Blanka Adamová: I pride myself on the energy I spread around

Blanka is a first year student on the Global Business and Management programme. She is a few years older than her classmates having started her full-time undergraduate studies a little later than most. Blanka is tireless in what she does and never gives up, whatever comes her way. In addition to studying, she works for the American firm Southwestern Advantage, where she has had a successful career in business and leadership. She sees her job as a mission to set an example for others, to continually push her boundaries and to create both job and life opportunities for other students.

How do you feel about NU and what is your impression of the school?

I think of NU as one big opportunity. After failing to finish my studies at Mendel University, where I studied Business Management in the Faculty of Operations and Economics, I decided to make a second attempt at completing higher education. I am a finisher, so I needed to find a suitable place to finish my studies. I found out about NU through other students I knew, plus a friend of mine is studying at NU and we do the same work and travel to the US together. Word got around and everything fell into place. I believe that everything is as it should be. Plus, NU fits well with my current lifestyle. Thanks to my job, I am always travelling, not only abroad, but also between Brno and Prague. Even though my job is mostly seasonal, it doesn't mean that I don't work the rest of the year. On the contrary. I have been going to the US regularly every summer for six years. And, as soon as the season is over, I start preparing for the next one. This school gives me the space to handle everything.

How do you make time to see your family since your lifestyle has radically changed?

Every time I come back from the US, my first stop is always home to Držka, where I'm from. It's a small village just outside of Zlín and I love going back there. I'm not a person who could completely cut off my family for my career. Plus, my family is part of what has made me successful. I wouldn't be where I am today without them. 

What was Blanka like before?

I was very goal-oriented and hard-working when I was a kid, and that has stayed with me to this day. A big part of that came from my upbringing — my parents always set priorities for me and my younger brother. School and chores always came first, then behaviour itself, and if these two things were in order and in harmony, we could pursue sports and hobbies. My brother and I both played rounders, which required a fair amount of discipline and time to prepare and practice. I also bowled for eight years, from the age of ten to eighteen. I was able to afford it because of a part-time job in the family business. My grandmother and grandfather opened a bakery, which was then taken over by my parents and where I often helped out. It's not for nothing that my dad always told us that without work there are no cakes. For us it was literally true.

When was your hardest time and how did it shape you?

The summer of 2021 was challenging for me because I was the only one of my team in Europe to get a visa to the US, so I was left to fly out on my own. I couldn't have other people from the team with me and I spent the summer more or less alone. Everything was different than it should have been. I'm a very results-driven person. I know what I need to do to succeed. And when I do everything, but don’t see the results, I start asking myself what's wrong with me. It's honestly led me to experience mild anxiety. At the same time, back at home, there were some issues that I wasn't able to address remotely to help my family in the way I wanted to. Several things happened at the same time and by the end I felt  totally exhausted on an emotional, physical and mental level and I didn't want to see anyone. When I returned home, I could feel it, and it was clear that I needed to take some time for myself. I started playing sports again, this time Spartan races and the gym. This made me realise how important it is for me to feel physically well. Once my physicality was in order, improvements in my emotional and mental sides naturally followed.

How have your priorities in life changed over time?

I would say my priorities in life are still the same as they were when I was a kid. It's just that relationships have come to the forefront. In the last two years, I've started to realise how important relationships are in my life. But I have to work on opening up to people more, because it isn’t something I’m used to doing. I always felt weak if I had to open up to others, but now I'm realising that there’s strength in opening up. And, as far as education goes, it's still one of my priorities and I think it's important, I'm just starting to understand that school isn't the only place to get it.

How do you relax?

I don’t very often.

What recharges your batteries when things get overwhelming and you need a break?

Ironically, I relax the most when doing physical activities. I love to go in-line skating. It's very relaxing for me. I try to walk at least ten thousand steps a day and I also go running regularly. I like the outdoors the mos

What do you pride yourself on? And how do you create the image you want to project?

Primarily, I pride myself on the energy I spread around me. It has to do with my current inner state of mind, which of course is influenced by many things. But in terms of my image directly, I want to feel good in my clothes, whether I go out dressed smartly or in sweatpants. I don't care what people think of me.

What is your weakness? 

Sometimes I find myself creating scenarios in my head that don't exist and putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I overthink things a lot and then I have trouble getting started. I often start slow, but I also know that if I start something, I'll finish it. It's not really about making the decision once, but making it repeatedly every day. Even more so when you really don't want to. But no one else will do it for you.

Your job is all about communicating with people: you run workshops, you do recruiting, you speak to hundreds of people. How do you feel about stage fright?

I used to not want to read a paper in front of a class in high school, and seven years ago I couldn't even order ice cream in English on vacation in Croatia. My three-year-younger brother had to do it instead. I didn't want to talk to people. Today, my communication skills are all over the place and I approach it differently. When I have stage fright, it helps me to realise that I don't necessarily have to influence thousands of people, but sometimes it's enough to help open the eyes of just one person with my talk or workshop. Along with that, I focus on making sure I really understand whatever it is I’m sharing with others. I feel that if a person can't explain a given thing in their own words, they simply don't understand it and, logically, can't pass it on. I use my personal experience, which I intersperse with knowledge from various books and podcasts on self-development, investing and health for a general overview.

What kind of Blanka would you like to be in the future?

Whatever I do, because of everything I've been through, I know I'll be a great mom. My future children can count on that.

Blanka Adamová 

She is an Associate Sales Leader at Southwestern Advantage, which runs a summer sales and leadership programme for college students, with over 1,500 students participating each year. She has been with the company for 6 years and began her career as one of the top 10% most successful recruits and has managed to break into the top 20 salespeople of all time in the company's 155 year history. She has lectured to small groups at PEF, Mendel, UTB Zlín and VŠE in Prague and also to larger groups of up to 500 people in both English and Czech. She is studying Global Business and Management at NEWTON.

Roberto Serrano: game theory's insight into international conflict

Professor Serrano's lecture promises valuable insights into coalition dynamics among nations, corporations, and individuals.

Great coffee and coworking spaces in Prague

Are you new here and wondering where to go for a coffee with your friends? We've got tips for you on great coffee shops in Prague and Brno where you can go for a meeting or a chat, but you can also study or write your term papers in peace. Check them out.

Great coffee and coworking spaces in Brno

Are you new here and wondering where to go for a coffee with your friends? We've got tips for you on great coffee shops in Prague and Brno where you can go for a meeting or a chat, but you can also study or write your term papers in peace. Check them out.