RIT Croatia Class of 2003
International Hospitality and Service Management
Employer: Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai
Job title: Director of PR and Marketing
When you cannot find a job in Croatia, there is no other choice but to seek happiness abroad. On top of that, if you are offered a job in exotic country and in your profession, life can easily turn into a dream come true.
For most people walking down Tkalčićeva Street and sipping coffee with friends is not something they would list as a special event in their lives, but when you are away from home and you come for a visit once a year- this sounds very attractive. "Of course you have places where you go to drink coffee and hang out, but these are mostly shopping malls and hotel complexes. That is just not it!” laughs Hana Fuchs, an attractive young woman who found career success in no less than the United Arab Emirates. "It is less and less surprising that Croatian citizens are leaving the country "trbuhom za kruhom,” but it is sad that young professionals are "capitalizing” their knowledge and experience in other (distant) countries.”
After completing high school in Zagreb and obtaining a BS degree in Hospitality and Service Management at RIT Croatia in Dubrovnik, Hana gained her first work experience in Adria Media, a publishing house, as Head of Marketing for weekly magazines. Wanting to experience working in her profession as well, for a short time Hana worked for a well known hotel chain, but the recession left its mark and soon she found herself in a position where she needed to seek more appropriate employment.When she realized how difficult it would be to find a new job in Croatia, Hana started to apply for vacancies abroad. "We need to be very persistent. My friends who are currently unemployed are doing the same, but I think that most of them are not persistent enough. I sent up to 20 queries a day and I did not get discouraged.”
When a company from Abu Dhabi showed interest, Hana could not believe it.Everything was happening so quickly. After three in-depth telephone interviews, she traveled to the United Arab Emirates for an in person interview. Hana got the job and had two weeks’ time to decide whether she would accept the offered position, to pack her things and travel to the "unknown.” The job she got was in the largest hotel in Abu Dhabi, Grand Millennium Al Wahda, as PR Manager. "I cannot say it was easy. I had to work and learn a lot,” reveals Hana and adds that it was not impossible because if you have some experience, knowledge of languages, and are persistent and hard working- it is not a problem to succeed. "To find your first job is the hardest task. When you gain experience and contacts, headhunters will seek you out.” Hana adds. After a year, she experienced this firsthand. She received a tempting offer from the hotel chain Radisson Blu and the chance to move to Dubai, which she accepted without thinking twice."Abu Dhabi is more conservative- Dubai is much livelier, a city more for me.”Hana talks about all of this with ease and therefore her success seems so simple. "It is important to achieve good contacts. I spent more than 12 hours a day at work. I have goals and plans that I need to accomplish, but we also have generous means of marketing- so everything is easier,” says Hana and shows a picture of life that we can only dream of. "We do not have lot of free time during the week, but this is why we spend our weekend relaxing. I spend weekends with friends at the beach, swimming in pools (which are often included in the building complexes where people live), sometimes I go out for dinner or to clubs and I travel.”
"I often spend time with our business partners, who are mostly editors of magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia and others. Parties and receptions take place frequently.”
Most companies provide accommodations to employees who come from foreign countries. As for the hotel companies I have worked for, they generally have a practice to either provide you with housing within the hotel or they give you a special add-on payment for accommodations. In this case, you can choose what kind of apartment you will rent- whether you want something more luxurious or a more modest apartment.” Dubai is multicultural, a place where tourists come from all over the world, and there are a lot of people who found their "business luck” in the Middle East. Most of these people do not stay for long time, so you cannot have friendships like at home. Precisely due to this, Hana misses her friends the most. She comes to Zagreb for holidays, usually twice a year, and she is especially happy to be given the opportunity to come to Zagreb for business purposes- where on such occasions she combines business with pleasure. For now, she is not considering moving back to Croatia. Hana is satisfied with her life; the only thing she is missing is traveling, as her position of Marketing and PR Director is very much tied to the United Arab Emirates. However, worldwide hotel chains offer the possibility of transferring to another world destination, so perhaps Hana will have the opportunity to continue her career elsewhere.