Karel Pfeffer graduated from the IES in 2016. He also studied abroad during his Erasmus studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.
Karel currently works as a data engineer at Red Bull. He lives in Fuschl am See, Austria. He gained experience during his studies, first as a Finance Trainee at Procter and Gamble, where he later worked as Corporate Sales Manager for Central Europe. In 2019 he joined Siemens as a BI Developer, but about a year later he fulfilled his dream of living in the Alps and started working at Red Bull.
In his free time, Karel enjoys sports, triathlon or cross-country skiing.
Karel, how did the IES influenced you? Did it give you some specific direction, for you career? What has influenced you most here?
The IES is a great institute, which thought me that you can accomplish any challenge, if you dedicate yourself to it.
From career perspective it gave me the opportunity to work in any segment of the market. All the courses of mathematics, econometrics and microeconomics were for me an excellent training for analytical and abstract thinking essential to succeed in business.
After school, you took a finance position at Procter and Gamble, which is not exactly the kind of company that the IES graduates usually go to, so how did you get the idea to apply here?
I am convinced that every decision you make must be creative and bring you new exciting challenge.
P&G is the biggest FMCG company hiring only on junior positions. Hence, the quality of higher management is given by identification of young talents. Therefore, already being accepted by P&G is sort of an accomplishment.
Also, P&G is long term recognized as one of the best employers, very focused on people management and education.
You worked at Siemens as a BI developer, what is the real story behind this position? What exactly does BI mean?
BI stands for Business Intelligence and it defines the way how the company works with its data from data warehousing, over processes to reporting. It is exciting and growing area, which is bridging together IT and business.
As a BI Developer you must understand business requirement, but at the same time you must be fluent in object languages, knowledgeable about databases and able to design reporting solution architecture.
You work and live in Austria, why did you choose this country? Was it a targeted effort for a specific location or more of a coincidence?
It was my dream to live nearby Alps since my Erasmus stay in Munich at Ludwig Maximilian University and triathlon training camps in Zell am See. It was just about to find the way how to put it together with long term career development.
Your employer is currently Red Bull, a company that is renowned for promoting adrenaline sports and overall is a very "cool" brand. Is it cool to work here too? Or is working with data here the same as on similar positions in other companies?
Red Bull is like any other FMCG company. Therefore, it is in many ways classical company with its governance and processes.
However, there are certain aspects which makes the environment different. At first, it is a private company, which is nowadays for entity of this size quite unique, that I think brings more welcoming and family-like workspace.
Second, Red Bull has many local sales organizations, but is still very centralized, and hence, if you work on any project from HQ it has global impact. As a result, there could be days when you call with the team from Australia in the morning, during the day from Russia and in the evening from Santa Monica.
Lastly, it is the place Red Bull HQ is located, which makes the work here special. If there is enough snow you can even ski to the office and in the summer you can go swimming into the lake during lunch break.
In your spare time you are mainly involved in sports, what are your sporting goals?