Executive MBA Bucharest alumnus
What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?
The decision I made after graduating from university as an engineer is the one that has shaped me the most: I left the university town and moved to Bucharest to play basketball (at the time I was a professional basketball player). However, the rights of players weren't that well developed and clear back then, which is why ultimately I radically changed my career plans and applied for a job with a sales company with a view to starting a career in this field.
Did you originally want to pursue a career in a different field? If so, why is it that nothing has come of your plans?
Originally, I wanted to become a basketball coach, but in Romania it is very difficult to make a living from such work.
How and why did you come to work for Hochland?
Hochland started to develop the Sales Department at the end of 2003. I joined the company as Regional Sales Manager in June 2004. Being part of the team from the word go, as it were, was a great opportunity career-wise.
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?
One month after graduating, I was promoted to the position of Deputy General Manager of Hochland Romania. With the Executive MBA, the company invested in my knowledge and skills, helping me to prepare for the next step in my career—i.e. for taking up this post.
What was your biggest professional/personal success?
My biggest professional success is for sure my current position as Deputy General Manager of Hochland Romania. My biggest personal success is linked to a hobby that is very dear to me: in 2011, our sailing boat team, “Five for Fighting”, finished second in the championship.
What are your goals for the coming year? Your goals in general? Is there still something you absolutely want to do?
My professional goal is to further develop the Hochland brand and business in Eastern Europe. Personally speaking, I intend to complete the RYA skipper course and obtain the highest sailing boat license.
What do you consider a “great luxury“?
Having enough time to spend with my family and friends.
What was the last book/movie you really enjoyed?
Most recently, I enjoyed “Team Spirit”, a book written by Pete Goss , and “Argo”, a movie directed by Ben Affleck.
How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership? Has it been influenced by a leadership role-model?
Be passionate, work hard and play hard—have fun, don't make excuses, don't lie, don't cheat. As for leadership role-models, two persons have inspired me: Viorel Ognean and Sergiu Mititelu—both were my bosses during the last 13 years: Viorel at Johnson Wax (the previous company I worked for) and Sergiu right here at Hochland Romania.
How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?
I go running almost every day early in the morning; I love to cook for my family and friends on weekends; and during the summer, I love to travel by sailing boat.
If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
LeBron James (a professional basketball player for the Miami Heat) during a game day—to play one game in the NBA.
Why would you recommend the Executive MBA Bucharest of the WU Executive Academy? What did you like the most?
Because it is an excellent program with outstanding lecturers who use excellent teaching methods and have a lot of business experience.
Besides the module in the US — Strategies for a Global Company — I liked the following two best: Advanced Financial Management for Global Markets taught by Prof. Chuck Kwok and Competitive Analysis and Strategy taught by Prof. Dr. Björn Ambos.
I would spend my last money on: