Being considered a “hard worker” is a valued trait when it comes to school and employment. Hard work often gets a person noticed, appreciated, and, usually, very far in life. Matej Podlesnik (pronounced: Mah-tay Pohd-lees-nick), is a senior at Drury University studying finance and accounting and a student that at least one Drury professor recognizes as a hard worker.
Originally coming to Drury from Radovljica, Slovenia, for a one-semester exchange program in the fall of 2010, he has extended this opportunity and will graduate from Drury in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree, then he plans to enroll in Drury’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
It was while taking a summer course at Drury’s close partnering school, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia where Dr. Paul Nowak is also an honorary faculty member in the department of finance, is where Podlesnik first met Nowak. “Matej is a really bright kid. He asked great questions in class and I noticed his potential,” said Dr. Nowak.
Dr. Nowak sat down with former Drury MBA student Janez Skrubej, who is now the director of financial advisory services at Deloitte Slovenia. Deloitte is one of the Big Four professional services firms, specializing in audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services. After discussing options of setting up an internship for students with the company, Dr. Nowak recommended Podlesnik for an internship at Deloitte in the summer of 2013. “I really wanted to give Matej a chance and help him catch a good break. Janez is a good friend and I would not send him someone I didn’t believe in,” Nowak said.
Professors can often become good friends with their students and that is how Podlesnik views Dr. Nowak. “I talk with him about everything and he and his wife have been very kind to me,” Podlesnik said. From inviting him over for dinner, baking a cake for his birthday and helping him get to Wal-Mart, these small gestures have meant a lot to Podlesnik, “At Drury, the professors go out of their way to help you succeed.”
Podlesnik hopes to gain great experience at Drury and hopefully with Deloitte, aspiring to eventually start his own business as a financial advisor. “Whatever Matej decides as his career path, he will succeed. He’s a keeper,” said Dr. Nowak.
Story by Amber Perdue, a senior public relations and advertising major at Drury