Johanna Holzer, MCI Business & Management student, attended the Summer School of the Zagreb School of Economics & Management (ZSEM) in July. Out of three subject areas, she chose courses in Digital Marketing.
In this interview, she shares her experiences.
After my studies, I would like to work in Digital Marketing, so the topic caught my interest. Furthermore, I love gaining international experiences and getting to know different cultures. Lastly, the ZSEM summer school included a weekend trip to the coast, allowing us to see another side of Croatia. The program aligned perfectly with my schedule, thus I applied immediately.
I had a very good experience during the summer school, as my course was extremely well-structured, and I had a very competent professor. The other faculty members were also helpful whenever issues (login data etc.) arose. Overall, the best aspect was the welcoming, open-minded and relaxed atmosphere both in class and in the city in general.
ZSEM does not offer accommodation itself, but they provided support to find one. Most participants, including myself, stayed in a student dormitory of the University of Zagreb, which was organized for us by ZSEM. Our contact person, Liyuan, was very helpful on all organizational matters and ensured a smooth experience.
The leisure program was extensive: there was a Welcome Day, where we got to know other participants, joined a guided tour through Zagreb and tried a range of traditional food. Next was the weekend trip to Šibenik and the Krka National Park, where we also joined guided tours. We also visited a local company to learn more about working in Croatia. Lastly, we had a joint graduation breakfast and ceremony. The listed activities were included in the price of the summer school.
It was a very international environment, as other participants came from Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico, the US, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil, China, Czechia, Finland and Germany. Therefore, we got to know many different cultures. The exchange was excellent, and the teamwork for my course turned out very well. As it was a quite small program, it was possible to talk to everyone, and we organized many activities together as well (museums, swimming, football games, etc.).
During the course, we learned much about utilizing different social media platforms to their biggest potential and staying on top of trends. We also discussed recognizing what ads are trying to achieve and looking behind that, which is especially relevant for issues like greenwashing and corporate philanthropy. We were graded based on a practical project - planning a marketing campaign - so we were able to implement the studied theory immediately. Outside the course, we gained cultural knowledge and many new connections all around the world.
The biggest challenge was the strong storms in Zagreb during our time there, as streets had to be closed and public transport stopped working. The information about alternative routes was initially a bit hard to find in English, but locals helped us to figure it out. Of course, going to a program abroad is a challenge in itself, but I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone for this experience. Other than that, I did not face any bigger challenges or language issues, as English is widely spoken.
Zagreb is a beautiful city with a diverse history and it offers a lot, from swimming in lakes to museums to nice student bars. It's also a very walkable city with cheap public transport, so getting around was easy. The locals we met were also friendly and open to sharing their culture as well as recommending restaurants and places for sightseeing. I enjoyed spending time in the old town and would love to visit again.
I am very happy to have taken this opportunity and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the courses offered. There are several courses to choose from, and I have heard good things about all of them this year. All the people I met there were there to gain new experiences and learn about other cultures, so making friends was easy, and it's the perfect place to develop personally and professionally.
Thank you very much, Johnanna Holzer, for your insights. Hopefully, your report inspires other students to take the chance of participating in a summer school.
Here we share with you information about winter and summer schools of our partner institutions.
Topic of the summer school:
Digital Marketing (5 ECTS) (other courses offered were Corporate Finance and Design Thinking, leisure activities were organized jointly)
Place of the summer school:Zagreb (Croatia)
Dates of the summer school:17.07. - 30.07. 2023
Costs:800€ for students of ZSEM partner universities
Website of the ZSEM Summer School
Campus of ZSEM in Zagreb © Johanna Holzer
All participants of the summer school in Šibenik © Johanna Holzer
View over Zagreb's lower old town © Johanna Holzer
Digital Marketing students with professor Philip Vranešić, MBA © Johanna Holzer
Traditional Croatian food at ZSEM's welcome dinner © Johanna Holzer
International Team work: Participants pointing at their home countries © Johanna Holzer