Claudia Blust-Sieder and Djordje Jovicic have a few things in common. Both have been working at A1 for almost 20 years, are curious and both have had many stops on their professional A1 way. Our experienced colleagues recently seized the opportunity and participated in a 2-month trial at our A1 Start Up Campus in Vienna where they gained firsthand Start Up Experience* while working for two start-ups. In this interview, they will share their insights, what they learned and what motivated them to try out something new.

Claudia Blust-Sieder

What motivated you to participate in this trial?

Claudia: I wanted to know how start-ups are working, what issues they are working on and which differences and similarities there are, compared to a big company like A1. Apart from that, I was keen on having a tangible result within a set period of time.

Djordje: Start-ups are synonymous with fast and modern ways of working. I wanted to get inspired by them, and see if and how we could implement those working methods in our team.

Djordje Jovicic

How important is learning and professional development to you?

Djordje: It’s very important for me. I seize the opportunities I come across and I am constantly looking for opportunities to learn. In addition to working I’ve been doing a master’s program for the past 5 years from which I will be graduating soon. :-)

Claudia: I’m driven by curiosity and my interest in many topics. Everything is useful sooner or later.

Professional development at A1: get involved, take the initiative and don’t let up!

What are your takeaways from the Start Up Experience, personally and professionally?

Claudia: Listen carefully to what the requirements are, challenge processes and improve incrementally. Personally, I enjoyed meeting new people.

Djordje: While working at Meet Fox as a Business Developer I realized the power and advantages of a strong brand like A1 when in contact with the customer. I never thought I would say this, but: processes and structures aren’t all that bad :-)

It was exciting to get insight into the start-up sector.

Which of your skills were of use/helped you?

Djordje: I could profit from my experience in business development (looking for new partnerships), as well as in sales and product management to a certain extent.

Claudia: I could apply my abilities in analyzing and process planning as well as my knowledge of cost structure and profitability analysis at Parkbob.

Would you do it again? Under different premises?

Djordje and Claudia: Definitely. A warm-up period in the beginning would be great.

Any advice to the A1 team, that wants to boost its career?

Claudia and Djordje: Stay curious! Look around in the A1 Group. There are so many different interesting departments within A1. Change jobs actively throughout the company, not only hierarchically but also vertically – topically based. Be open for new fields. Every new area is an important new experience – personally and professionally! #MakeItHappen

* The “Start Up Experience” program was a trial in Austria which gave 2 experienced A1 experts in the fields of finance resp. business development the opportunity to support 2 start-ups at the A1 Start Up Campus for 2 months.

A1 Start Up Campus

Since 2015, A1 Austria has been supporting young entrepreneurs in their development of disruptive business models. A1 provides an open space and our A1 business products, but also professional consultancy by A1 experts and support in PR. In case of a strategic fit, the start-ups may also use the distribution channels of A1. Until now, 170 jobs across 15 start-up members have been created.

(c) Philipp Lipiarski


Djordje is part of the A1 Team since 2002. He started in IT CRM at mobilkom austria, switched to Business Sales in 2006, to Business Marketing in 2012 and is now working with product management in Wholesale since April 2016. Claudia started in 2001 as a project manager for finance in a legacy company. This was followed by various stops throughout Business Solutions and the Business Unit Customer.