Get to know us: Vedran Devčić, our Project Coordinator

This time we would like to introduce our Project Coordinator, Vedran Devčić from Croatia. Vedran has spent 6 months at GRN between September and March. This has been his first work experience in Prague, and we hope not the last.


Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I was born in 1990 in Varaždin, Croatia where I used to go to primary and secondary school. After finishing secondary school I moved to Zagreb to study sociology at the Center for Croatian studies, University of Zagreb where I also continued with my masters’ studies. I also participated in the Erasmus exchange program at the Corvinus University of Budapest.

What are your plans after finishing your internship at GRN Czech Republic?

I will go back to Croatia to write my thesis and finish my masters. After that I will look around to see what possibilities I have.

Did you have any troubles moving away from home and adapting to a new environment?

In the beginning it was hard for me to realize what I have “left behind”, like my friends, memories, and the mentality; but with time I got used to Prague. I got used to its energy, its people and diversity, which has helped me to live here for the past 6 months.

What brought you to Prague and how do you like it?

After my Erasmus experience I wanted to try something new. I knew that I wanted to have another international experience, but I also knew that I didn’t want to study for exams anymore. I decided to apply for the Erasmus Placement Program, and luckily, I received a positive response from GRN Czech Republic. So far, I have enjoyed Prague and I am looking forward to seeing more of it.

Do you think working at GRN Czech will help you in your professional career?

Yes, for sure. This is a really beneficial experience for me, to live and work in an international environment. Skills, friends, connections and the knowledge which I have gained here can definitely help me in the future.


10 choices :

Coffee or Tea: Tea ( I am a hyperactive person so I don’t think that coffee is a good choice for me )

Morning or Evening: Morning ( I like to do everything in the morning to have the rest of the day free)

Sports or Art: Sports ( I am not a really artistic person)

Dog or Cat: None

Rock or Jazz: Trance ( Rock and jazz are not complex enough as music styles for me)

Vodka or Whiskey: Rakija (It’s stronger and there are always funny memories)

Steak or Soup: Steak (I enjoy eating meat )

Cake or Crisps: Cake (Sugar )

LinkedIn or Facebook: Facebook (there is a bigger variety on FB)

Resume or CV: CV

Get to know us: Richard van Horssen, our new Project Coordinator

This time we would like to introduce our new Project Coordinator, Richard van Horssen from The Netherlands. Richard spends 6 months at GRN between September and March. It’s not his first work experience in Prague, and maybe not the last one…

RichardSo, Richard, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I am a 24 year old student from the Netherlands and always interested in traveling and meeting new people. That is why I am studying International Business and Languages at the Rotterdam Business School and part of this study course there is an internship, which has to be done abroad. Beside this, I’m a huge sports lover, especially football (the European way).

What brought you to Prague and how do you like it?

Last year I worked in Prague and my girlfriend lives here, so obviously I was looking for an internship in Prague. And then I ran into this very interesting and exciting opportunity. Prague is by far the most beautiful city I know and there is always something new to discover. So many beautiful places and views and an infinite amount of bars and restaurants!

What are your main job responsibilities at GRN?

I am mainly a researcher, which means I search for candidates and approach them to find out if they are interested in a position we have available for them. Part of the researching job is finding possible candidates, but also to look for companies that are posting interesting vacancies. For a project I will work with a partner firm in Budapest as well, so that makes it even more international.

Do you think working for GRN will help you in your business career?

Definitely, it’s so good to see the process of a recruitment from another perspective. Moreover, I can improve my communication skills here and there are very good networking opportunities. It’s fascinating to learn how GRN always strives for the perfect match between company and candidate, it’s never a routine job. I have also learned how to enhance my online presence, like how to present yourself on social media.

What is your plan after this internship at GRN?

I’ll return to the Netherlands to continue my studies, but only for one semester because then my next semester abroad is coming up; half a year at a partner university, but where is yet to be decided. The big challenge is that I’ll have to do it completely in German or Spanish (it’s part of the International Business AND Languages study course). Considering my current progress, I’ll go to a German speaking country.

Finally, see his “10 choices” to find out more about him:

Coffee or Tea                                     »Coffee

Morning or Evening                            »Evening

Sports or Art                                       »Sports

Dog or Cat                                          »Cat

Rock or Jazz                                        »Jazz (or techno, I’m Dutch after all…)

Vodka or Whiskey                                »Vodka (lemon vodka!)

Steak or Soup                                      »Steak

Cake or Crisps                                    »nah, neither

LinkedIn or Facebook                          »Facebook

Resume or CV                                      »CV

Get to know us: Siiri Lietu, Social Media Coordinator

Siiri intro picCan you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a 23-year old student from Finland, currently on my 3rd year of HAMK University of Applied Sciences. A year from now, I’m going to be a Bachelor of Business. Before going to university, I was studying clothing design and attending art school, so I really like handicrafts, design and art. Music has always been a big part of my life, I have played piano and a Finnish traditional instrument kantele for many years. 🙂 Thanks to my time in Prague, I have newly found love for traveling. I enjoy exploring new places and I’m always seeking new adventures to take on.

And what are your professional interests?

My major is in Marketing, but this experience abroad has changed my views about what I’d like to do after I graduate. Maybe I’m a bit brainwashed because of reading all the inspirational quotes about doing what I love (:D), but I would like to do something more related to my somewhat artistic background. The best case scenario would be to combine business with it, and that is exactly what I’ll try to do.

What brought you to Prague and how do you like it?

Because I wanted international experience, I decided to take advantage of the Erasmus Program and came here last year to study for one semester. I had dreamed of studying abroad for many years, but . Eventually turned out that I loved Prague so much that I didn’t even want to leave after the 3-month semester finished. 🙂 I started searching for internships and jobs, and then I met Sini, our former Social Media Coordinator in Budapest by a funny coincidence and she told me about the available position at GRN, so here I am!

Did you have any troubles moving away from home and adapting to a new environment?

Not really, since I lived alone in Finland already for few years and I was used to being independent. Of course the transition from a town of 15 000 people where you know everyone, to Prague, where everyone is a stranger, was a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I started enjoying the busier lifestyle of a bigger city and meeting people from all over the world has been extremely eye opening! Czech culture is more similar to Finnish culture than I imagined, so adapting here was not hard at all. Only problems were with the language, and how to deal with everything when the people don’t necessarily even speak English.

What are your main job responsibilities at GRN?

I’m taking care of the social media channels of GRN and everything related to that, such as writing blog posts, reading interesting articles to share, searching for pictures and quotes and so on. I updated the social media strategy of GRN and to came up with new ideas for the future. I was also responsible of finding my successor, which included reviewing CVs, organizing interviews with the potential candidates and dealing with the whole recruitment process until the day that she would arrive.

Do you think working for GRN will help you in your business career?

Definitely. International experience is always valuable and it’s something that I believe will differentiate me from other candidates when I’m searching for a job after graduation. Even if I’ll decide to apply for a completely different job, an internship abroad is a clear sign of internationality and advanced level of English to any employer. Both of them are more and more important in the future job market.

coffee or tea » COFFEE (Before coming to Prague, I didn’t drink either one though! Office has taught me 😉 )
morning or evening » EVENING (Oh how I wish I could decide to be a morning person…)
sports or art » BOTH (I can’t choose only one..both of them are a big part of my life)
dog or cat » CAT (I have two hairy friends waiting for me in Finland)
rock or jazz » ROCK
vodka or whiskey » VODKA
steak or soup » SOUP
cake or crisps » CAKE (No explanation needed!)
linkedin or facebook » FACEBOOK
resume or CV » CV

Get to know us: Sini Suutari, Social Media Coordinator

Today, we are introducing our Social Media Coordinator, Sini, who is finishing her internship at GRN soon. Sini has spent here almost 6 months. She has something to say not only about how she enjoyed the time in Prague, but also some interesting facts about her home country – Finland. Did you know that Finnish people are crazy about coffee?!

Sini Suutari

Dobrý den, Sini. So, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Moi kaikki – as we tend to say hello to everybody in my native language 🙂 I am Sini, turning (shockingly!) a quarter of a century this year. I will spend few more weeks here at GRN as the Social Media Coordinator. Originally I come from southern Finland, although the last 5 years (before packing my bags and moving here) I lived in the most western part of Finland: in the windiest, but luckily also one of the sunniest cities in Finland – Vaasa. I’ve studied at the University of Vaasa, with a Major in Communications and Media Studies and I’ll graduate with a Master of Arts right after this internship.

In addition to being passionately interested in social media and online corporate communications, in my free time I’m a big dog lover, kind of coffee addicted, and continuously searching for the balance between exercising (gym, aerobics, jogging, inline skating, skiing – pretty much anything) and enjoying tasty food (especially sweet desserts). I am also carrying my heavy camera almost everywhere with me and aiming to improve myself as a photographer.

What brought you to Prague? And how do you like the city?

Coming to Prague was actually quite a surprise, not only for myself, but for everyone around me. I never thought about moving abroad, but I found an interesting Social Media internship offer from GRN and decided to apply for it on the spur of the moment. After all, Social Media experience from abroad could be something very useful for my future career and headhunting sounded like a completely new and interesting area to me. In addition to that, I knew that living abroad would improve my English skills and provide me the international experience I didn’t have yet.

Castle by night, picture Sini Suutari

Prague Castle, photo by Sini Suutari

Well, now here we are and I have had the time of my life! I think all of my friends already know my opinion about Prague – or like I tend to call it – “Pragadise”. The beauty of the city and all the buildings are amazing! Like last on Wednesday we took a walk with Julia (our new intern) to the top of the Petrin Hill and then headed down to the Castle and back to Mala Strana – it still takes my breath away to see the views from all these „sightseeing“ places that there’s no shortage in Prague. Especially the summer time here was wonderful. Restaurants (food in general), coffee places and pubs are much cheaper than in Finland – although I have nothing against cooking, it’s always so nice to sit down with friends and enjoy the atmosphere and people around you.

There are lots of differences between central Europe and Nordic countries. Did you have any difficulties getting along with the new culture?

When I came to Prague, I really didn’t have any expectations so I wouldn’t say I had much difficulties getting along with the culture. Probably the fact, that the atmosphere here at the office is so international, also helped. But of course, as much as I love Prague, there are some things that I miss from back home (proper filter coffee machines, for example 🙂 ). I guess Communism has left its mark on people here and sometimes I do realise just how differently Czech and Finnish people think about certain things, or how differently the whole system works.

What have you found the most interesting at GRN so far?

This is a tough one. I could mention so many things! But I guess one of the most interesting thing was to learn what’s headhunting all about. And also I’ve learnt so much how to present myself and be more confident as a future professional.

As GRN’s Social Media Coordinator, what do you think about using Social Media in Recruitment nowadays?

I think Social Media in Recruitment is the present and the future. LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn. Especially young people: if you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, take the time and do it now (firstly, you may want to check some advice by following us! 😉 ). Maybe creating the profile is not something that will pay off immediately, but it’s a fact that more and more recruiters are searching and checking candidates on LinkedIn and via other Social Media channels. And, social networking is very often, after all, the key for success to move forward and reach higher goals in your career. Who knows, you may even end of finding your dream job offer on LinkedIn.

What is your plan after this internship at GRN?

My original plan was to go back to Finland and go for my second Masters degree (major in HR Management), but the time here has changed my views on some things. Now at the moment I am focusing on finding a job related to Corporate communications. I’m excited to see where on earth, literally, I’ll find myself in few months. So, now ideally I will gain some more working experience and maybe later finish the M.Sc. in HR alongside working. We’ll see!

What would you tell to your successor?

I will probably tell her a lot of things – are you ready to take notes, Siiri? 😉 There will be two weeks overlap with my successor before I finish working and I will be happy to help her to have a nice boost for the beginning at GRN. Generally speaking, I would like to tell her to use the time wisely – months will pass like a blink! Be active, creative and keep yourself up to date with what’s happening in the field of Social Media. Learn as much as possible to take the most out of your internship. After your time at GRN, you’ll look back and realize how much you did for yourself and your future career.


Sini’s 10 quick choices:

coffee or tea » COFFEE  (the Finns are the heaviest coffee users in the world. Everyone at GRN knows that I am not an exception!)
morning or evening » EVENING (I’d love to be a morning person but it just doesn’t seem to work like that)
sports or art » SPORTS (I love both doing and watching sports)
dog or cat » DOG (Dogs = almost like a lifestyle rather than just a hobby)
rock or jazz » ROCK
vodka or whiskey » VODKA
steak or soup » STEAK (although, eating lot of soups in Czech Republic have made me like them more)
cake or crisps » CAKE
linkedin or facebook » FACEBOOK (I’ve learnt a lot about LinkedIn during the internship, but at the moment FB is still more my cup of “coffee”)
resume or CV » CV

Thank you Sini for the interview! We’ll enjoy having you around for a couple of weeks more and then wish you all the best of luck in your future! But of course you are still the leader of the GRN Czech Alumni team 😉

Get to know us: Přemysl Gubani, Senior Recruitment Consultant


Today we’re introducing our newest member of the team: Senior Recruitment Consultant, Přemysl Gubani. He is a Czech, living in Prague. Přemysl started working for GRN Czech this fall. After reading his interview you’ll probably realize what a very “serious” person we’re dealing with!

Hi Přemysl! First, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I finished my studies with the department of Educational Science on the Faculty of Arts. So as a young educational scientist who also loves money, I had to think about my future life (science ≠ money; work with children ≠ money; but both make me happy). I made a quick decision to find an amazing job where I could earn enough money and still have free time to work with children and teachers. And so I started with a small personal agency and found a new passion: networking! My passions are focused in: education science, teaching, working with children, networking and money. 🙂

In my free time, I cooperate with the NGO Projekt Odyssea where I work with school classes helping them improve the climate of well-being (based on group dynamics, prevention of bullying programs, etc.).

What brings you to GRN?
Interesting enough, Michael called me and invited me for short chat. Well as it turned out that was good timing, as I had been at a crossroads in deciding what would be my next career step: Stay within agency recruitment or explore a whole new world behind “the mirror” – headhunting. As you can see, I made my choice.

How do you like working with GRN as “Senior Recruitment Consultant”?
I am totally addicted to coffee. Success in headhunting depends on information and active connections in one’s network. So to gain information, you have to have a large network and strong relationships, and this is built by personal interactions. So in conclusion – you have to have a lot of appointments to be successful. And appointments mean? Coffee of course! 🙂 (this is also the reason why I have so many meetings out of the office)

Well that’s quite clever! What is the best part of your job? What’s the most challenging part?
The best part? It’s easy, getting a new project is the best. From there, the next part is when I collect information about the position and meet new people/new connections. Then of course there is the payday. 😉 The most challenging part of this work is simply – persistence. Oh, and never losing my small red notebook! 🙂


Oh yes, THE notebook. One more question: What do you think is the most important quality/characteristic of a candidate?
It depends on the project, but in general, I’d say passion and a deep understanding of the field. But that deep understanding depends on the candidate’s ability to explain that to me.

Last but not least – let’s take a look at Přemysl’s “10 quick choices”:

coffee or tea » COFFEE  (I love meetings and every meeting is connected with cup of coffee)
morning or evening » EVENING (I hate my zombie mode)
sports or art » SPORTS
dog or cat » Both! (I prefer dogs but cats suit my lifestyle better)
rock or jazz » ROCK  (Punk-rock!)
vodka or whiskey » VODKA
steak or soup » STEAK
cake or crisps » CAKE
linkedin or facebook » LINKEDIN
resume or CV » CV

Thank you for the introduction, Přemysl! GRN Czech is happy to have you on the team!

How it all started?

michael Michael Rainey, 51, is the founder and Managing Partner of GRN Czech. It’s been 10 years since the company was established. Today Michael will tell us a little bit how he ended up in (then) Czechoslovakia from California, USA, and even more challenging, started a business here during those quite difficult times of the early 90s.

Dear Michael – you’re an American, who has been living and working in Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic since 1991. What brought you to Europe just after the end of the communist period?

I came here on a holiday and after being here for 2 weeks, I was so taken by not only the beauty of the city, but the wonderful energy there was all around.  People were so positive, everything was alive & buzzing, and most apparent there was opportunity all around.

What were the main obstacles and the main opportunities in the CEE (Central & Eastern European) region in the 1990s?

The main obstacles that I readily remember were the lack of services and goods, and most important the red tape and bureaucracy to get almost anything done.  Being a foreigner, not speaking Czech – this all added up, made for a tough challenge.  But as to the main opportunities —- where ever you looked there was the opportunity to do “something” that just wasn’t here. Along with a friend, we decided that there was a gap in meeting the HR needs of the many foreign companies then beginning to enter the market. So began the launch of my first recruitment group.

What did you do before GRN Czech was founded in 2003?

As I mentioned before, in 1991 I co-founded the recruitment group Personnel Select.  My partner and I took that from our first office here in Prague, to 11 offices in 8 countries – focused on the CEE region.  We sold this in 1996 to a multi-national recruitment group that was looking for a foothold in the CEE Region, which Personnel Select gave them.  For 3 years I then worked for V.C.C. as the V.P. for European Operations.  Finally in 1999 I came back to the Recruitment business, purchasing a small recruitment group here in Prague that eventually was merged into GRN Czech from 2003.

GRN Czech is “a boutique executive search and recruitment firm specializing in Mid to Executive level searches” as we can read on GRN’s LinkedIn introduction. How has the company developed during its 10-years journey?

When we started GRN Czech, as it is today, our main task and goal was to not be just one of the many tired, run-of-the-mill recruitment agencies, churning out lists from their “databases”.  Instead it was our view that we needed to address the exact needs of the client — to really get the best candidates in the market for any given assignment.  And in order to deliver on that, we knew that running advertisements would not bring those people in — rather we had to go out and directly identify and attract them.  Additionally we also knew that we had to be a partner to anyone of these candidates that we were approaching — whether or not the role we approached them about was a fit for them at that time or not; we knew that we were building a quiet but efficient network.  These candidates know that we are there when they were ready for their next step, knowing that they can also count on us to advise them accurately and fairly regarding their career future.

So for the past 10 years, we have developed down that path, partnering with the professionals we work with on both sides of the ”fence” so to speak.  Our clients and our candidates know that we are only here to make the right fit, never forcing nor wanting either side to be let down. So we are happy being a “boutique” search firm, quietly and efficiently helping our clients; being there when they need the best advice and service.

That’s where GRN Czech is today and it seems to have a bright future ahead of it. In the second part of Michael’s interview we will hear more about the exciting field of headhunting itself.

Get to know us: Skye, project coordinator

GRN Czech has been offering internship positions already for 10 years. The first intern joined our team in 2003, and since then interns from France, Spain, Canada, India, Germany, Russia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Finland and Czech Republic have complemented the team. All together we have had roughly 35 interns learning something new about the world of headhunting.

At the moment our interns are from – pretty exotic, but still very different countries – Vietnam and Finland. Skye, our sun loving, energetic project coordinator, introduces herself today. Sini, our current social media project coordinator from Finland, will tell about herself a little bit later. Skye, by the way, is the second Asian intern in GRN Czech.


Hi Skye! Could you please tell us a little bit of yourself and your backround?

Hi everybody! I’m Skye Pham, from Vietnam, 21 years old. I am currently doing my internship at GRN Czech Republic. I have been here for 3 months now. Before moving to Prague for my internship, I had great time being an ERASMUS exchange student at Ceske Budojevice – other city in Czech Republic. I am an undergraduate at Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland, majoring in International Business.

I am a huge fan of travelling, that’s why I keep moving to new places. I cannot imagine myself being stuck in any place. Moreover, I believe that learning from people is the most interesting way to gain knowledge. That is the reason why I love making friends with people from many different backgrounds and cultures. Everyone has a story to tell.

What actually brings you Prague and GRN?

I am such a Prague lover. As I mentioned above, before applying for this internship at GRN, I was an ERASMUS student in Ceske Budejovice for 4 months. During that time I managed to visit Prague several times and got some new friends who currently are living in Prague. My friends showed me some interesting places in Prague, told me tons of stories about Czechoslovakia and communism in the past. This is always an interesting topic for me as I was born and growing up in a communist country.

I started applying for some internships in Czech Republic in May and accidentally, I read the advertisement of internship at GRN on the internet. This internship was appealing to me because I had no experiences about HR and recruiting. It was something really new that I wanted to try. I’m so glad I made it. It‘s cool to see myself as a learner and traveller at the same time.

Let’s take a peek to your professional side. What is your dream profession?

I don‘t have any definition of my dream job – yet. I suppose that is something you will happily do for the rest of your life? I think I need to experience and come over more challenges to see what I like the most. It is always tough to know how to make the best and right decisions. Now, after working at GRN for a while, I have became interested in recruiting and headhunting. On my view, headhunting is a combination of sales, communication, human resources management. The field is also related to psychology. I think one option for me might be working as an recruitment consultant. I know it is not easy, but I see myself as a young energetic person – I have enough time and eagerness to do it.

On the other hand, also the working environment needs to be taken into consideration. Basically, I like learning and doing something new, and I also like making friends with people. Feeling comfortable with people around me is a MUST in my working place.

So, you are staying in GRN until Christmas. What have you learnt during your internship so far?

I have been here at GRN for almost 3 months already. It sometimes surprises me when I look back at myself 3 months ago. I‘ve been working on several projects with my supervisors and after each project, I have gained new knowledge. Most of the new things are related to recruitment and human resource management. I am getting to know the process of recruiment, how consultants offer service to the clients, how to sort CVs and conduct an interview with potential candidates. From those lessons, I have learnt some better ways to communicate with people, learnt how improve my CV and I know how to deal with interviews. It‘s so interesting! Moreover, my main duty has been doing research by looking for clients and candidates in some specific fields. Thus, I have got a clearer image of those industries. I also made some marketing material for a new product in Czech Market and I learnt a lot about creating product presentations for different targets as well as managing product data files.

Last “serious” question, related to your future. What are your plans after finishing your internship in GRN?

I will finish my internship at GRN in December. After that I will go back to Finland to finish my study and write my thesis. Hopefully I‘ll graduate in December 2014. I am hoping to find an another internship somewhere else to get more experiences and improve my skills. After graduating, I will probably apply for an University to carry out a Master degree in management or marketing. So it seems I have a 4-year plan for myself, right? 🙂

Nevertheless, whatever I do, the most important part of my plan is  to keep moving forward. I simply prefer to see myself getting better than getting older.

ImageSkye enjoying the sunshine in natural reserve “Divorka Sarka” in Prague. Picture by Sini Suutari.

Finally,  check out Skye’s “10 quick choices”:

coffee or TEA (You know I am Asian. 😀 )
morning or EVENING
sports or ART (I’m not that sporty girl :/ )
DOG or cat
ROCK or JAZZ (I love both of them)
LIQUOR or whiskey (Jameson on Wednesday knocked me down. )
STEAK or soup
cake or CRISPS
linkedin or FACEBOOK
resume or CV

Here at the office, we definitely know you as “a tea girl”! Thank you dear Skye for the interview! 🙂