Clara Vuille-dit-Bille, Junior Consultant, und Emanuel Schmid, Junior Consultant
Does a network equal success? Claudia Bracher Wolfensberger was responsible for communications at management level at various large companies. Accordingly, she knows what it takes to pursue an exciting career in this industry. In this interview, she shares her experiences with us and explains why a large network alone is not enough.
You have been with int/ext for almost 15 years. Before that, you worked for DHL/Deutsche Post and Rhenus, among others. What experience have you packed into your rucksack from these stations?
As the person responsible for communications at Deutsche Post in Switzerland, it was particularly exciting to help shape the entire development and change process of the company - from simple parcel distribution to DHL as we know it today. Several major crises and overall complete rebrandings with all that entails. Uniforms, cars, houses, printed matter and external appearance. At the Rhenus Alpina Group, a new interesting aspect was added, namely the insight into very different areas, because the Rhenus Group's range of products and services is very broad and combines a variety of companies and corporate cultures. There I learned how important openness and interest are for shaping communication. My path also showed me that you can work in any field if you master the craft of communication. A positive curiosity helps. It's crucial to be courageous and to dare to do something - that's how you find your way. At int/ext I have been working according to these principles for almost 15 years now. Through the various mandates, I am constantly coming into contact with new areas and continue to learn. In addition, as a partner of a company, I have the task of acquiring new orders. A good network is helpful here. But it's not enough to simply know a lot of people. You have to be able to empathize with your network, take an interest in the people, identify the existing needs in the various areas and actively address possible issues. That is concrete work. You don't win customers or cultivate your network while sitting in an office chair.
In addition to your duties as a partner at int/ext, you teach at various technical colleges. How do the two areas of your professional life complement each other?
I appreciate passing on to young people what I have experienced and learned myself. Of course, I also benefit from this exchange myself: I gain exciting insights into the thinking of young people and gain impressions of areas that would otherwise be closed to me. In this way, I keep my finger on the pulse of the times. In addition, it is also important to me to promote exchange between the generations. It's great to be in contact with young, dynamic and motivated people. That gives me valuable new insights for my own work in the agency.
"An exciting career path results from genuine personal commitment, interest and willingness, as well as the will to contribute in a concrete way."
What are key lessons you would pass on to any counselor?
Personally, I have always really enjoyed the variety of my job and the contact with a wide range of people and challenges. In communication, you have to engage with people, be interested in their stories. You also have to like getting involved in different areas all the time. In our career field, there is not just one right path. An exciting career path comes from genuine personal commitment, interest and willingness, as well as a desire to contribute in concrete ways. A good sense of humor is also an important trait to maintain. And although you always approach new tasks with a lot of respect at the beginning, you always have to keep in mind that in the end everyone is just boiling water. It also seems important to me that the chemistry between consultant and client is right. That in turn requires empathy and honesty. No gobbledygook, but measurable performance. The decisive factor is what has demonstrably and comprehensibly changed as a result of the collaboration.