ESR15 – Sebastian Macht – Testimonial

Sebastian Macht

ESR 15

Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich​


My name is Sebastian and I grew up in small town close to Nuremberg in Germany. I hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business administration from the KU Eichstaett-Ingolstadt. During my studies I spend a semester abroad at the Hanken School of Economics in Vaasa, Finland, where I had the opportunity to live abroad for the first time. 

I am enrolled in the Dublin City University as a remote PhD student, but my daily place of work is at the Raiffeisenlandesbank (RLB) in Linz, Austria, where I live now. The RLB is part of the Raiffeisen group, which consolidated is the biggest banking group in Austria and they are part of the PERFORM project as an industry partner. 

My research topic is “Innovative Payment Paths for Digital Retail” and I focus on how technological innovation in payment and checkout processes affects the business of digital retailers and how they can utilize the benefit of innovations. Within that project I cooperate not only with my host institution the RLB, but also with Unimarkt which is a retail chain in Austria. 

PERFORM offers me the great chance for fruitful collaboration between industry and academia. I experience that everyday in my work and that was also the reason why I applied for the Marie-Curie Training Network. The fact that I had to move to a different country made it more exciting. Granted, the cultural difference between Austria and (southern) Germany is not that big, but getting to know a new place and live there is always an interesting experience. 

One special aspect about PERFORM are the regular training weeks, where all 15 early stage researchers (ESR) meet to receive training, discuss research and have collective workshops. This is also the aspect I enjoy most about PERFORM: Being part of a group bound together by the common topic of digital retail. Even though we focus all on digital retail, our individual research topics are very diverse. I can discuss with every ESR about his or her respective topic and always get new interesting perspectives and insights on digital retail. Beside the research I also enjoy to spend the (sparse) free time during the training weeks with my fellow ESRs. Having one or two beers together after a day full of academic discussion and intellectual input can be very relaxing. 

PERFORM helps me to shape my professional future in many ways. First of all it allows me to do research without having to worry about funding. Beside that the program enables me to do all sort of “extra-curricular” activities, that aren’t directly related to my research but help me to obtain useful skills for my PhD journey and my future career. 

My long-term goal is to use the skillset of scientific methodology and scientific knowledge I obtained during my PhD in my future profession. I haven’t finally decided yet if that will be in academia or industry. The personal insight I got from talking to some of the professors in the project is, that it is not an either-or decision. One can chose to go to industry after the PhD and eventually return to academia again. Right now my focus is on becoming an academic.

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