Global RDQI (Research, Development, Quality, Innovation) Controller
Within my role at EBSC, I support the Global RDQI leadership team, and the sub-functions they manage, with all aspects of overhead and capital investments. Sometimes it is strategic project reviews, other times it is actual vs budget reviews and assessing what the year-to-go risk profile looks like, or it could be something related to people development, as part of the local Finance Leadership role I also perform. The main area I currently specialise in is the strategic partnering with the RDQI function, but looking at my career path then I’d say it’s a broad specialisation, spanning Integrated Supply Chain and Overheads Controlling together.
I am actively involved in the strategic capital investments that we are making across RDQI, working as part of a steering committee with other strategic stakeholders, including HR, Tax, Legal, Real Estate, Procurement, Engineering & RDQI. We all need to work together to ensure that all our functional requirements are going to be met, as well as those of the total business.
My Personal Highlights
In my 16 years at MDLZ, I’ve grown a lot and I am proud of where I’m currently at. I started out as a graduate trainee fresh from university, and was lucky enough to be put on a rotational program working in various financial analyst roles as part of plant controlling and business development in the UK. I was selected for an 18 month management program that required me to work in Production Logistics in Slovakia and that’s how I ended up here 12.5 years ago – I’d say this opportunity probably had the biggest impact on my career and really broadened my horizons.
After falling in love with Slovakia, I was lucky to find out that EBSC was just being created, and so I got myself included in the project team to kick off the initial creation of the original centre. After a few different roles in Bratislava & Vienna, I returned back to the Bratislava office in 2012 to set up and lead a new centralised EU RDQI Finance team as part of the remote EU headquarter group, before stepping up in 2016 to take on the challenge of a new Global RDQI Finance team.
Aside from the range of different challenging roles I have undertaken, I have also been involved in a range of different development programmes with Mondelez International, including spending a full day at a military training camp, being push to my physical limits and learning the value of working as a team, as well as more recently attending a Campus event, where people from across the world gather to learn from each other and from our leaders.
One of the most exciting and rewarding things about my role is being able to help make some incredible investments and having real positive impacts on our people. Getting approval from our CEO for a $15 Million investment in a new state-of –the-art research and development centre in Poland that will give so much opportunity to RDQI employees was really exciting.
Advice for others
My top tips for other finance professionals are as follows:
1. Take the time to really understand what it is that you’re doing. Don’t rush through the learning experience, take 18 months to learn, grow, and improve within a specific role. Take your time in the earlier years to build your foundation, as this will help you to become a much more rounded Finance professional in the long term, and will build your credibility.
2. Don’t be afraid to try cross-functional roles. One of the biggest learnings for me personally was getting a chance early in my career to try a couple of cross-functional roles. These helped me to develop a very different perspective of how people see the business, as well as being able to share with the other function how their work is impacting the Finance function.
An insider view of EBSC
EBSC has a really diverse culture, and over the past 10 years I have seen the team become increasing international. I’d say we have a fast learning and fast adapting culture; I love working in the EBSC office because of the energy that it gives off. It’s a modern office, with cutting edge design, and it always puts a smile on my face each morning when I think back to some of the other offices I’ve worked in!
Another great thing about working in EBSC is that we’re a collection of multiple supporting functions for MDLZ, so there are plenty of opportunities for people who want cross-functional experiences, without the trouble of having to relocate. Likewise, I love that there are so many different sub-function finance teams… This allows our people to develop as more broad finance professionals, rather than just working up the ladder in one element of the Finance function.
Bratislava is an absolutely ideal place to live. I’m originally from a small village in UK, and appreciate a quiet life where everyone knows everyone. With a population of only half a million people, Bratislava comes across as a relatively small and relaxed place, and yet it is a capital city, with lots of hidden gems, and all the amenities you ever need.
I’ve got to say Oreo – my kids love them, too!