Student Spotlight - Stefan Catic, MSc, begins as Junior Consultant at PKF hotelexperts

The Industry Excellence Program is a six credit Enrichment Course offered to top students in their last semester of the Bachelor and Master programs to help them gain practical working experience and launch their careers. It pairs promising students with senior industry representatives who mentor them over the course of a few months where they can try out a variety of tasks in the industry.

For students, this program is a highly enriching taste of professional life, and can even be a springboard to their dream job. MSc student Stefan Catic was previously employed at world-wide operating and internationally renowned caterer DO & CO as a "Specialist in Calculation and Planning", where he had the chance to gain valuable insights on how the catering industry works. Nonetheless, he was always interested in the field of consulting and wanted to experience its fast-pacing world.

MODUL University Vienna has ties to a huge variety of industry partners, and students can seek out the company and mentor that fits them most. For Stefan, hospitality, tourism and leisure consulting firm PKF hotelexperts sounded like the perfect match and a chance to test his hypothesis.

He says ‘’I saw this as a unique possibility to validate whether my expectations on this job do meet the actual working conditions and if I would like to be part of this industry after completion of my studies’’.

On the job, Stefan was mentored by three experts: Michael Widmann, the Founder and Managing Director of PKF hotelexperts; Akshara Walia, who is responsible for the research team and Michael Druk who assisted in data- and software-related questions.

Stefan’s 170 hours in the program were dedicated to three main projects: creating a benchmarking tool, researching on luxury suites in the hotel industry, and data validation for conferences held by PKF hotelexperts. Through working hand in hand with his mentors on these projects, he learned how consulting is structured and what challenges employees have to deal with, as well as experiencing the importance of research for this particular field and how a traditional consulting process looks like.

 ‘’After three months of being mentored at PKF hotelexperts and receiving valuable insights on the daily life of a consultant, I am confident that my future path is set to be in this field of occupation. The mentors gave me not only insights into their work, but also I was able to elaborate on my own on different projects, and a high degree of trust was given to me.’’

Stefan has a long history with MODUL University Vienna; he attended the Tourism College Modul from 2006 – 2011 and worked on the opening party 11 years ago as a student. He didn’t know then that his path would lead him to study at MU, but after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Management & Entrepreneurship at FH Vienna he came back to Kahlenberg to pursue a Master in Management.

During his two year studies he was actively engaged in the MU community at home and abroad, spending an exchange semester in Barcelona and serving as representative of the MODUL University Student Union. He also received a merit scholarship for his master thesis research on “The perceived Impact of Wearable Devices on Work and Life Satisfaction”.

Stefan will celebrate finishing his studies at the Master Graduation Ceremony on July 12th, but first he begins his new full-time job in June – as a Junior Consultant at PKF hotelexperts!