Alumni Spotlight: Sona Klucarova

Webster Vienna Alumna Sona Klucarova (BS '11, MBA '13) went from excellent bachelor student to outstanding MBA student and was one of the recipients of the Schön Nobel Awards for Academic Excellence. She returned to Webster Vienna Private University as an adjunct professor for mathematics and is soon off to start a new exciting adventure.

 

Degree: BS in Business Administration; MBA 
Class of 2011 and 2013

Why did you choose WV? And why did you choose a BS in Business Administration followed by an MBA?

I have always loved Vienna and dreamed of being able to live and study there one day. At the same time, I was determined to pursue my education in English. Webster Vienna offered a perfect combination of these two things!

My original major was International Relations but I soon realized it was not the right fit for me. I switched to Business Administration after about half a year and never looked back. I then wanted to take my education one step further. Given my positive experience at the undergraduate level, I decided to also pursue my MBA at Webster Vienna. 
 

What are some positive memories from WV? Professors, classes, other students, events
Events: Webster Works Worldwide, chocolate factory visit, 30th Anniversary Webster Ball, ‘Secret Santa’ parties with my colleagues from Admissions/Marketing where I was as a work study for almost five years.
Classes: Statistics, Principles of Microeconomics, Freshman Seminar, Managing Human Resources, Presentational Speaking, War and Society, Web Usability and Accessibility, and many more!
Professors: almost all of them :) 

What was your first job after Webster Vienna? And how did you land that job?
My first job was at ECCO – European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation. I found out about this position through Webster Vienna’s Career Development Center, applied, successfully passed the interview and three test days, and got the job!

Talk about your experience living abroad (challenges/opportunities/lessons) – away from your country of birth?
Living abroad is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you get to meet new people, experience a new culture, thinking, and way of life, which can undoubtedly enrich you in many ways. On the other hand, you become sort of confused in terms of the place where you belong. It is unlikely that you will feel 100% at home in your new country and at the same time, you will not feel completely at home in your country of origin anymore. It is up to each individual to decide whether it is worth it. 

What are your next steps in your career that you have planned?
I will soon be moving to the U.S. where I will commence a PhD in Business Administration/Marketing at the University of Central Florida. This would not have been possible without the incredible support I received from Webster faculty and staff members. Their letters of recommendation and invaluable advice truly made the difference! I can’t even begin to name them since there are so many of them who helped me along the way – but they all know who they are. 

Have you ever had to deal with setbacks in your career path? Any jobs you applied for and did not get? Can you share an example and how you dealt with it?
Sure, on several occasions! After graduation, I submitted 76 job applications, and got rejected 75 times before I eventually landed a job. It took me five months. The same happened with my PhD applications. I applied to several universities last year but they all rejected me. I did not give up and tried again this year; I retook the standardized tests, worked on improving my application essays, and eventually got accepted into two great PhD programs. In the end, I had a hard time choosing between the two. 

Is there anything in your career path that you would do differently if you could do it all over?
I don’t think so. You learn from every single experience, no matter whether it’s good or bad. 

What is your advice for future graduates from WV when entering the working world?
Be aware that the working world can be very different from what you might expect. Enjoy your time at university (namely at Webster) while you still can!

Any advice for students from abroad coming to Vienna to study?
Enjoy this wonderful city! It has a lot to offer.  And try to learn German although it’s not easy. :)

What are your plans for your career and for yourself for the next 10 years?
I want to become a full-time professor and researcher, thereby being able to influence the lives of talented young students – just like many Webster professors influenced mine. 

Anything else you would like to share?
Work hard and you will achieve anything you want. 


Fun Facts:

Country of birth: Slovakia
What did you want to be when you were a child: dancer, teacher, politician
Favorite travel destination: my hometown Vranov nad Toplou in Slovakia
Favorite restaurant in Vienna: There are a few but my real favorite ‘restaurant’ is at home. My Italian husband is a true master chef!
Hobbies: competitive Irish dance, history, watching soap operas
A life goal you want to accomplish: to be remembered as a good person
Who was an influential person for you growing up: Michael Flatley, my favorite Irish dancer
Who do you look up to now: my parents and my grandparents
Favorite class at Webster: Can’t pick just one…there were many!
Least favorite class at Webster: Public Relations