Working at Swarovski

From left to right: Floriane Metz, Ruth Poleschuk, Shari Keller



Floriane Metz – Head of Global Delivery, Branding & Communications

Do you have one secret advice for young graduates?
You were probably told all your life that having good grades matters. It does. But only up to a certain point. Once you start your career, forget about your academic world and embrace your new company culture. It’s not about getting the individual best result, but it’s about leading people, navigating through ambiguity, and creating added value for business. As a straight-A student it took me a while to switch my mindset from “I have the right answer” to “let’s ask good questions to relevant stakeholders”, or from “how unfair this is!” to “what can I do next to drive it differently?”. Today at Swarovski when I hire someone, I don’t look at the grades but I first look for the right personality and then for the top skills required for the job.

How do you ensure your personal work-life balance?
I love my job at Swarovski which makes it easier! As an ambitious young mother I preserve my personal work-life balance by making sure I spend quality time with my family. I very much appreciate the working time flexibility I currently have: I leave work early to spend the evening with my daughter and I finish my work once she’s asleep. All my colleagues know by now that they cannot count on me for a meeting at 5.30pm, but they all know the job will be done and they can contact me per e-mail or whatsapp if urgent.

Choose 3 adjectives, which describe your company the best and explain why they fit your company.
To me Swarovski in 3 adjectives is like our brand:

  1. EXTRAORDINARY: at Swarovski there is always this touch of craziness that makes an ordinary working day special. Be it from an unexpected decision making, a super exciting new project coming to your desk or a spontaneous laugh with your colleagues.
  2. DARING: at Swarovski each employee has the opportunity to put forward a proposal and make a difference. The entrepreneurship culture from family roots and early retail time is still on. When I started at Swarovski, coming from L’Oréal, I kept on challenging the existing just for the sake of showing recommendation power, and I was taken by surprise when I was told to go ahead, lead and implement. Then I thought twice before adding so much workload onto my plate!
  3. IRRESISTIBLE: specifically in the marketing division, because we love the brand and the products, still bringing Daniel Swarovski’s vision of a diamond for every woman to life and reinventing it today!

Ruth Poleschuk – Director Marketing Crystal Living

Why did you choose Swarovski as an employer?
First and foremost it is the products and the material, the history of the company and the fact that it is still a privately held company, the international flair.

Please describe a typical day at work at Swarovski.
During my commute, I try to frame my day and set priorities. Once at the office I normally check emails, the day is very much filled with meetings and ad-hoc tasks. For important tasks I block my calendar and I also try to make room for socializing.

What entry-level job opportunities are there at Swarovski?
Product/marketing manager: responsible for dedicated products and managing them across the entire lifecycle. A candidate will need to have a sense of aesthetics and a willingness to understand the product, as Crystal Living is a niche business.

Shari Keller – HR Business Partner

What do you like about your job?
What I love about my job is the variety and the speed. Each day is different and brings with it new experiences and learnings that allow me to grow and develop constantly. Before my current job, I was in Talent Management in a strategic role. I then felt the need to go back to an operational role in my current job as an HR Business Partner. Both experiences were amazing but what I love about being in this role is the constant contact with people and being close to the business.

How do you ensure your personal work-life balance?
I have already worked at Swarovski for 8 amazing years. I had different stages in my career from internship to working 100% and more, a sabbatical to take care of my son, and now in a part-time job that gives me the opportunity of being part of an amazing global company, focusing time on my family and in the meantime building my own business on the side. At Swarovski I could find the right balance depending on the different needs and stages in my life.

What characters/skills are you looking for?
“Hire attitude, train skills” – For me this is my motto. I look for people who are competent and clever so that they can develop easily and learn fast. However, the most important factor for me is the attitude. I look for a “can do” attitude, people who are willing to go the extra mile and that look at solutions rather than problems.

Working at SWISS

From left to right: Alana Gahler, Sara Lepori, Mark Bitterli, Sabine Busch



Alana Gahler (Senior Manager Employer Marketing & Recruiting Strategy)

Choose three adjectives, which describe SWISS the best and explain why they fit your company?
International: SWISS is international in every term of the word. Firstly, our mission is to connect Switzerland with the rest of the world, secondly we operate within the Lufthansa Group which means we work across the borders in Europe, while always holding up our traditional values.
Diverse: to close the circle mentioned above, we employ colleagues from over 75 nations which make us tremendously multicultural. We foster our young talents but also count on the experienced members of our team. To benefit from a broad diversity of gender and demography we offer our employees tailor-made part-time programs, which provide the right solution for every period of their personal working life.
Dynamic: as third point, what really characterizes us is our drive and SWISS spirit. In a highly competitive market, we need to adjust to our environment rapidly. Thanks to flat hierarchies and a real let’s-do-it spirit, we take decisions bravely and yet well calculated and put them to action promptly.

Sabine Busch (Manager Corporate Development)

Why did you choose SWISS as an employer?
I chose SWISS as an employer, firstly, because I sympathized with the SWISS brand values and the strong image it represents. Secondly, as a MSc in Air Transport Management graduate, I desired to work for a smaller airline. SWISS has a good size in order to get to know the great people you work with. It creates our unique SWISS spirit and makes working there a lot of fun.
What do you like about your job?
As a Manager in Corporate Development, I like the variety of projects I can support. Along the way I worked with many different departments and therefore could gain a broad airline business knowledge.

Mark Bitterli (Manager Direct Distribution Solutions Management)

Do you have one secret advice for young graduates?
It’s hard to come up with just one single advice. I think a lot has to do with your personal attitude:

  1. Think about ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
  2. Think about and develop your personal USPs. Everybody has things they are good at or they have a special interest for. Also invest in expertise.
  3. Don’t feel like you have to do something specific, just because everybody else does it.
  4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. Show stamina.
  5. Be ready to get out of your comfort zone and show willingness to learn new things.

All good things must come to an end

The third edition of the Business Game St.Gallen took place from the 31st of March – 2nd of April. More than ever before, this year’s event attracted students from all across Europe: 25 nationalities and 26 universities were represented. The students had to apply in teams of two and during the event, were asked to solve real-life cases from the partner companies BDO, Nespresso, Swarovski, Zurich Insurance and BMW. On the last day, they presented their solutions to a jury consisting of company representatives and university professors. The best teams from each challenge were rewarded with prizes like holiday vouchers, jewelry or Nespresso machines.
The event ended with the famous Eloquence Final: the three teams with the highest score got 30 minutes to solve a Startup case. The teams presented their solutions in front of the plenum and afterwards, the competing teams had 1.5 minutes each to challenge their opponents solution. In the end, the jury decided that Henrik Johnsdorf (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management) and Kai Aschick (University of St.Gallen) were the big winners of the event. Congratulations again on behalf of the Business Game St.Gallen!
The Business Game St.Gallen was once again a huge success! Keep in touch and follow us on Facebook.

BGSG

The smart way to pack your suitcase

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Not sure what to take with you for the Business Game St.Gallen? No worries, we’ve got you covered and created an exclusive packing list with all belongings you need during your trip to Switzerland!

  • Please bring your own laptop and maybe also your tablet to access all relevant materials and to successfully solve the cases. All other material, such as paper and pens, you needn’t worry about.
  • As the electric sockets are Swiss, please don’t forget to bring an adapter.
  • As the adapter is worthless without the cables to put into it, do bring the power cords for your electronic devices.
  • Bring a suit and a couple of shirts/blouses as the dress code is business.
  • The time to solve the cases is limited – keep the time in mind with your watch!
  • After a hard party on Saturday, you possibly might need some Aspirin.
  • As the St.Gallen weather is typically not that good, please also bring an umbrella.
  • You will be in Switzerland and no, we do not have Euros. So if you’re planning on bringing your boy- or girlfriend or your mother a nice souvenir, make sure to bring at least a little bit of Swiss Francs along or have a generally accepted credit card (Visa or MasterCard) with you.
  • Allthough St.Gallen is a small city, you might get lost or would love to use Google Maps to find your way. Without access to the internet this can be pretty difficult, so try downloading an offline map (e.g. CityMaps2Go) prior to your departure.
  • Last but not least, don’t leave your team spirit at home and make sure you pack a grain of luck

The 5 Steps to solving Case-Studies

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The Business Game St.Gallen is coming closer! We finalized the application period this past weekend and the invitations have already been sent out to the 50 best teams. Given the high number of applications we have received this year, we are quite confident of having the best participants in Europe compete amongst each other in the upcoming two-and-a-half days of unlimited case-solving extravaganza!

Here, we provide you with 5 tips which will make it simpler for you to go about any business cases you might face, either in competitions, or in real-life!

 

Analysis
Develop a realistic understanding of the company’s or the division’s present situation – why has the firm been successful? Where has it been unsuccessful? Why?
Idea & Vision
Find the insights regarding the business in the near future and in the longer term – vision of the company’s positioning in the future business environment.
Paving the way
What are the decisions on different product/market segments to focus on and an estimate of the demand in these different segments?
Workplan
Develop an understanding of the firm’s competitive advantages in each segment and identify capabilities requiring further work.
Taking action!
Concrete actions, responsibilities, numerical objectives, and the creation of a proactive, motivated spirit in the organization.

Once you answer these 5 points, step-by-step, any case can be made simpler and solved quickly. Of course, you need to manage your time as well!

Best of luck with solving cases, and we cannot wait to welcome you at the BGSG16!