My name is Pal Ujvarosi and I am the person behind Villanovist Consulting. The idea of working for myself has been driven by my interest for exploring different routes in life and working with projects I like and can learn from. While working in permanent employment has always been a solution I felt very comfortable with, I was also ready for trying out a different way of working, facing challenges from a different perspective.
Be it privately or professionally, one of my biggest driving forces in life has always been my curiosity for new ideas, the constant learning. I believe that working in a consultant role gives me just that: an exposure to different projects, within different surroundings, with a variation from where I can keep on learning while giving back to others’ projects.
My professional work experiences are coming from two major players in the first place. I’ve never been a job hopper and I always aimed for contributing my very best up until I felt I still had more to give. I started my first job in the summer of 1998, a moment that could easily be described as the deciding milestone in my development: life prior to that and ever since are two entirely different chapters.
The years since have of course included many other milestones, steps that took me to where I am today and to who I became thanks to those experiences. Like always in life all the moments we are exposed to – good and bad ones – are there for us to learn from, success and mistakes alike.
Here are some of the experiences I gained from the years worked:
- Two full-time employees (see further below).
- Climbed from an Assistant Financial Manager role to Regional Financial Manager positions, both in Europe and in the United States, to later become a Business Controller for various business units within my second employment.
- Main industry experiences from the fields of education, travel and publishing.
- I had my home and office base in the following locations: London, UK; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Lucerne, Switzerland; Boston, Massachusetts, US.
- Worked in a truly international environment, with responsibilities for business units in the following countries: United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, United States, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Belgium. While by no means am I an expert in the details of each country mentioned, I still gained great insights both culturally and business environment-wise.
- Staff responsibilities.
From an Entrepreneurial Success Story within Education and Travel:
The EF Education First years: 1998 to 2006
EF Education is the world’s leading provider of international education and by all signs the company has no intentions at all to slow down. Working eight years in the creative and booming environment provided by one of the most dynamic companies in the world
The company was founded now exactly fifty years ago and out from a basement in southern Sweden it grew to a position to be both the English language training provider both for the Sochi Olympics and for the Brazil 2014 World Cup, just to mention some achievements clearly visible from the outside.
To the Corporate Structure of a Leading Scientific Publisher:
The Elsevier Years: 2008 to 2012
While my years at EF taught me about the characteristics of a dynamic and rapidly expanding business, my Elsevier years were fun and useful times for different reason. Working in a mature business with a well-established corporate structure in a company with several centuries to look back on and with an almost unrivalled position in the scientific publishing field gave me a new perspective on business life.
My experience at Elsevier made me appreciate the complexities of a world-wide organisation in an industry (publishing) that is changing dramatically due to the digital revolution and how to change route while being so established were equally important experiences.
Life Outside of Being in Employment
I am a firm believer that for personal growth you sometimes need to expand your comfort zone and get exposed to new influences. Of course, it’s not equally important for everyone to be drastic about it, but for me it is one of the guiding principles of life to push my boundaries a bit extra. Seeing and learning by being around new places is important for me and because of that travelling is a very crucial part of my life.
Exactly for that reason I decided to take two sabbaticals in between bigger career moves of my life. The two big breaks from “reality” took me out travelling the world. The first time around, during a good part of 2007, I’ve been travelling around in the Asia-Pacific region, with Australia and South-East Asia as the main areas for my explorations. During that trip I visited a good part of Australia (a good chunk of the eastern half), New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. As my first time in that part of the world it was an eye-opener not just because of the beauty of the places, but for the emergence of the new Asia and the circumstances existing there.
In 2012 the travelling was back high on the agenda, this time around with the aim on South America. During almost precisely one year, we visited all 13 countries on the South American continent, from Argentina in the very south to Colombia in the north, almost exclusively via the land route. An important element of the 40,000 kilometres on route was to explore an old dream of mine: to write. How it went? A great experience that still goes in some forms and shapes, and the realisation that being a professional writer likely must be one of the toughest jobs in the world. An added component of the writing was the first exploration into the world of digital media and publishing, a new world to me in practice, but which fascinates me with all the possibilities it gives us today.
A result of the 2012 year’s travels through South America also made me reach the conclusion that I wanted to give my own ideas a go. Having my university degree from a university strongly focused on entrepreneurship it has always been a concept lingering at the back of my head. Upon returning to Amsterdam, we set our mind on developing further the ideas we worked with while travelling.
One of the main projects resulting from it is Art Weekenders, our digital media platform we started and build up further with the goal of creating products around it for the culturally interested traveller. The original seed for the project originates form a desire to explore further the world of digital media and linking it to our passion for travelling, around a topic that we believe both has further potential for growth and that also gives pleasure to me; culture and art.
Being a new field for us it has meant plenty of challenges alongside the satisfactions. Creating an online presence technically speaking is an easy-enough task these days, although making a business out of it involves many challenges. The plan around Art Weekenders is of a long-term character, a project to build slowly upon while working as a freelance-based consultant, that is building further on Villanovist Consulting.
Alongside Art Weekenders I am also busy with other projects, most of them resulting from skills learned while being active online, or concepts that I’ve been interested in for a longer time, like writing. This part of what I’m doing is what I call my ‘passionate basket‘.
- One part of it is related to my writing. I have been developing my writing skills during the past two years and admittedly it’s a process that never ends. For now I have mainly concentrated on travel writing, although longer term my aspirations are to try branch out in different directions as well. I have been taking on assignments already and if you have a need for travel articles from all around the world (I have good knowledge from a long list of countries and cities), please get in touch (more info will come soon).
- I am also gladly offering my services with help with website implementation and design on the WordPress platform. I have experience from setting up many websites and implement designs and furthermore I can point out to you what you really need to do if more advanced help is needed (e.g. I’m not a programmer, I don’t have that kind of skills)>
- I am also offering help with development and guidance around digital content development, be it e-books, presentations or other forms of material, both when it comes to design, writing and technical orientation.
Would you like to get to know me better? Please check out my curriculum vitae on PalUjvarosi.com. What can work even better, call me or ask for a meeting to tell you more about who I am and especially what I can do for you. I promise to always provide the most honest service I can, and carried out to the best of my ability – which I will make sure is always of the highest satisfaction for you as a client as well.