Tell us who you are!
Hi, I am Sara, nice to “meet” you! Born in Spain and mostly raised in Germany, I lived in different countries and places in the last 10 years. I am a passionate traveler and love to explore the new to get inspired by the place, the people, the new challenges… I work for Mars (yes, like the chocolate bar) for 4 years now where I started as a graduate management trainee. My field is mainly marketing and sales and what I love most about my job is working with people and newly to lead a team.
Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of!
I joined Mars as a management trainee about 4 years ago in Germany. It is a program where each assignment keeps you around 1year in your position or strategic project and has an emphasis on personal development. I started in a Trade Marketing role, responsible for the development of a massive consumer promotion. Then transitioned to sales getting to learn the base of the business and giving trainings to our sales teams. In my third year I had the exciting chance to lead a start-up within the company and in parallel took over interim responsibility as brand manager. After that, I was given the opportunity to explore the regional perspective and move to our European Headquarters to become European brand manager for our biggest brand. Since November I moved back to sales to embrace the challenge of leading a region and more importantly, leading a team.
Next to my “normal” job I’ve always found pleasure in coaching fellows in their personal development, was also Mentor to an unaccompanied minor refugee and like to engage in initiatives around leadership.
What does “Social Capital” mean to you?
To me it’s a matter close to my heart: It’s passing on the spark to other young females that are on their journey to becoming great leaders. It’s about empowerment, building meaningful relationships, to support each other, exchange experiences, grow with each other and helping my mentee find her way. In three words: Inspire. Connect. Develop.
What skills, experiences or incidences helped you to get you to where you are today? What hindered?
I’ve had lots of new beginnings in my life (which have not always been easy or planned) and have jumped (or been nudged) into challenges and adventures. So coupled with my natural curios personality this has formed my skills of being open-minded, to learn fast, reflect on myself and above all build up resilience – the ability to always stand back up when you fall and have the attitude that difficult times help you grow. This goes in hand with my unshakeable optimism which means seeing the good & potential in others as well as opportunities and open windows instead of closed doors. I’m a people person so what has always helped me was my ability to easily connect with others, the empathy to understand them and the will to integrate their views for the best of the outcome.What I’ve started to learn more and more (and am still learning every day) is to provide clarity. I don’t mind – to be honest, often even find it exciting – to juggle with ambiguity and live a creative versatility but I’ve got to understand the importance of structure and clarity especially in the light of giving guidance and a safe framework to my team. One of the things I am increasingly striving to is: speak less, listen more 😉
What can you offer your 1World Mentee?
Someone who cares. A sparring partner that makes you ask the right questions, bring out the potential & strengths you might not see yet, follow-through on the identified development areas, nurture courage and the ability to believe in yourself, bring in a different perspective, help you discover your path and for sure some fun and always smile. 🙂
Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?
In the company I work we have many women in very high management positions so I haven’t been exposed to it in that way. Other females in my circle especially from other industries however did make these experiences. I believe that female professionals still need to step up in empowering each other and building networks – things men have been doing over decades. If we look at e.g. the salary gap I do think there is still a journey to go and it’s up to each of us to stir it into the right direction.