It’s me ESR6 also called Robert and I wanted to give you some insights about my experiences within the Marie-Curie Training Network PERFORM so far.
But first let me give you some background about me. I was born and raised in the wonderful capital of Germany – Berlin. There I did my Bachelors in Business Administration and my Masters in International Marketing Management. In the last five years, I have been working in an e-commerce company as Brand Manager and Brand Performance Analyst. However, being part of the PERFORM project changed quite some things in my life.
Currently I live in the beautiful little city Steyr where you can also find my home institution, the University of Applied Science Upper Austria. My host institution however is the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, which actually is a good thing as Linz is not far away and I get to know two cities at once. Although, I have to admit leaving Berlin was not easy I can now say that relocating to Steyr and Linz offered me a very welcomed change of perspective.
In the PERFORM project I am part of the work package “Digital Retail Customer Experience” and my topic is called “Conversion Optimisation Techniques along the Customer Journey”. For me this fits my previous work experience very well. I used to optimize conversion rates for online shops on a daily basis and know I try to do the same thing but for offline retailers and with a scientific background. Therefore, becoming part of the Marie-Curie Training Network was an excellent opportunity to connect academic and professional career development. Not only do I have the opportunity to be part of a renowned PhD program which allows me to obtain a PhD degree with the best support a student can wish for. But also am I able to stay connected to industry partners due to my secondments in which I am doing research about state of the art technologies at the company Intersport. In the PERFORM project the connection to secondment partners is especially important as the most challenging part of our research is to come up with solutions that offer value to the industry and are a scientific novelty at the same time. Being able to double check the value of a model or technique with an industry partner is indeed highly beneficial.
Talking about support, I can say that all my supervisors are very helpful and I got the feeling that they really want me to succeed wherefore they always go the extra mile to help me shape my academic career development. Finally yet importantly, you can always rely on your fellow ESR colleagues. From simple brainstorming in a bar to an actual paper collaboration in the office – everything is possible with these guys :D.
Looking at my future, I want to finish this program successfully. For me this means I will not only obtain my PhD but I also want to shape the future of digital retail in Europe and I have the feeling that PERFORM project is a perfect way to do both.