Oxford Educated Returnee Owns Tourist Agency, Runs 3 Hotels in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

”Changes in any system can’t take place overnight and it takes a lot of patience and work to make the results visible”, states Matea Jerić, now running three hotels in Croatia.

As Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of October, 2018, Matea has always ”swimming” in entrepreneurial waters, and as far as studying economics is concerned, she believes that besides the theoretical knowledge, she also offers simultaneous specialisation based on personal preferences.

Despite the prevailing opinion of most about those enrolling to study economics being that such people have no idea what they want to do in life, or othe direction of their career, Matea firmly opted for this field of study and has not regretted it since.

“In addition to academic education, I believe that applied knowledge is very important and I’m immensely grateful that I’m an example, as an EFST student, under the expert guidance and mentoring of Professor Ivana Bilić, I had the opportunity to participate in the 1st Brown Forum held in Dubrovnik in 2011. In addition to participating, which remains with me as a special and inspirational memory, it was great pleasure to receive the award for the best presented project,” stated Matea Jerić from Split.

Even back during her faculty days, Matea quickly proved that economics was definitely the right choice for her, and today she owns her own tourist agency. She makes no attempt to hide the fact that the tourism as an industry has always been of interest to her, and as the main advantages of work in tourism, she highlights the possibility of developing knowledge offoreign languages, improving communication skills, and beng introduced to different cultures. 

Matea started to work in the hotel business back during high school, and the need for the study of economics on the market became even clearer to her.

“My first independent entrepreneurial venture was when I was 22, with the establishment of the DMC travel agency that successfully operates in Croatia and in neighbouring countries, and has offices in London, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Split,” added Matea Jerić.

Matea’s interest in tourism grew systematically and as has has been the case since early on in her life, having had work experience in several sectors, including in households, sales, food and beverages and other areas, the next step was just a matter of time. Matea’s commitment to her goals and her field has been recognised, and today she also successfully runs three hotels employing about 150 people. Under her leadership, the business, with a capacity of 400 beds, experienced fifteen percent growth compared to the same period last year.

Although many wonder how a 29-year-old can manage to do all of this already, Matea doesn’t fear setting yet more new goals. After graduating from the Faculty of Economics in Split, Matea got offered an opportunity she couldn’t miss, among nearly 600 applicants from 32 countries, this young girl from Split was awarded a scholarship and became a student of business management studies, at no less than the prestigious Oxford University in England. The ”dream of every young man” as many would say, and when the Financial Times proclaimed this Oxford study ad the second best of its kind in the entire world, then the sense of satisfaction is naturally even greater.

“For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet the world’s academic elite, listen to and exchange ideas and experiences with leaders from the most advanced real sectors of today, learn from examples of colleagues who are largely executive directors or senior managers in leading world companies, I got to visit some of the most promising world business centres of the moment, such as Palo Alto in California, and have had the opportunity to study some of the biggest emerging markets such as China and India,” stated Matea.

”Regardless of the very intense pace, continuous travel, parallel work in my own organisation, and everyday learning, I can certainly say that every minute spent on all of that has paid off multiple times,” Matea Jerić added, recalling these memorable experiences.

Although she was shown that the world is indeed full of opportunities, she decided to return to Croatia, noting that she although she experienced a type and quality of life abroad which is significantly lower and less yielding here in Croatia, real physical security, the climate, and the free education are the main reasons why she decided to pursue her career at home in Croatia.

Although she’s part of the youngest generation, that didn’t stop her from being as successful as possible, and this young Croatian economist from Oxford won no less than the Dean’s best research award at Oxford.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the award for the best project, namely, a project that explores the future and the prospects of the structure of employment in the auditing sector During that research, I was relying on technological factors that have an impact on industry changes, and made suggestions on the level of cognitive processes which can be automated with the use of big data and blockchain technology,” said Matea, not hiding her obvious delight.

As far as the main difference between studying at EFST and Oxford in England goes, she cited the amount of practical application and says that she definitely learned the most from the experiences of colleagues working in different industries and economic environments.


Click here for the original article by Ivan Tominac for Poslovni Dnevnik


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