Ivona Butcher (February 2015)

Ivona Butcher (maiden name Hrušová) was born in Pardubice. She finished her studies at the IES, with a major in Finance, Financial Markets and Banking, in 2011 with a PhDr. title. During her bachelor studies, she took the opportunity to spend a semester as an exchange student in Denmark. During her masters studies at the IES, she started to work intensively on her career development in Next Finance. during which time she received her Masters in Economics from Warsaw University. In the company Next Finace she worked as an Analyst of Financial Markets. In 2011 Ivona moved to the USA to study M.B.A. at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. After graduating in 2013, she started to work at the company Magnitude Capital in New York. She is responsible for researching investment strategies and development of business opportunities and new products. She also founded and manages Czech Sport Horse, a company that acts as a dealer between horse breeders and professional equestrians. No wonder that horses are her biggest hobby. Ivona spends the majority of her free time with them, by training them in show jumping. When time allows, she relaxes with exercise – she does the triathlon.

   
 

You have studied at various universities from different countries; you have two Masters degrees, one PhDr. and M.B.A. Which part of your studies was the easiest one and which was the most difficult?

The easiest part was the studying itself. I learnt early on that even the most difficult problems can be solved and this discovery served me well during my studies as well as in my career.
The most difficult part was the decision to study MBA. Acceptance to Kellogg MBA opened the door to the best career opportunities worldwide but taking such an opportunity meant undertaking a huge student loan which is uncommon to the mentality that I was raised with. I knew that studying Kellogg MBA would mean full devotion to that career for the years to come. From that perspective it was a life decision, not only a studying decision.

What was the key moment of your career? Is M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management a clear sign for employers that you are the right for them?

In my opinion, an MBA from a top school is less about education and more about the contacts. Your classmates are accomplished professionals that will soon be in top positions around the world and those contacts are priceless for future business opportunities.
Obviously, top MBA is valuable for world-class employers. However, I’m more of an entrepreneur and as such, the interactions and sharing ideas with ambitious people was the most valuable. It confirmed what can be accomplished once you set your mind to it.

Do you think that you can apply your experience from the USA to the Czech Republic? Can you imagine living here again?

Absolutely. I’m looking forward to coming back one day. The only thing to miss will be the American optimism and courage to think big.
Since leaving the Czech Republic, I have become quite a patriot and would love to contribute to improvements there. Considering my skillset, my place is in business. There are lots of capable people in the Czech Republic that need a better platform in order to market their skills. My biggest hope is to found or buy a company that will allow that to happen.

You have founded a company that acts as a dealer between horse breeders and professional equestrians. How are you able to manage this besides your job at Magnitude Capital?

I built the company while studying and tried to structure it in such a way that everyday operations are independent of me. I was lucky enough to find excellent colleagues and most issues can be solved online. At the same time, horses are my biggest hobby so I don’t perceive this as a job.

How do you spend your leisure time? What does work-life balance mean for you?

Work life balance is a key to a productive career and a happy life overall. One can easily spend 15 hours per day at work and it is crucial to switch off, relax and recharge creativity in your brain. Show jumping with horses works best for me. I’ve been riding competitively for years and it’s my second ambition – right after developing a successful company in the Czech Republic. When I cannot ride, I try to stay in shape by running, skiing or simply working out in the gym.

 

 

 

 

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