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Career Story: Gertrude Suschko, Maresi Austria

March 14, 2016

Global Executive MBA alumna

What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?

Realizing that you never reach the end of your professional learning curve but constantly need to acquire new skills is something that has, without a doubt, had a lasting and profound impact on who I am. For me, lifelong learning is thus not just a buzzword but the cornerstone of my career.

Did you originally want to pursue a career in a different field?

I wanted to become an interpreter. Ultimately, however, my desire to be a creator rather than a transmitter was too strong, which is why I have ended up using my language skills in the context of pursuing a career in international business.

How and why did you come to work for Procter & Gamble?

I absolutely wanted a job in sales. Procter & Gamble's portfolio of strong brands very much appealed to me. Most of all, I liked the company’s American mindset, i.e. its flat organizational structure and its "leadership" culture, which is extremely strong. Working in such an environment has taught me that you can influence, and are responsible for, the outcomes you achieve.

What has changed in your career as a result of your MBA degree?

Since September 2013, I have held the position of managing director at Maresi Austria. The MBA program has helped me develop the broad-based knowledge you need in a job where you have overall responsibility for a business. Obviously, what makes such a program particularly beneficial is that you bring a lot of real-world experience to the table and that the theoretical input and the practical know-how complement each other perfectly, providing you with an incredible wealth of inspiration.   

What was your biggest professional/personal success?

I very much believe that reaching goals requires a joint effort. Therefore, building teams who support each other, join forces in pursuing a common objective and have a great deal of fun along the way has always been my biggest success.

What are your goals for the coming year?

I intend to help pave the way to Central Europe for our strong Austrian brands. 

What do you consider a “great luxury”?

Spending a wonderful summer's day on a lounger in the garden with an exciting book to read.

What was the last book you really enjoyed?

I would find it extremely hard to enjoy just one book. Rather, I let many books inspire me to learn more and more about a wide variety of subjects.

How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership?

Reaching goals is important to me. This requires teams who feel intrinsically motivated to attend to their tasks. Hence, I am eager to create an environment that fosters intrinsic motivation.

How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?

By spending time in nature.

If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I would not want to change places with anyone.

Why would you recommend the Global Executive MBA? What did you like the most?

Because it is an invaluable source of knowledge and inspiration that you can tremendously benefit from, provided you take advantage of all the opportunities that open up.

Wordrap

My motto in life:
Carpe diem.
I can laugh about:
Animal videos that are fun to watch.
Mistakes I am most likely willing to forgive :
Mistakes can always happen; what really matters is what you do once you are aware of them.
I would spend my last money on:
Making a great trip.
In 20 years I will:
Look back and hopefully be proud of what I have achieved.

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