Željko Bak - COTRUGLI

“Every new learning MBA experience was filling me with energy and I was looking forward to transforming this knowledge into value for my company and my team.”

For many years I was listening to my senior colleagues and mentors talking about their MBA experiences and how it changed their personal and professional lives for better. They were remembering their experiences with special kind of passion and that got me curious over time even more. So, I decided to put MBA on my willdo list. I was aware that getting through MBA program will not be an easy undertaking, so I did not rush it and was waiting for good opportunity.

I always considered myself a „product person“, fascinated by any kind of product that was showing original problem solving and innovation, so I directed my career to always be near product topics and I was for years, but in a role of expert. 

I joined Vipnet in 2011 and got opportunity to form and run small product development team. Clearly, I jumped on this opportunity and started my transformative journey from product expert to manager and leader. In late 2014 I was offered to run whole Product and Device management team in Vipnet and at the time I considered it great privilege and opportunity. I was thrilled I will be working with team of fifteen product experts and accepted this challenge. Very soon I realized there is a gap in my knowledge and skills, so I started to seek advice from my past mentors. One of them asked me – “why don’t you consider COTRUGLI Business School”, and so I did. 

I remember day of scholarship competition and how I was so pumped and determined to win it. I applied and won one of 6 executive MBA scholarships for 2015 and my learning MBA experience stated. 

It was truly lifechanging experience. I remember my excitement when every new module was nearing. I was looking forward to talking with fellow students, exchanging ideas, working together on practical tasks and applying newly acquired knowledge. I discovered I have passion for finance, marketing, economics and that personal development and developing others is crucial to succeed in business – new areas that my engineering mind did not consider much in the past. 

After every module, most of them lasting 3 or 4 and some of them lasting even 5 consecutive days, I was not tired but filled with inspiration, energized. Every new learning MBA experience was filling me with energy, and I was impatient to share my new knowledge with my team at work and apply new techniques and ways of looking at things on everyday business situations. I was looking forward to transforming this knowledge into value for my company and my team. 

One of things I learned and started practicing was – we set vision for ourselves and design how things will unfold, that focus and setting priorities are important, that commitment and teamwork bring great results, that friendships are valued above all else and that learning never stops.  

Today, I lead product team at Lemax, company that will transform how tourist companies globally do their business and I got opportunity to be in the middle of this great story that just started to unfold. 

I am convinced COTRUGLI experience led me to here and helped me be a better business professional and a better person. I am thankful to COTRUGLI professors and faculty for all experiences so far and recommend my friends and colleagues to set off for this lifechanging learning experience wholeheartedly.