Zaijian Cologne! (“Goodbye Cologne!”): After more than five years in Shanghai, our graduate Vivien Newrzella is hardly called Laowai (“foreigner”). The Cologne-born manager discovered China during her International Business studies and finally moved to China. She works now as an Assistant Manager Learning Development at Fiducia Management Consultants
CBS: Why did you apply for the “International Business” course at our campus?
Vivien Newrzella: I’ve always been interested in economic and financial relationships and the Chinese language. I could learn both at CBS which was decisive for me.
CBS: What did you like best about studying at CBS?
Vivien Newrzella: I particularly liked the practical orientation during my studies; the many examples and practical assignments in class.
CBS: What does a typical working day look like for you today?
Vivien Newrzella: Thank God, there is no typical working day in my profession! This is due to the fact that my position just has been created and my working environment is determined over time. In a nutshell, I work with the HR team at a strategic level to develop our company. Our goal is to align the Talent Development Strategy with the Business Strategy. I work with our employees to analyze and discuss their training needs. When I’m not writing training plans or compiling documents, you can find me in our training room or in a coaching session.
CBS: What do you like about your work?
Vivien Newrzella: A lot! But two things in particular: I appreciate working with people and that my trainings have a positive influence on our business goals.
CBS: Which typical cliché about your current position does not apply?
Vivien Newrzella: That HR has nothing to do with strategy or business. That always depends on the company and the team constellation.
CBS: In your opinion, what are the biggest differences between the European and Far Eastern business culture?
Vivien Newrzella: It’s always hard for me to answer this question, because I haven’t worked in Germany or Europe except as an intern. However, the Chinese business etiquette and ours are very different. We Germans are polite, respectful and formal. We want to leave a professional impression and be appreciated for it. Chinese, on the other hand, focus on deepening relationships and networks before doing business. So they are much more social and patient.
CBS: What are your career plans for the next few years?
Vivien Newrzella: As I said, the position is new for me and my company. There is still a lot to do! I would like to build an Internal Training Academy that includes both offline and online offerings for the next few years. I want to build a “People’s Organization” in which the learning culture is open to innovations. I would like starting a coaching education and possibly a Master’s in Business Psychology, too.
CBS: How did your studies at CBS prepare you for your current position?
Vivien Newrzella: I learned that I am responsible for my own goals. If something bothers me, I’ll talk about it. If I want to learn more, I take care of my resources. I have also benefited from presentation and negotiation trainings and the CBS network. What you say is true: ‘Your net worth is your network’. ‘Quality over Quantity’.
CBS: What advice would you give to prospective students?
Vivien Newrzella: Try different things, even if you have doubts. Be open to unexpected circumstances. Don’t just listen to your head, but also on your gut feeling.
CBS: Thank you so much for the interview!
Header photo: Vivien Newrzella with colleagues (c) Vivien Newrzella, photo 1: View from the Fiducia office (c) Vivien Newrzella, photo 2: Shanghai Panorama (c) Edward He