Faculty and Staff Spotlight - Dr. Nada Mumdziev
For the month of March we are featuring Dr. Nada Mumdziev, assistant professor and area coordinator for entrepreneurship and business at Webster Vienna Private University.
- Can you tell us more about your educational background?
I grew up and studied in Split, where I did my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business Economics in the area of management and strategy. After that I moved to Vienna, where I did my PhD at the University of Vienna and then began teaching at Webster Vienna Private University.
- What ambitions did you have back while graduating from university?
I had two ambitions: first, to gain work experience, and second, to continue my education. I created a company, with my twin sister, which operated and grew successfully over the years. However, after 7 years I had to leave the company in order to continue my education in Vienna, but I am very glad that the company has since grown and is still successfully operating under the leadership of my sister.
- You have had an international career, what has been the most valuable lesson you have learned from this?
It is difficult to point just to one thing as it is a combination of so many dimensions. But here are two: Perseverance. Whatever you do you will need perseverance. If something does not work it might work another way, you simply need to keep trying and never give up. In the end you will be able to achieve your goals.
Another important skill one must have is the ability to adapt to one’s current situation. This is a valuable lesson I learned during many years as a student, entrepreneur, and professor. You have to be able to learn and to change your mindset, especially if you are in a foreign country. You have to stop and consider: where am I, what do I have, and what can I do with this? And then give your best to achieve it.
- In your opinion, what ‘’ingredients’’ make up an ideal professor?
Enthusiasm and passion for what you do and a love for working with students. Also being aware of your role, since students depend on you.
- What do you expect from your students?
I expect students to develop an understanding of the subject matter and to think critically. They should not only agree but also disagree. That contributes to class discussions and to collective learning. I encourage them to also be confident in their opinion when expressing it.
- What makes a successful entrepreneur?
For one, you need to have a well-prepared plan, be willing to take risks and not be afraid to fail. Always remain down-to-earth. Entrepreneurship is not about counting successes, but rather about successfully facing and solving problems on a day-to-day basis, and learning from them. Entrepreneurship challenges you and pushes you to your limits in every possible way, both as a person and as a manager.
- What is your favorite memory while teaching at Webster Vienna?
I have many actually! I have met so many great students here and my favorite thing is to see how they develop throughout the course. That is a great feeling for any professor! Or, for example, receiving an e-mail from a former student saying that she just got the job and that the knowledge gained at the lecture was a key contributing factor in getting the job. That is the best reward!
- Do you have any hidden talents?
I can memorize numbers even if I do not want to! I know by heart most of the numbers in my phone contacts, of credit cards, etc. But I have difficulties in remembering faces!
Also, I have a hidden talent in sculpting. I used to create figurines and statues out of clay back when I was in high school, I was even earning some pocket money with this!