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Careers at McKesson Europe: Always open to new experiences

With a series of employee portraits, we shine a spotlight on different colleagues from different functional areas and locations. This time, Franziska Budig from McKesson Europe AG tells us more about her career path and from which activities she draws inspiration for her daily job.

Hi Franziska! What is your position at McKesson Europe AG?
As the Head of Procurement Intelligence, I – together with a team of five employees – have been responsible for purchase analyses (comparing the prices of different products, etc.) and procurement controlling since November 2017.

Can you describe your career path so far and what motivated you to take the steps you did?
After completing my studies in business mathematics, I took up a position at Celesio AG (as it was known at the time) in June 2011. This was for two reasons: first, I was interested in the branch; second, I was attracted by the international environment.

Back then, I helped to develop our analysis tool in procurement. We can use the data collected via the tool to perform global analyses, for example to assess a supplier's revenue across the whole group. With this topic as my background, I qualified for the role of global process owner for master data management in our internal programme for resource planning and management. I started this position in September 2015, and it proved to be a highly exciting and instructive period for me. When I was offered my current position as Head of Procurement Intelligence last year, I didn't have to think too long about taking on this new challenge.

The expert programme offered by the company was a fantastic experience. The exchange with other colleagues, the exercises and methods that encouraged reflection, and the opportunity to familiarise myself with new tools definitely contributed to my ongoing professional development.

Franziska Budig on her professional development.

In addition to my job, I completed an apprenticeship to become a certified actress. Even as a child, it was my dream to be on stage. During the apprenticeship, I realised how many aspects of it I could apply to my job as well. An actor can only be successful when they are fully immersed in their role. This establishes authenticity and enables them to keep an eye on the bigger picture. This is just like in a job: the idea is to do your duties well while maintaining an overview of everything around you. 

What have been the major reasons for deciding where to take your career next?
I have always been motivated by the idea of getting up in the morning, looking forward to work and tackling exciting tasks day in, day out. I always want to expand my knowledge, learn new skills and abilities and continue to develop my personality. This, combined with my optimism and hard work, has shaped the path my career has taken.

If you look back at your career, what are the most interesting aspects?
To be honest, I haven't had a "career" for all that long yet (smiles).

It has always been important to me to perform consistently well in my field of responsibility while having the time for, and being open to, new things. One of these new and interesting challenges was, as I said, taking on the position of global process owner at the start of my professional career at McKesson Europe. The many interfaces with the other teams and stakeholders in a project environment featuring numerous external partners proved to be an exciting experience. 

In my current role, I have moved from being a colleague to a supervisor, and my excellent team made this transition very easy for me. I perform an interface-type role here too. The subject areas are extremely diverse, which means they are always interesting.

In your opinion, what are the criteria for a successful career?
A career depends on many factors, though not all of them can be influenced externally – especially in a constantly changing environment. Putting in a good performance is something I am in control of. It requires patience and perseverance. The important thing is to have a good supervisor and/or mentor who you can rely on to challenge and encourage you. This is a good way of recognising your own strengths and weaknesses, and then accepting them and working on them. 

I compare it to doing sport. For many years, I liked to do artistic roller skating, so I know how great it feels to stand at the top of a podium during a championship. Even so, the most important experience comes from having to accept defeat and handling your feelings when a competition didn't turn out as expected. To then battle your way back to the top of the pile requires hard work and ambition – along with a dash of talent and luck of course!

Did you plan your career path or did you simply seize the right opportunities?
My career just happened. Over time, I have learned to leave my comfort zone, face new challenges and allow opportunities to happen. The rest came of its own accord.

To what extent do you think a career can be planned?
It is important to have personal career goals and to review them from time to time. In my opinion, however, they shouldn't dominate your day-to-day work.

What’s next for you professionally? 
I've only been in my current role for nine months. There's still a lot to do.

As I enjoy my work every day and keep taking on new challenges, I am certain that the next professional moves in my career will take place organically as well. I feel like I'm in good hands at McKesson.

Franziska Budig on her future career path.

What one piece of advice would you give someone who is starting a career at McKesson Europe?
Approach your work with a sense of commitment and enjoyment, and see it as a contribution to something greater. Always be open to new things and don't be afraid to make mistakes – or to admit that you've made one. 

It's Sunday afternoon. Where would we find you?
After going for a jog early in the morning, I would now be spending time with my family and friends. I also often prepare myself mentally for the week ahead.