Career Story: Andrea Sigl, Senioren-Wohnhaus Hellbrunn

November 24, 2014

Professional MBA Social Management alumna

What stages in your professional life have had the greatest impact on you?
I have more than 20 years of experience in health care and social services. As a registered nurse, I practiced in a variety of clinical settings. After a 6-year stint in business administration, I became a nonprofit professional again. At first, I worked in home care; now I head a retirement home. I have a wide range of leadership responsibilities and am particularly interested in process management in health care, organizational development and the observance of human rights in institutional settings.

Did you originally want to pursue a career in a different field? If so, why is it that nothing has come of your plans?
Yes, I intended to become a physicist. As I am still passionate about physics, I always know what's going on at CERN. However, my parents wanted me to take up a more down-to-earth career.

How and why did you come to work with and for senior citizens?
I find it extremely interesting to learn more about the wishes and needs of senior citizens and to work towards ensuring that they are properly met.

What has changed in your career as a result of your MBA degree? How did the program support you in reaching your career goals? What concrete career opportunities have opened up for you?
The basis for decision-making has changed. My decisions are different now because the MBA Social Management has opened up new horizons for me.

What has been your biggest professional/personal success?
Being in a position that allows me to use my wealth of well-tested knowledge in a creative and future-oriented manner.

What are your goals for the coming year? Your goals in general? Is there still something you absolutely want to do?
Professionally speaking, I am very much looking forward to a number of interesting projects in the coming year, including EQalin self-assessment, the construction of a new retirement home and the introduction of senior cohousing. As for my long-term goals, my biggest ambition is to ensure that all institutions for senior citizens observe human rights as a matter of course.

What do you consider a “great luxury”?
Being healthy, finding time for myself and my partner, and being able to make a meaningful difference through my work is what I consider a great luxury.

What was the last book/movie you really enjoyed?
"Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Lisa Randall

She gives an exciting and vivid account of what her fellow physicists do in their labs and think tanks.

How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership? Has it been influenced by a leadership role-model?
My motto is: "Primus inter pares"

I am convinced that treating others as equals rather than subordinates is a sine qua non for ensuring that the people whom you look after are no longer "at the bottom of the pecking order." Emmerich Talos is my role model in this context. He has made me understand that you do not need a hierarchy to be truly great.

How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?
I enjoy dancing, diving and traveling as well as having a good time with my family and friends..

If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Stephen Hawking. I admire him for not letting his physical impairment stop him from being a mental genius.

Why would you recommend the Professional MBA Social Management of the WU Executive Academy? What did you like the most?
The mix of business administration, leadership, project management, quality assurance and a theoretical grounding in different academic fields—combined with the fundamentals of social work—provides a solid basis for achieving leadership success in health care and social services.


My motto in life:
"What is positive about it?"
I can laugh about:
First and foremost I can laugh about myself and everyday life.
Mistakes I am most likely willing to forgive:
Human shortcomings
I would spend my last money on:
a diving trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.
In 20 years I will be:
look back on a full and satisfying life and engage in all the interesting things I do not currently have time for.

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