So Grace, what did you do in your old positions?

As Business Development Manager, my role was to develop and implement Swarovski Professional’s new business strategy for the United Arab Emirates, across all segments. The role was focused on green world sales and the position was completely new to the Middle East region – meaning that I could develop my own strategy for winning new business and developing new accounts.  

It was quite a challenging role, in some respects, as there are very few home grown brands in the UAE market. The majority of them are franchised, which made the decision-making process a bit complex due to the large number of stakeholders and difficulty in finding the proper decision-makers within our customers’ teams.

However, this role gave me a lot of satisfaction. I dealt with a wide array of different brands and people and this helped to keep things varied and interesting. It enabled me to constantly think outside of the box and find new and innovative ways to offer tailored solutions for our customers.

Previous to this, I also had another role at Swarovski - working in Trade Marketing for Swarovski Professional. The experience gained in this position helped me, as Business Development Manager, to give our customers the full 360-degree perspective on SP’s products and services. I like being able to see a project through from start to finish and it always gives me great satisfaction to see customers’ successfully launch with our products and roll out across the region or increase their sales through their collaboration with SP.

Overall, the Business Development Manager role allowed me to fully immerse myself in products, solutions, and customers – a great precursor to my current role.

What are you doing in your new role? 

I am now Senior Segment Management for Swarovski Professional, based in Wattens. I am responsible for the commercial strategy of Swarovski Professional segments, from a cross-functional perspective. I work closely with our Segment Manager and Segment Director to look at ways of working efficiently and effectively with all markets across all segments. The customer market share and turnover is always at the top of our minds.

The role is still very new, which means that I am still in the planning phase.  However, I am looking forward to working closely with all the markets to develop solutions that enable Key Account Managers to drive more turnover. As a former sales person in the market, I believe I can help my colleagues in Wattens to even better understand the challenges and experiences that our sales people go through and how we can take that learning and create even better tools to foster even more growth.

How did you make this career move happen?

I felt I was ready for my next challenge within Swarovski and my Managing Director suggested that I take a look at this position. It seemed like a good fit for my skill set. It presented the opportunity to be at the heart of it all, and I think that one of the best ways to fully understand a company.

So, after thoroughly discussing with my partner, we decided that it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I moved to Wattens, Austria and here I am today … though, I do have regular trips back to the sunny UAE!

The HR team were really great when it came to my move. They explained everything in detail and helped with translations. Moving from one country to another can be a real challenge, but it was honestly a very seamless transition.

What does career mean to you?

To me, “career” is when you are constantly evolving and learning within the business. It is when you are equipping yourself with a range of skills to enable progression. That does not necessarily mean climbing the career ladder, but rather, experiencing exciting and challenging roles that enable you to add value to the company and grow as a person. So far, my journey with Swarovski Professional has been exactly that!