Career Story: Gregor Vogrin, GCI Management LLC

January 10, 2014

Professional MBA Finance alumnus

What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?
Many years ago, I almost died in an accident. This makes you think even harder about what is and isn’t important in life. 

Did you originally want to pursue a career in a different field? If so, why is it that nothing has come of your plans?
I dreamed of becoming a ski racer, a surfing instructor or a pilot. No, joking aside, I always wanted to go into consulting.

How and why did you come to work for GCI Management?
GCI is a traditional management consultancy with an international growth strategy. I always wanted to work for an organization that grows dynamically and rewards its employees for being entrepreneurially-minded and working independently. No doubt the fact that a friend and former colleague of mine helped me get my foot in the door also contributed to my joining GCI.

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?
A lot. The Senior Manager has become a Managing Partner. In consulting, a postgraduate qualification is almost a must once you reach a certain level of seniority. Apart from providing me with an opportunity to update/upgrade my knowledge and skills, the MBA was also an important rung on the ladder of my life. It has made me more compact as a person.

What was your biggest professional/personal success?
Establishing a lastingly successful GCI office in Bucharest has certainly been my biggest professional accomplishment so far.

What are your goals for the coming year? Your goals in general? Is there still something you absolutely want to do?
Setting up GCI's new US office in Denver, Colorado, in an equally successful manner by supporting European and American businesses in coping with special challenges, such as internationalization, business development, performance improvement, finance or M&A. In keeping with this, my short-term goal is to successfully complete the software-consulting projects I am currently working on in Silicon Valley.

What do you consider a “great luxury“?
I know it sounds trite, but in my case it is true: having time on my hands.

What was the last book/movie you really enjoyed?
I watch movies mostly while traveling by plane; in terms of books, I most recently enjoyed "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson. Marvelously entertaining indeed!

How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership? Has it been influenced by a leadership role-model?
It has been influenced by role models who were negative rather than positive. As a consultant, you get to know all sorts of leaders, and in the vast majority of cases there is room for improvement. Am I any better than they are? I don't know. But I do my best to lead by objectives whenever possible. If that doesn't work, however, I can become quite harsh operationally speaking.

How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?
I try to play sports as often as possible. Skiing in Colorado is truly awesome, and in summer I go hiking and biking.

If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Hhm, actually, I am quite happy and wouldn’t want to change places with anyone.

Why would you recommend the Professional MBA Finance of the WU Executive Academy? What did you like the most?
Globalization has come to be the hallmark of our business world, and the program reflects this very well. The program language is English; the faculty of leading experts is very international in its composition, and so is the peer group. If memory serves, our class comprised students from 9 countries. Gaining a global perspective in general, and an Anglo-American one in particular, has been especially valuable for me: when somebody talks about "filing a 10-K" or the "IRS", I no longer need to nod uncertainly while nervously searching Google; instead, I am now able to interact with people on an equal footing. This is important for both me and my clients.


My motto in life:
What can I do for you?
I can laugh about:
… Pinky and the Brain (cartoon).
Mistakes I am most likely willing to forgive:
... unintentional ones, provided they don’t happen too often.
I would spend my last money on:
... the EPIC Pass—the Colorado season ski pass for Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin. Best value for money!
In 20 years I will be:
... be working not because I need to, but because I want to! (To paraphrase Hannes Androsch.)

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