žunič, a second-year student from the Faculty of Entrepreneurship, GEA College, at first was puzzled why we had invited her for an interview. She positions herself as a girl with big plans for the future who is looking for her place in the business world. However, this is an excellent occasion for a conversation, isn’t it?
– Lučka, why have you entered the GEA College?
– After graduation from my gymnasium and having received a certificate of maturity, I did not want to enter the first available study programme. To tell you the truth, I was even afraid of this. It seems to me that it is better to do what brings you joy.
I am actively interested in psychology and design. Our family has been engaged in design for a long time and this sphere is close to me. I am mainly interested in interior design. After graduating from the gymnasium, I had enough time to think about my plans and desires. I did not enter the Psychology study programme because I was not sure that I wanted to make a career in this field. Although psychology itself interests me very much (I continue to read books and am engaged in self-education), this is more the matter of curiosity. Besides, I am of the opinion that an entrepreneur should be a little bit of a psychologist. I also plan to do interior design but I still do not know when and how.
However, the one thing I have always been sure of is that one day I will become a boss for myself! I think that everyone who is more or less familiar with me knows this fact. Before the last academic year, I had started thinking about entering the Entrepreneurship study programme. Thus, I found GEA College.
When choosing a study programme, I was first of all looking for something that went beyond the usual educational practices. I was not interested in just attending lectures and preparing for exams at home – this, in general, you can do everywhere. The main reason I have chosen this educational institution is that the Entrepreneurship study programme at GEA College is already available for the Bachelor’s degree. I was also interested in the accompanying programme because workshops and other types of extracurricular activities make the curriculum truly valuable and provide an excellent opportunity to form a real idea of the business world. I meet new people and broaden my horizons. Besides, it is always easier to develop among people with similar views. I can say that the decision to start a student life, which I have been living for the second year in a row, has fully justified itself.
– What are the roots of your desire to do business?
– I have not been striving to live an ordinary life for a long time. A daily work schedule from 08:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. seems to me too routine. In addition, I am very attracted by the opportunities that the business environment offers. I am a creative person who does not strive for regularity. For some time, I have been observing the things around me that should be improved. For example, products that are not used to the maximum. Or services that can be modified, improved. I am not connected with the family business. I have not been living in this environment before. However, it is obvious that the desire is hidden inside me.
– Don’t you think that if you know what you would like to do in your life from an early age, then this awareness transforms into a kind of a burden?
– Yes, I do. It is like that very often. When you know exactly what you want to achieve in your life, you often close other opportunities for yourself. Thus, you are pushing yourself, because your only opportunity is to achieve success, and there is no other way. A well-defined path can leave you too little room for manoeuvre. I always leave the doors open, reserve the right to choose, but I understand well my final goal and I move towards it.
I devote a lot of time to learning and self-development. I firmly believe that I myself am improving my personality. Summer holidays were a great opportunity for me to earn extra money. My summer work grew slowly into the new academic year and as a result, for some time, I combined studies in the morning and work in the evening. I also attended some seminars and courses. Thus, I try to develop and ride the line.
– How do you imagine your business line?
– I want to launch my own company or even several companies. I want to work in different areas. In addition to design and psychology, I am also interested in literature, as I have a penchant for this type of creativity. I have many ideas that I would like to put into practice over time and I have already started working on some of them. I usually proceed from my needs and desires, which cannot be currently satisfied in the market. Then new ideas and plans come to my mind.
I have currently several business ideas that I intend to transfer into specific developments. I know that some entrepreneurs beat their brains out to quickly bring a product or a service to the market and then take it from there. However, I am naturally well organised, and, let’s say, I follow a more cautious path. Despite this, it seems to me that in business, you need to be brave and differ from others, which often means doing things that push the envelope. Let’s see how my career will develop in the future, how I myself will develop.
– How do you imagine working with a business idea? What does it look like?
– The idea that comes up with me is first transformed into a draft project. That is, I transfer the image from my head to a sheet of paper, to a computer or other gadget. Only having written down my thoughts, having fixed them on paper or in electronic form, I move on mentally. Then I begin to develop the idea, evaluate it, think it over. I’m thinking about different ways of presenting my idea to other people, how to convey it to them, how to transform the idea if the market does not respond to it, and so on. I perceive all these actions as a learning process as well.
– How bold, in your opinion, are the young people who conquer the business world today?
– If we compare, for example, with the Americans, then, of course, they are not bold enough. There are several reasons. We do not have such business acumen as in the USA. Our environment, which includes the system of education, does not encourage entrepreneurship as much as it does in the United States. However, there’s no reason to limit yourself to just this country. I think that our situation is improving from year to year. More opportunities and platforms for realising our business intentions are opening up for the youth. In this context, the support of our government keeps growing. Of course, I would like more initiative, more zeal to be demonstrated by young people. Perhaps, you should wait a little bit more until the whole mechanism starts working at full capacity. When we, young people, see real business opportunities for ourselves, as described in an interview with Assoc. Prof. Dr Jerai, the process will progress more actively. However, I remain an optimist.
If to touch on the topic of education a bit deeper, then I would suggest introducing the basics of entrepreneurship and the activities related thereto already in the final grades of primary school. At the age of 13–14, it is already possible to identify promising entrepreneurs. Of course, in secondary school, you need to clarify the benefits of entrepreneurship because then it will be easier for school-leavers to determine the place for further education in accordance with their goals in life. After graduating from gymnasium, it is difficult to understand how important the entrepreneurship is for you. It is worth a thought.
– How will you manage your company?
– Being the leader, I will primarily take care of the healthy microclimate and culture within the company. I will strive to create an environment, in which all team members will feel comfortable and communicate freely with each other. It seems to me important that the leader is an active member of the team, and not just an outside observer. Among other things, this is a way to develop a sense of belonging to the company among employees, which seems very valuable to me. In this way, the team can achieve its goals and even surpass them.
I am interested in the modern method of company management. I want to inspire others and I do not believe that a company leader can enjoy the trust of employees only because of his or her official position. Mentoring and encouraging employees for their achievements and results are important. At the same time, the fact that company employees should have the opportunity for continuous development, both personal and professional, seems to me especially significant. I am glad that authoritarianism is increasingly losing its force among the main functions within companies. Thus, salary has already ceased to be the main driving factor in finding a job. Now, the microclimate, corporate culture, etc. are in the first place. Therefore, company leaders are largely responsible for these aspects.
– Who is an example for you in the business world?
– I admire the success stories of young entrepreneurs who have started almost from scratch. People who did not grow up in the families of successful businessmen but still managed to make their ways into the business world. Such people are the source of my inspiration. It’s easier for me to identify myself with them. Their success stories motivate me for further work. I deeply respect everyone who goes his or her own way!