Kosara Dangic-Melentijevic, an International Business Studies graduate, now runs an award-winning craft brewery in Serbia.
Tell us about your journey from graduation to where you are now.
My first job after graduation was in an import export company working between France and Serbia. Following that, I received an exciting offer from Africa Report to be a producer of business reports for the Middle East and Africa. I really enjoyed meeting different people and having the opportunity to travel extensively while working. However, due to some family changes I needed to spend more time in Serbia, so I began working as a freelance economic writer for various foreign companies.
When I met my husband he was working on telecommunication projects in Africa. We always had in our minds that we wanted to start something completely new and, in 2012, we started to think about opening the first craft brewery in Serbia. We share a passion for food and drink so this came very naturally to us. I started working on business and marketing development, only by word of mouth and social media, without any paid articles or adverts. We opened the doors of our brewery in February 2014, after completing the production part in only 10 months. In the first year Kabinet Brewery received a Grand Prix for the best packaging in Serbia; each label is created by a different designer. Furthermore, one of our 30 different beers was voted the best beer in Serbia. We also brewed three beers with the world famous Danish brewery Mikkeller. Kabinet is the first local artisan beer to be exported into 15 countries.
What are your future plans?
Finalisation of the Kabinet Brewery’s taproom and creating even more interesting craft beers. One product we’re working on is Pivolada – a beer-flavoured jam with spices, created by a renowned chef, as we want to promote craft beer and food.
How did your studies at Regent’s impact on you professionally and personally?
My studies made me very adaptable to different environments and situations. In my opinion, EBS’s biggest strengths are the Erasmus year abroad, obligatory internship experience, and various case studies, which all prepare you for today’s competitive global environment and real life obstacles. My favourite optional subject was Planning a New Venture, which became very useful in later years. EBS is also an amazing mix of cultures which shape your interpersonal experience - so important in today's business.
What is your fondest memory of Regent’s?
For me, it was the amazing setting in Regent’s Park where you can spend your days either learning or just relaxing after classes. I also loved semesters abroad and working while studying, as both helped me experience the challenges and rewards of real life.
What advice would you give to recent graduates starting out in their careers?
From my experience it is good to have experience in both big and small companies and in various fields, especially if you are planning to open your company someday. Be honest with yourself and what your strengths and weakness are, so that you can use them to your advantage in your job. Finally, dream big and plan!
What does the Spirit of Regent’s mean to you?
Cosmopolitan, adventurer, learning by doing; for me these are the main ideas that Regent’s stands for.
Find out more about Kabinet Brewery at www.kabinet.rs