Josef Liška has been working for the chemical plant Syntheisa in Pardubice for more than twenty years. After all, he graduated in organic chemistry from the University of Pardubice. He is at present the managing director and chairman of the board of Synthesia and, as he says, is very grateful for the trust he has been given to lead the company. His message for our students is simple: If you have good ideas and are willing to work hard, you will eventually succeed. Don’t give up and work to improve yourselves.
What did studying at the University of Pardubice, or the Institute of Chemical Technology as it was called at that time, give you?
Primarily, of course, it gave me education in my field, which was organic chemistry. I also gained a lot of experience, met many interesting people and made a lot of friends. My student years were also special because it was the time when the political regime changed. Every one of us has some personal experience of those days as we took part in the student strikes. I like to think back on those years.
What do you think has been the greatest achievement in your career so far?
Every achievement in your career is the greatest one in its own way - when you give your best to find a solution to a problem, your enthusiasm, knowledge and experience; when something turns out well, is a success and makes you happy, be it a product well made, a successfully concluded contract, a good strategic decision or a career promotion.
I’m happy to say that I have experienced many such moments in my twenty-year career in Synthesia. And I am honoured that the owners have confidence in me and entrusted me with the task to lead the company as managing director.
What advice would you give to the students of the University who want to become successful in their professions?
The most important thing is to persevere and keep improving. There are more than enough young, self-confident wannabes who are interested in their own profit more than in their actual skills and knowledge. I’m convinced that when a person shows their worth, convinces their co-workers that they are an asset to the company they work for, that they have good ideas and are willing to work hard, success will come.
There is and always will be demand for well-educated and skilful engineers. I can say, from my own experience, that there will always be enough interesting and well-paid positions for capable and hard-working graduates of technical schools.
What are the possibilities of cooperation between universities and businesses?
I would like to see a stronger connection between universities and industrial companies. This is a very broad topic and I could spend hours talking about it. I think it’s a shame that there are only few instances of good cooperation. Consistent interconnecting of theory and praxis, application of expert knowledge in real life and in production – that is what, in my opinion, helps us as a society move forward.
Ing. Josef Liška
Age: 44 years
Education: Institute of Chemical Technology, Pardubice
Position: managing director and chairman of the board, Synthesia, a.s.
Bc. Věra Přibylová
Department of Promotion and Public Relations of the University of Pardubice