A proven performer in the food production industry, Polish EU alumna Ewa Jania has all the ingredients to rise to the top. Pragmatic and hardworking, with excellent communication skills, Ewa has used the knowledge and experience gained during her studies at EU to progress in her career. She now works in project management and biscuits innovation at Mondelez. Ewa spoke to us about the principles she learned while studying an MBA at EU and the key attributes needed to be successful in business.
Food for thought
Studying an MBA at EU gave me the opportunity to work in various departments in Mondelez (formerly Kraft Foods). I was able to use the knowledge I have gained at EU at different areas of the business. After graduation, I worked in external manufacturing, project management, demand planning, sales strategy and innovation.
I still believe in the values I learned at EU, such as accountability, integrity and teamwork. These are necessary if you want to be a professional. You should always be open to learn new things, learn from your mistakes and respect others. These values are universal and can also be applied to your private life.
A recipe for success
At EU, I specifically remember classes by Ewa Springer on presentation and negotiations skills. She was a charismatic lecturer who shared her professional experience with us. She taught by using real-life examples and encouraged thinking out of the box and creative problem-solving. Another course with Jacek Prokop on business math was very pragmatic and useful. His classes helped a lot when I was a sales strategy manager, preparing many forecasts and trading history analyses.
The international environment at EU, with students and teachers from all over the world, was very beneficial. The development of important cross-cultural communication skills while studying the MBA helped in my professional career for an international company.
Currently as an innovation project manager I work in close collaboration with the biscuits innovation marketing team to deliver projects on time and to stakeholder’s expectations across Europe. This requires strong interpersonal skills – often under pressure – with cross functional and cross country teams to get the best results for the business. My job requires excellence in dealing with ambiguity in a strategic environment, as well as outstanding communications skills.
Risk it for a biscuit
Risk-taking is unavoidable in business, especially in innovation. You cannot bring innovation to life without risk. The key is to identify and minimize the risk and build a contingency plan. Another key factor for innovation is creativity. You cannot invent a new product, service or technology without creative thinking and intuition.