Investor Relations Manager, Holding, Österreich
„Confidence to take steps into the 'Unknown'“
Please tell us something about your career at AGRANA. Where did you start? Which stations did you go through to reach your current position?
After I worked as an auditor for almost four years after my business studies, I wanted to get to know the “other side”, i.e. the point of view of the client, better and decided in October 2007 to accept an offer from Agrana Beteiligungs-AG to join the consolidation department. At the beginning in particular, my duties in the new department were very exciting because we were implementing a new consolidation tool at that time and the project to restructure and modernise Group accounting for the holding company and the subsidiary was a very work-intensive and interesting time with a number of (personal) ups and downs. After around three years, a certain routine had entered my daily work and I started to keep an eye out for new potential challenges within the Group. The opportunity presented itself to join the Group communications department and to assume the role of Investor Relations Manager. In view of my professional background, I did have the necessary expertise for this position, but it was also somewhat of a step into the unknown as regards the new side of comprehensive communication and developing a network with the financial community. However, with my willingness to learn, teamwork and on-the-job training, I was quickly able to settle into my new task and I do not regret for a single day that I have acquired more responsibility, have more options to do things in a certain way and work with a broader scope of duties. Despite having now been in the new IR function for three years, I continue to learn every day and there are always new challenges to be overcome; the comprehensive knowledge required for this job also forces you to stay on the ball.
Why should people apply for jobs at the company? What is the USP of the company?
Firstly, in my opinion, every individual should decide for themselves if they are the kind of person for a small family-run business or a large, international company. This is ultimately always a decision for a specific corporate culture. I personally wanted to work in a large, stock market-listed company because the international focus and the size of the company (including its listing on the stock market) bring many challenges with them. I found AGRANA to be particularly appealing because it one of Austria’s largest foodstuff companies (indeed, it is no. 1 among those listed on the stock market), identification with our products is strong and the diversification across three segments is very interesting.
What do you like most working at AGRANA? What were your personal highlights at the company?
What I like most is the solidarity of the team and the readiness of other colleagues and employees from other departments / other subsidiaries to work together to achieve an objective. It is noticeable that over the past few years, many more young employees are joining us and that some fresh air is being brought into the company. Of course, my own job as IR officer is a lot of fun, even though there are sometimes moments where it is not so funny.
What is success for you? Which personal competencies supported your carrier path? What is needed to be successful?
For me, success means both achieving personal targets but also having acted loyally and with dedication for the benefit of the company. Of course praise is gladly received which shows a person that they have worked conscientiously and successfully. Alongside my professional training, I have my willingness to learn and my ambition to thank for me being able to carry out my present job. You sometimes maybe need to have a little luck and take a step into the unknown. I also think it is important to show willingness to learn in a social context and recognize that many tasks can only be solved through teamwork.
What do you personally think of talent? What is talent for you? What does it mean for AGRANA?
Having talent is certainly advantageous for any job, but dedication and a willingness to learn have always been in the foreground for me. I assume that most people only choose their job on the basis of their interests and talents; however, you can also acquire a lot. Lionell Messi is definitely talented, but he has also worked hard, been ambitious and goal-oriented.
How important would you see your own personal development?
Life is a never-ending process of learning, including your working life. Particularly in my job, there are always new challenges and you therefore also need to remain flexible with regard to how you think. I learn the most from on-the-job training, but I also try to set a clear focus for my continued professional and personal development by attending training courses internally and externally. The HR department at AGRANA also does its best to offer employees the best possible professional development.