Today we have the pleasure to meet Alice, a girl who made a complete 180° turn in her life from dancing and arts to EBS and business. Not only that, but she also managed to get a job in business at a highly respected company before she even began her studies at EBS.
Introduce yourself briefly
My name is Alice, I am 23 years old, and I am studying entrepreneurship and business management at EBS as an external student.
Three facts about you?
- I danced ballet for 17 years;
- I am a complete foodie;
- In addition to work and school, I also give ballet lessons to adults.
How did you find your way to EBS?
In 2016, I started studying choreography at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication Institute of Tallinn University. After graduating from Tallinn Ballet School, continuing in the creative field seemed like the proper follow-up for me. Before the beginning of the 2nd academic year, I made a 180-degree turn (I’ll talk more about that in the next question), and as a result, I decided to change my field of studies. I chose EBS due to the diversity and flexibility of its curriculum and the strong business and field experience of the lecturers.
You have a pretty interesting story about how you got your last job, would you like to share that story?
A few years ago, I worked as a waitress in a well-known Estonian restaurant. It was an ordinary workday when the restaurant manager asked me to serve a group of people that spoke both Estonian and English. By the end of the evening, I got to know them quite well, we made jokes together and talked a little about various topics. After paying the bill, I left them at their table to finish their evening. A few moments later, a woman from the group came to me and handed me a business card, saying: “If you’re looking for a job in the fall, call me.” I was very flattered by the offer, but at the time, I had no idea what company it was, whose name was on the business card. After asking some of my wiser friends, it turned out that it was an audit firm belonging to The Big Four. To be honest, that still didn’t help me much, as up until that point, I had been active only in the creative industry and in the world of auditing and business consulting services, my knowledge was non-existent.
The next day I called the number on the business card and we agreed on a time for a job interview. A week later, I was doing the job interview and a few days later I received a letter with a job offer. However, this meant that I could no longer keep studying in the creative field and had to choose a curriculum with a practical and very flexible schedule. The obvious choice seemed to be EBS.
What makes this situation interesting is that The Big Four is notorious for its maze of recruitment processes, which surprisingly I escaped taking part in. Later, after having worked in the company for a year or more, I asked my recruiter and others I had served that summer evening why they made such an offer to someone whose background was unknown to them. The answer was simple: “You had that spark in your eyes.”
A book you would recommend everyone to read?
I’m a big fan of historical books. One of my favorites is Simon Sebag Montefiore’s “Romanovs”. Since the book contains many letters between the representatives of Russia’s last ruling dynasty, it is interesting to read how people, especially those who had everything they could dream of in their possession and power in the context of that time in history, expressed their thoughts and feelings.
I don’t know if I would recommend everyone to read it, but it certainly broadens your horizon.
What would you recommend to students looking for a job and would you recommend working while studying actively in school?
A big disadvantage of working while studying in school is the lack of time and therefore school often tends to be left in the background. I am a perfect example of it: my priority has always been to finish my work and then I start looking at the schoolwork, but this has often ended with having to redo some subjects. This risk must be taken into account by any student who wishes to work from 9 to 5. When choosing more flexible jobs, the student is more in control of their time than a student working in a large corporation.
If a student aims to start his / her professional career already during school studies, then unfortunately he / she has to apologize to his / her family and friends for not being able to spend as much time with them as before.
You also like to go to many restaurants, which are the three restaurants in Estonia that you would recommend the most?
My absolute favourite is Gianni in Tallinn, second place is shared by NOP in Tallinn and Supelsaksad in Pärnu, and in third place is a small Asian food place called Asian Fair, I strongly recommend eating on-site there. If you have travelled to Asia, then you know that this place is the best glimpse of Asia in Tallinn.