Stephanie E. Trpkov is a member of the presidency of MBA Croatia. Stephanie is an entrepreneur, director of Intech Ventures d.o.o., and a longtime consultant at the World Bank in the areas of competitiveness and energy. In addition, she is an expert advisor at EASME for the development of innovation projects. With a career focused on low-carbon transition, digital transformation and smart cities, she was selected by the European Commission as a leading expert for two out of total of three Croatian cities within the “100 Intelligent Cities Challenge” initiative. She completed biochemical engineering and the Executive MBA program at Cotrugli Business School.
How did you decide to enroll in MBA Studies?
As my profession is in the field of biochemistry and despite running an engineering firm in Nigeria and living in America and England, I have always lacked knowledge of finance and economics. When I came to Croatia and started working in a consulting firm, I was assigned international clients and I started working with senior management. This is where the knowledge gap would always appear. As I was responsible for Southeast Europe on projects in this area, I did not understand the mentality and way of doing business. So I decided to enroll in an MBA program. Although the first choice was LBS (London Business School), I decided to enroll in a regional MBA and then Cotrugli Business School was the best choice. In short, I enrolled in an MBA because of the knowledge gap in finance and economics and to get to know the culture in Southeast European business.
What is the most significant idea you got at the MBA Study?
This would be the importance and significance of integrating different perspectives into the project. On the MBA, we were all different, and yet similar, but again all with different perspectives. It is very important to know how to integrate this and respect the other side’s view.
What is a key component of an MBA Study? Networking, knowledge or something else?
Knowledge is the key to everything. Networking is often seen as a tool to meet people for personal gain. Which is wrong. If you don’t have the knowledge you won’t even know how to network. Networking means connecting with people so that you can bring something valuable to them and possibly create a benefit from joint activities. Networking is a skill that must be learned. And if someone has no knowledge, then they will not know how to network and everyone will run away from that person. A key component of an MBA study is knowledge, knowledge about oneself and about society, and networking is a consequence of that.
Why are you in the MBA Croatia Association?
Even as a child, I learned that if something is worth doing at all, it’s worth doing great. That is my life motto! Looking for excellence – that is something that drives me to this day, and the projects I do, can’t just be good, it’s not enough for me, they have to be great. That’s why I’m in the association, that part of the constant pursuit of excellence that the association and its members promote.