23-year-old Czech Republic native, Natali Topolska, is a 2nd year BSL Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) Millennial Program student currently working at a leading Swiss online bank.
Natali is a beneficiary of our BBA Millennial Program internship project that provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable real-world business experience working at leading organisations across Europe. After applying for various internship positions on LinkedIn, Natali was approached by a reputable Swiss bank who viewed her current academic career at BSL as well as her proficiency in speaking Czech and Slovak as an asset, and offered her a 6 month internship which she delightfully accepted. Following her successful 6 month internship, Natali was offered a full-time position.
Natali currently works in the Global Sales HQ and Forex Sales department at Swissquote Bank SA (Gland, Switzerland), a top Swiss investment bank specializing in the provision of online financial and trading services. Swissquote is also a leading European financial platform offering real-time quotes, online brokerage services, portfolio management tools, discussion groups, and much more.
Natali holds the position of Business Development and Support Executive in the SQ Front Office where she and her team are responsible for growing the business through establishing partnerships, onboarding customers, and taking care of client registrations. She works in the Russian and Eastern Europe arm of the department where she takes care of clients from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland thanks to her fluency in both Czech and Slovak.
Together with BSL’s Deputy Academic Director, Dr. Mouna Chaari, and our Head of Careers and Industry Relations, Daniele Ticli, Natali was able to adjust her academic schedule to allow her to work full-time while continuing her BSL studies concurrently. Natali was able to perform her 6 month internship and following full-time position thanks to the ongoing support and assistance she received from BSL.
In particular, Natali applauds the efforts of her BSL internship supervisor, Professor Marko Majer who continues to offer his support and guidance. “I very much appreciate his own insights from the Sales industry which have helped me to successfully deal with many challenges I faced. He was, and still is, an amazing support not only professionally, but also mentally when helping me to deal with stressful events and obstacles” she says.
Natali is quick to recognise the positive impact her studies at BSL have had on her personal and professional life. “What I love about BSL is the quality of our professors. Each is heavily involved in many aspects of the university and they all come from different backgrounds and industries. Whether they have their own companies or are working for well-known corporations and international organisations, they share their personal experiences and insights with us. This helps tremendously, as we don’t only focus on theory but on the practical/real world too. Thanks to this, we are unlikely to experience a shock when entering the professional world. We know more or less what to expect and how things work which helps us overcome the many challenges and obstacles awaiting us.”
In particular, Natali highlights Professor Marko Majer’s Sales & Key Account Management and Social Media for Business courses as incredibly helpful to her career development as it prepared her for an active role in any larger sales process, enabling her to identify, prospect, and support a sales opportunity by interpreting customer requirements. In addition, Professor Alain Haut’s Global HR Management helped her with the job recruitment process itself: from creating and upgrading her LinkedIn profile to gaining the awareness of different onboarding processes, including various interview scenarios.
As a defining feature of BSL, Natali really enjoys the personalised approach we take with all of our students. In particular, she likes the freedom of flexibility that allows students to adjust their studies to cater to their own needs. In Natali’s case, this meant restructuring her academic routine to allow her to continue her studies while working full-time at Swissquote Bank.
“After a terrible studying experience in France, I was looking for a more personalised approach and assistance from my professors. When I applied to BSL I knew my best interests would be taken care of individually. At BSL, the classes are tiny and I see my professors as colleagues and not as straight authority figures. I knew they were there for me and willing to help me get my degree while working. It was the best decision I ever made!”
In particular, Natali acknowledges that BSL’s hands-on, one-to-one approach has prepared her tremendously well for a career in international business. “We constantly compare theory with practise while simulating concrete business situations and challenges. Hence, I felt prepared and informed about the Sales world awaiting me. Besides, I knew that if I ran into any problems I could always rely on my professors who support and advise me when needed.”
Additionally, Natali saw great benefit from BSL’s ethos of group learning and teamwork. Within the group presentations, projects and simulations, Natali and her classmates were constantly learning how to work closely and cooperate with each other coming from different backgrounds and cultures. “In the real world, this can be quite challenging. However, thanks to BSL, you already know how to act in such an environment”.
On behalf of the BSL Careers Office and the entire BSL Faculty, we are proud of what Natali has, and continues, to achieve in her relatively young business career. Natali is a perfect embodiment of the values of BSL and we look forward to witnessing her tremendous growth in the years to come.