In this short interlude episode we get to know Stefan Loncar and Loncom Consulting who have been sponsoring the podcast. As well as making data sexy Stefan has some strong opinions on Australian immigration, Czech tourists and Mexican cartels. Note to self - don't watch a whole season of Narcos on the flight to Mexico, it will make you paranoid.
Your stories includes suggestions for a new episode format from Chris Tagg (Coventry University) and a jingle request from Brendan McGerty (Griffith College Dublin). As you wish! Thanks as always for listening and supporting the show.
Tales from the Departure Lounge is a Type Nine production for The PIE www.thepienews.com
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Hi everyone, and welcome to our Frequent Flyers Club. This is our monthly interlude episode, where we talk about other people's stories. And, today we're really happy to be joined by Stephan Kore from Long Kong Consulting for Education. Hi Stephan.Stefan:
Thank you guys for having me.Nick:
I've been getting messages while you've been sponsoring the podcast about who Lancom actually are. I keep saying you're the best hidden secret because actually you've been working with agents, for a while now.Stefan:
Yeah. I would say a small team doing great stuff. Basically what we do is work with clients from multiple industries and education is very big for us, I have some personal in. Involvement being an international student coming to the UK but simply explained, We're an IT company that builds CRM systems so we are the communicators of data. Data can be quite messy, people don't know how to interpret it correctly for the businesses. So that's where we come in place.Nick:
Andy kind of fell asleep as soon as you said the word data. this must be a common reaction it's not the sexiest of businesses.Stefan:
For us it's exciting. You know, the more complex situation, the messier the data is, the more fun it is for myself and the team behind it. Because we are the ones,, cleaning it up, we are the ones making sense out of it, clustering it, crunching it making it useful for you know, universities, agents. That's what we have a lot of experience.Andy:
I always say that the data that most companies have is pretty patchy. A student application has got a huge amount of rich data in it that. You can use in various ways.Stefan:
especially in large operations, data helps you decipher where to focus your activities, where to focus, your budgets, your financials, Data gives you that. Harsh truth and it's crucial, so important in decision making.Andy:
I've just thought of a strap line for your company, Stefan.Stefan:
It could be Lancom Consulting for Education. Making data sexy.Stefan:
right? If I can do that, I think I would be the only data person in the world who can make data sexy.
I know you have had a few approaches around. People looking at either Salesforce or HubSpot, but having trouble getting the best out of some of these things or wanting to move to some of this softwareStefan:
I think that the biggest problem across all industries, not just in education, is that you hear about these great platforms and then you just go and buy'em, and it's like this amazing asset to the business and nobody's using it, but properly or in the right way, in the large. Businesses, they have multiple. Softwares, they have multiple platforms. They don't talk to each other. So you have all of these amazing things but you still do things manually. What we try to do is connect all of these pieces together of each of the businesses, having the beautiful reports and dashboards very simple. Yeah. and now even when I'm saying it, it, it is boring what I'm saying, isn't it? I think, yeah. I'm gonna, I'm gonna fall asleep, but hey,Nick:
You make, you make data sexy. That's.Stefan:
You mentioned that you were an international student. Tell us a little bit about that journey.Stefan:
originally I'm from Croatia, small country in Europe, only 4 million people. Beautiful country. Everybody knows it's for tourism, of course. When I was 18, the opportunity was there to go to the uk. Until now, every time somebody asked me, what's the best decision you ever made, and that was to move to the UK because not only the education was so good. But it also right now unlocked so many opportunities of, running your own business,Nick:
I actually knew you when you were a student, so. To now have you sponsoring the podcast with a successful business. it makes me feel quite proud, but also quite old.Stefan:
Yeah. Like a proud dad, huh?
This is a travel podcast and we like a good story. Have you got any good travel stories?Stefan:
So I can take you to my first trip to Mexico back in 21. My cousin, who's a flight attendant with one of the big airlines, she suggested, let's go Mexico. She was flying from Qatar. And I arrived and she messages me because she went through Miami. It was like I'm five hours late. Oof. Okay. Mexico. First time, we all watch Narcos on Netflix and this and that, and I'm a little bit scared, you know, but I'm not showing it. So she drops me message saying, you'll have to wait for us, go sort out the car, go sort out everything. So got the car. I was tired. Jetlagged, there was already one in the morning, so I was like, okay, I'm gonna just sleep here in this remote parking lot. While they land. And I fall asleep half an hour later. I can hear this noise and it's like, whoa, what's going on? So I see 40 people it is only my car in parking lot, 40 people coming towards my car. Oh, what is gonna happen here? And they started running towards me. I was like, think, think quickly on the throttle and just escaped. I was, there was the fastest route drove ever. And then I just saw they were just running for the bus. Okay. Okay. Everything's alright. But the story continues. we flew to Cancun, but we were staying in Tulum, which is hour and a half away. So we go to Tulum, and it was Festival de la Muertos. We have all the paint all over, so all day, pretty much partying, going to this festival. It was awesome. So we come back to the car after the festival and in the window we saw letter R written with like nail polish. And another friend that was speaking Spanish, she says Robar, which means Rob Steel. So we thought that somebody came to the car, basically wrote that R, and said to some other pe, steal this car. Whoa. Scared again. And we managed to calm down. We slept somewhere again in a carpark. So I wasn't even sleeping in the accommodation for the first two nights. I was sleeping in the car in a carpark. But bear in mind, we had all the face paint, everything for the festival. All of a sudden, police. They turn on the lights. I come out, he just looks at me, full of black paint all over my face. And he's like, what are you doing? I'm used to, police officers, asking, get me some money and then I'll let you go. But this one was so open and say, how much do you have? Let see how much do you have? So in 24 hours, I thought that I was gonna be attacked. Then I thought that somebody wants to rob a car, which in the end, somebody In the rent the car wrote that, ah, just to mark the car. We found that out later, And then also the police officer stopped me and openly asked for a bribe in 24 hours.Nick:
Really, you just needed a good night's sleep. You got so paranoidStefan:
How much narcos were you watching on that flight?Stefan:
I watched the whole bloody season of it, so that was mistake number one,Andy:
Would you recommend Mexico to our listeners?Stefan:
hundred hundred percent. After those. 24 hours and then two days recovering from all the stress. I mean, it's one of the best destinations I've ever been, Don't watch cus on the flight.
Nick, have we had anything into the sick bag this month?Nick:
we've had a message from Chris Tag who has recently moved back to the uk. and he's suggesting that we do a special couples episode where we get people who have got together from the industry like a Mr. And Mrs. Kind of show, I think.Andy:
This is all these people that pretended on trips that they weren't together, and then magically somehow got engaged and publicly became a coupleNick:
it's a new dynamic, isn't it? Having, two people together, as guests at the same time.Andy:
How much of their recruitment strategy was swayed by where their partner was going, their hotel choices, their flights? Mm-hmm. I'm excited about that.Nick:
It's a great idea.Andy:
I got a message from Brendan McGurty he sent me a voice message and, he was in a, an immigration queue and He's annoyed that he doesn't have any status with the airline that he's flying with. And he said, you should make a jingle about that, about having no status and feeling like absolute scum. so I'm gonna work on that and maybe do a little blues number, I think.Nick:
A blues version of, not being in the priority queue.Andy:
And got no gold card.Nick:
I've had quite a few messages around. People making friends through the podcast. So Jane Gillum who had reached out to Marco Ramez, because she lives in the Liverpool area, and that's obviously where he went to the Eurovision. But, she going out to Australia for the conference. she wanted to meet up with him and make friends with Marco. He was a very popular guest I think.Andy:
also connecting Selma Tui, episode two, who is Icelandic, as we heard with yak Van Klein, who has an Icelandic mother.Andy:
Changing people's lives, building networks, connecting people. This is not what we expected.
Stephanie, have you ever been to Australia or New Zealand?Stefan:
No, not yet.Nick:
So this batch of episodes have all been about guests from New Zealand or Australia because the PI Live is having the conference there Stephan, you are a huge Novak Kovich fan, so you have some issues with, immigration in Australia, don't you?Stefan:
Yeah. Big Novak Jock Rich fan. Wasn't very happy with everything that happened for that Australian Open. But was it this year? Uh, the sense of reward when Jock lifted the trophy. after they didn't allow a in was one of the most satisfying thingsNick:
I'm now starting to worry that I'm not gonna get through customs and, passport control with my visa.Andy:
Don't take any fruit or animals with you. That's my advice.Stefan:
Or a tennis record that can maybe get you banned Also.Nick:
And another theme has been deadly animals. Is there anything that can kill you in Croatia?Stefan:
My father tells me that in this nice villa that he rented for the whole family, they saw the deadliest spider in Europe. the spider is the size of a hand. It's so big. So you can still find those in Croatia, but I think nights out are deadly in Croatia. That's more than animals. We have a checks at least 10 to 15 a year die in Croatia. So checks as tourists, they do mental stuff. So how do you say in English that inflatable thing that you can lie on. Then you swim in the sea. So basically a lot of checks every single summer, the same thing. Always. They inflate this, whatever the thing is, and they decide, should I swim to Italy from Croatia? And then they just go and do it, so of course somewhere in the middle of the sea, you know, the wave hits him or whatever, they realize that Italy, by swimming, it's maybe 24 hours swimming. Then our special teams have to go and save him in the middle of the sea.Andy:
They should, they should have checked the diff, the dif.Nick:
what you're talking about is a LiloStefan:
Why of all people are cze doing this? You surely just mean tourists.Stefan:
No, no, no, no checks. There was a campaign, a marketing campaign by the Czech government that literally said be careful in Croatia. And they had posters all over Czech Republic Orana. this is a true story.Andy:
If there are any checks listening, please get in touch. We, we wanna speak to you.Nick:
Need a balanced view on this. I think.
Stephan, thanks so much for coming on. It's been great having you. Thanks ever so much for supporting the podcast and sponsoring us, and, uh, we'll see you around.Stefan:
Thank you guys. Thank you for the opportunity. I'm looking forward to the future episodes.Nick:
Stephan making data sexy.
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