As a child my dream was always to study in the UK and when the time came to choose a university there was no other option (than NTU) on my mind.
More about Stefan
NTU alum Stefan speaks about his experience as an international student at NTU and starting his own business after graduation.
Why did you decide to study at NTU?
Back in 2016 I started my higher education journey with NTU as an international student from Croatia. As a child my dream was always to study in the UK and when the time came to choose a university there was no other option on my mind. NTU was an ideal fit, combining excellent education with a location in the heart of England. It is an ideal option for a student in the UK!
What did you learn – both inside and outside of lectures?
Overall NTU was a huge lesson in my life and now looking back at the experience I had, the best decision I ever made. I learned that everything is possible, and everything is an opportunity if you take it, work hard and do it with a positive mindset. Some of the best moments in my life happened during my time and NTU and I always look back at the student experience I had with a smile on my face. Even today when I pass Boots Library, Clifton Campus, Student Union, etc. I remember all the fun times and amazing people I met.
What does your typical working day involve?
As a CEO and Founder of a limited company, my day is never the same. I like to start every morning with a routine to build up my confidence for the day. That is sometimes to check all the reports on the business, answer my emails or just check up on my colleagues to see how they are doing. After that is done, I start with my “To-Do” list and choose the most challenging task first when I am still “fresh” to complete it. Every day is challenging and that is why I like having my own business, and there is always something to do and new opportunities to explore.
What attracted you to this field of work?
I was always passionate about numbers and data, and their influence on a business. A major part of choosing to work in data analytics and business digitalisation was NTU as the university showed me how data is powerful in decision making. I am very passionate about my business, and I want to bring data and digitalisation to SMEs as I believe they are the pillars of our economy. Once our clients start using data for decision making and make their systems completely digitalised, the impact is huge and very influential to the growth. That feeling of growing and building your client’s business by doing something you love is just fantastic.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
One of my largest challenges I had in life was leaving my family and friends to study in the UK. That decision was not easy, but it was a necessary one to progress faster in my career. Even today, six years since I came to the UK, it can be difficult being far away. I always remind myself that is for a better future, not only for me but for my family and friends also. These days it is rare, but when nostalgia comes, I know that my close ones are a phone call away to support me and allow me to keep going.
What have been the highlights and biggest challenges of your career so far?
My biggest challenge led me to my biggest highlight. Once I completed my education I got employed as a Finance Manager and less than a year after I was made redundant. From the lowest point in my career, I decided to go the entrepreneurial route and it has been the best decision ever (after coming to study in the UK). My company is growing rapidly, and I am very lucky that all my hard work is paying off. They say all entrepreneurs have something in common and that is hitting a low, to climb a high.
What are your plans for the future?
My current goal is to keep building and growing my company. One day I would like to move my company completely online and live half year in the UK and the other half in my home country Croatia.
If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at uni?
You are where you should be. Everything will work out, just keep working hard and look at everything as an opportunity.
Follow Stefan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefan-loncar-loncom-consulting/