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Jana Brhelová – the new Head of the Department of Economics and Management

The new academic year is going to see not only new students in their first year at Unicorn College but also a new Head of the Department of Economics and Management, Jana Brhelová. In the following interview, she reveals the reason why she chose Unicorn College and what she is looking for.
1. Can you introduce yourself to the readers?
My name is Jana Brhelová and I started as the Head of the Department of Economics and Management at Unicorn College in June. I come from South Moravia but I've been living in Prague for quite some time. Before taking up the position at Unicorn College, I worked at the analytical department of the Czech Science Foundation. For a long time, I've also been engaged with the Faculty of Economics at the University of Economics, Prague. I got my bachelor and master degrees at the faculty and have followed with the doctoral study at the Department of Economic History. At the moment, I am finalizing my dissertation thesis. Beside research activities, I participate in the teaching activities of the Department of Economic History at the University of Economics. I mostly teach courses in English for foreign students. I like to spend my free time in the countryside with activities such as hiking or cycling.
2. Why did you decide to take up the position?
Activities carried out by a head of a department meet my notion of meaningful work. The work content is interesting and the range of activities broad. Activities connected with the development and improvement of classes count among the most interesting ones and I am looking forward to them. The fact that I wanted to find a job in the academic community with close contact to students and an opportunity to participate in the classes and organisation of other school activities played an important role, too.
3. What do you expect from the job and what are you looking for?
Working at Unicorn College brings new work experience and opportunities for my further work development. Of course, the job contains common management and administrative agenda. However, it involves creative activities that are going to lead – through their long-term results – to further conceptual development of classes that both students and teachers can benefit from. I also really appreciate the opportunity to cooperate with young colleagues who have abundant experience with school management, the organization and implementation of classes and teaching activity in general as well as with the research and academic agenda. I also look forward to the cooperation with all teachers and external lecturers working at Unicorn College.
4. What do you wish to achieve?
I'd like to achieve further development of classes with my colleagues. I aim to ensure that the current courses are relevant and that new courses emerge. New courses should be practical and should react to contemporary development while reflecting the current needs of students in relation to their future professional fulfilment. Moreover, I'd like to achieve better communication between the department management, teachers and students. I'm also going to work on the changes that might facilitate students' preparation for their classes and the process of learning in general. With my colleagues, we're currently working on improving the possibility of team work within individual study groups and further development of streaming of important courses. We also focus on other modern methods and their practical implementation into the classes at Unicorn College. We plan to develop the podcast system and we'd also like to use the so-called flipped classroom method in our classes. I plan to elaborate the e-testing system in chosen courses at the Department of Economics and Management and ensure its usability for writing concurrent and final tests. I'd also like to organize more workshops and one-off lectures/seminars focused on up-to-date and intriguing topics.
5. Any word to students or candidates?
I'd like to advise students not to take the study lightly and to dedicate the necessary time and attention to it from the very beginning. Consider the study a challenge to work on yourself and note that education is not only about receiving information. It's also needful to actively look for information and assess it. Communicate, discuss and gain information not only from the teachers but also from your peers.
And please don't be afraid to contact the department management or your teachers. A personal consultation may save a lot of your time and potential worries. With my colleagues, we're all here for you.