Interview with Boris Martinec!23/04/2012 16:28:57
Last week, I sat down to talk with one of the most prolific athletes currently attending the Zagreb School of Economics and Management. Not only is Boris an outstanding sportsman, but he is also an exemplary student.
In the following article, we discuss some of the sport activities available at ZSEM, and how ZSEM supports professional sportsmen.
Please introduce yourself to our readers!
My colleagues across our campus know me for my unusual sport of choice. I started figure skating when I was six, and I was continuously active and professionally engaged until I was 22. By that time, I had participated in over a hundred competitions all over the world. I am a ten time Croatian national champion, and have represented Croatia at competitions at the highest level of figure skating. Some of these competitions include the Junior Grand Prix competition, World Junior Championship (4 times), the European Championship (4 times) and the World Championships (4times). I have won 70 medals at various competitions at home and abroad. For my sports achievements, I was awarded with a scholarship from International Olympic Committee as a young potential candidate for the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, only a few places separated me from placement among 30 best skaters int he world, which ultimately competed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. My most significant results are 28th place at the World Championships, and two advancements to the finals at European Championships.
Where did you interest for figure skating come from?
Figure skating is a specific sport which, in order to be competitive on global level, requires a skater to start training at a very young age. I started when I was only six years old, and could surely say that a journey from the very beginning, finally reaching the world of competitive skating wasn’t easy. I was training two times a day, six days a week, spending summers in skating camps and winters at competitions. I didn’t have a lot of free time but that is a life of a athlete. So, to answer the question how I started – well, I was young and I was tricked that I was going to play hockey (laughs). Well, what I really loved about figure skating were all those hard figures such as triple jumps and spins which look impossible to do. There is no better feeling than landing a triple jump for a first time and then, after years of training doing them like as if they're easy to pull off.
Tell us a little with which awards are you most proud of?
I am a ten time national champion of Croatia, and have won several international competitions at the junior and senior levels. What I’m really proud of is the fact that I represented my country at the World Championships. In 2009, I participated at the Winter University Games in Harbin, China. This competition, known as the Olympics for the college students, was very special for me because I represented my country but also the School that supported me in so many ways. Thanks to figure skating, I have travelled extensively and made friends all around the world, and this is what the most proud of.
Basically how much time do you spend on training?
During my first two years at ZSEM, as I was then at the peak of my career, and I was spending a significant amount of time practicing. Thankfully, thanks to the ZSEM's flexible program for professional athletes, I was allowed to take some classes online, ones that overlapped with my training sessions in order to fully dedicate to my sports career. Thanks to that program I established a great relationship with my professors who were ready to answer my questions in a matter of hours through email and ZSEM's distance learning platform. This helped me tremendously; I was enrolled at ZSEM like many other students, and yet, at the same time, I could dedicate significant time to my skating career.
Why did you decide to study on ZSEM?
I have always been interested in economics and the business world, so my great aspiration was to combine higher education with an involvement in professional sports. The option I had was to go to the United States to study and train at a high level of figure skating. Thankfully, at the last moment, I discovered ZSEM and its program that supports the needs of professional athletes. It is not common for Croatian colleges to make special arrangements for sportsmen so I was very happy to hear I was able to continue to skate and pursue aspirations to earn a degree in my own country.
What do you like the most on ZSEM?
During my first and second year at ZSEM I was spending significant amount of time at the ice rink and at competitions around the world. On average, I was absent from the country seven day a month. Thanks to the positive communication I developed with the professors I was able to be enrolled to the school program as any other student. Indispensable detail that helped me during the study is readiness of professors who understood my commitment in sports. The vast majority of professors who I contacted through email responded to me within 24 hours which was very pleasant surprise. It is this positive environment of the school that helped me to develop my interest in studying so I was eager to attend absolutely all the lectures when I was able to do so.
How much are students involved in the sport associations?
My experience with the sports association is very positive. There are numerous possibilities for ZSEM students to enroll in sport activities, which in my opinion is very important. As far as I can recall, students are able to choose from a wide array of different sports, depending on their preferences: some of ZSEM's teams like its soccer and basketball teams are competitive on Croatia's university level, while others serve social purposes and increase the quality of student life at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management. Discounted gym memberships, organized trips, and many sport events are activities that can only attract students to enroll at ZSEM.
What are your future goals?
Through the work experience I obtained through internships and through my studies, I would like to build a career in real estate My final thesis paper at ZSEM was from an accounting course and the topic was: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Building an Ice-Rink Arena in Croatia. Thanks to this, but also due to my sporting achievements that were appreciated at job interviews, I was able to find a position within a real estate company. As a matter of fact, next week I’m starting work as an analyst on commercial projects in an international real estate company, something that I look very forward to.
What would you say to students that are thinking of enrolling at ZSEM?
When I started my studies at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, I was driven by a desire to achieve top results in sports. Despite all the ideal conditions that the school offered me, I didnt' build a profile as a top athlete. The environment at the campus and the quality of a program helped me to discover my potential and to develop my interests. Because of the experience of studying at ZSEM, I look optimistically to my future professional career. I sincerely recommend to all professional and recreational sportsmen to enroll at ZSEM, as it offers a superior educational experience, no matter what their goals are.