A wise yet unknown man once said: Great things never came from comfort zones. And even though the word “comfort zone” – rightly – belongs to the loooong list of buzzwords today, I must admit: This credo is exactly what paved my way to where I am now. Head of Controlling at Commercial Specialty Tires.
Changing for me already started at a young age: Curious for the wide world, eager to learn a new language and to get to know new people as I was, I moved from my hometown Salvador in Northern Brazil to Michigan, USA at the tender age of 17. And I soon learned: Making a choice is easy. Changing is not. At least not always. I arrived in the US in the freezing cold of the winter months with temperatures down to -30°C. For an adventurous yet kind of naïve girl coming from a city where really cold means not less than 20°C, this came as a shock. Well, at least it somehow froze the typical feelings you might have when leaving your home for the very first time. I soon learned my lessons and warm gloves, scarves and hats had become the first friends I made in the US.
Changes bring the unexpected. Yet the unexpected can still warm you.
Two years later in time and I was a graduate in the US, somehow settled, somehow not, and keen to take up the next challenge. University seemed like the next step on the career path, so I decided to start a law program. Brazil is still one of the most corrupt countries in the world and I felt like doing my stint to change this a little. It took me four semesters to figure out that I was simply not the law person – and two more to be brave enough to let go. I then started studying business – and have never left it again.
Changes bring failure. Yet the biggest failure may lead you to your greatest success.
In 2007 finally, I started my career with Continental. First as a trainee here in Germany, later back to Brazil and from there on to South Africa. It may sound silly, but on this long journey – from plant controlling PLT to PLT and CVT controlling to global operations controlling at ContiTech to business controlling at Commercial Specialty Tires – figures and data were always accompanying me. On this journey of permanent change, they were a constant that helped me through both stormy and sunny times.
And here I am now. Head of Controlling at Commercial Specialty Tires, involved in a world that is different from my previous reality: The number of tires we sell is smaller, while scope and size of the tires are much bigger. A new challenge in a growing business which to a certain extent is unknown not only to me, and I will help shaping something new. And this is nicer than getting into a boat where everything already works perfectly, and I am just another piece.