My career path
"You have to be aware of and prepared for the requirements. You’ll always have to travel, for instance – having an international network of contacts is essential in an academic career."
I’m a full professor in international management. My research aims to optimize the management of multinationals, as well as NGOs and international organizations like the UN. This can be achieved, for example, by reducing the administrative workload. I also look at how to manage the issue of refugees, including how digital technologies can be used for their benefit without infringing on their privacy. My work is all about helping people throughout the world share their ideas. Of course, I also teach at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. And I’m involved in continuing education – I’m the academic director of the MBA in international organizations, which puts me in contact with managers. I’m also director of GSEM’s Management Institute, which has around 30 staff members, so that involves quite a lot of HR management.
I’m passionate about linking fundamental research to real-life situations, transferring academic knowledge to organizations, and passing on innovation. My children are also a great source of motivation in the mornings – that takes a lot of energy ! I also love the independence of my work – I can manage the topics I want to focus on and choose to work with really motivated people. There’s also a lot of variety.
My career path. I’m Austrian. I was born in Vienna and did all my schooling and university studies there, including two master’s degrees – one in management and one in philosophy. That’s also where I did my PhD work and thesis. My studies then took me to Canada, Australia and the UK. I went on to do a postdoc at the London Business School. I was then appointed as a full professor in Linz, Austria, before moving to the University of Sussex in the UK. I’ve been in Geneva as a full professor for three and a half years now. I ended up in an academic career almost by accident – it wasn’t my goal, even after completing my thesis. But I drew inspiration from several people. I’ve also always been able to rely on the support of my parents, my husband and my kids. To get ahead, you have to work really hard during certain periods, and the people around you have to understand that. You have to be aware of and prepared for the requirements. You’ll always have to travel, for instance – having an international network of contacts is essential in an academic career.
A downside or obstacle ? There aren’t many female professors in my field. Yet gender parity is a requirement on certain committees, which can be very hard to manage. And we know that women tend to take on more administrative responsibilities, which can prevent them from doing their research and managing their career.
I’m proud that I don’t let these tiresome aspects drag me down.