You're using the Facebook in-app browser. Please open the page in a normal browser to have the best experience.
x

Combining Business and Science with the MBA

May 19, 2020

The path from quality management to entrepreneur

Can you, please, share with us your career development until now? What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?

The stages in my life with the great impact were always driven by changes in my environment. Hence, one of the biggest impacts in my life was my move to the UK. I spent over 5 years in Oxford at the University. Leaving home at the age of 23 made me re-evaluate my way of thinking at that time. There, I learnt to think-out-of the box and that everything is possible as long as you work it.

On my first job back in Austria I learnt about GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and quality management in the pharma industry. Until now, I benefit from this knowledge in my daily business life. After that, I soon became business manager for one of the Business Areas at Siemens Healthineers. There, I had the possibility to get to know different healthcare systems all across Europe. Additionally, I experienced responsibility of leadership and also how corporates work, e.g., understanding what customers want and what the market needed. Being a pure scientist at the beginning of my professional career, I soon realized that having a solid understanding of economics is crucial to ensure long-term business success. Hence, the MBA has been important to balance out my knowledge.

After some years at Siemens Healthineers, I decided to take a different path: I wanted to establish my own company, which I then did together with my co-founder Nikolaus Gasche. After quite some brainstorming and groundwork we officially founded myBioma in November 2018. The company is so far the expert in the area of gut microbiome analysis. Since April 2020, we are also the first microbiome company globally that is ISO certified (9001:2015 and 13485:2016). Starting my own company has been the best experience in life and also had the greatest impact on my life. It is fun, hard work and every day is completely different.

Did you originally want to pursue a different career? If so, what made you change your plans?

Although I never had a strict plan for my career, I have always been eager to learn and find out new things. Realizing in 2017, that I would like to have my own company was rather unexpected and took some time to follow through with it. Finally, it took over an entire year until the company myBioma was founded. Now, my company enables me to combine my passions - science and economics - on a daily basis. We are now revolutionizing the field of microbiome analysis using cutting-edge technologies while at the same time contributing to the current healthcare system.

What was your biggest professional/personal success?

Certainly, to leave a secure job at a large corporate behind and not knowing what to expect and what will happen. Hence, my biggest success was the transition from being a scientist to a corporate professional lady to finally becoming a successful entrepreneur.

What was your biggest challenge? What was your biggest professional mistake (from which you learned a lot)?

One of the biggest challenges for me is to “learn new languages” and quickly adapt to new cultures and mentalities. To me it is essential to be constantly flexible while at the same time understand the intentions others. The challenge is to never become comfortable and stay adaptive.

Which 3 most important experiences in your life have led you to where you are right now?

  1. Left home to live in a different country

  2. Gave keynote speech together with the Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt

  3. Traveled to Ghana, where I randomly met my co-founder

When you think of the most talented high potential in your company, what 3 pieces of advice would you give him to live a successful and fulfilling life?

  • Always be optimistic – laugh at least 4 times a day

  • Stay focused and believe in yourself

  • Practice mindfulness – regular self reflection is crucial for growth

Using just 5 words, how would your team describe you as a leader?

Focused, goal-oriented, sympathetic, fair, organized

What has changed in your career because 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 MBA made me realize how important it is to follow one’s dreams. I also gathered the strength to start a company. Furthermore, the discussions with my MBA-colleagues were and are still crucial to me. During the courses I learnt leadership qualities and the economic basics what are needed to run a company successfully. Especially the specialization in Finance helps me currently the most. I learnt how to think in numbers, which is highly useful, when it comes to talking to investors.

As far as the workload is concerned, how did you manage an MBA next to a demanding job and your family life?

Although, it has been a challenging and demanding time, I really enjoyed every minute. As soon as you like what you do, you prioritize and find time. Moreover, nearly everything I learnt has been useful and reasonable. Hence, for me the workload of the MBA program has been feasible.

What do you consider a “great luxury”?

Spending time with family and friends without looking at the mobile and just enjoying the moment.

What was the last book/movie you really enjoyed?

The newest book of Simon Sinek “Infinite Game”.

One quote: “If we believe trust, cooperation and innovation matter to the long-term prospects of our organizations, then we have only one choice—to learn how to play with an infinite mindset.”

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

I am very happy where I am and would not want to change with somebody. However, out of curiosity, I would like to change places with Donald Trump. I would like to experience and understand how somebody can act and behave in ways as he does. To me it is remarkable how somebody can behave in such ways and still sleep well during the nights.

Wordrap

I can laugh about:
I can laugh about almost everything, especially about my own stupid mistakes. Having humor is an important trait.
Shortcomings I am most likely willing to overlook:
Nearly everything - nobody is perfect.
My funniest/most exciting travel experience was:
2017 I was backpacking through Georgia when we got lost in the mountains and then ended up crushing an amazing family party there.
I could not live without this app on my cell phone:
WhatsApp, so that I can stay connected with my family, friends and colleagues.
You can always find this in my fridge:
Cheese.
I would spend my last money on:
Trying to build a company/something meaningful in life.
10 years ago, I thought:
Listen to your gut is difficult. Now I know that it is not.
Today, I know:
Life is a blast and changes are important.

Read more interesting career stories of our students and graduates here.

Share this