Anke Sieg : Learn to evolve in parallel with your field, understand the big picture and get ready to shape the future!

A civil engineer by training, Anke Sieg first began working in energy, a sector she finds fascinating. An MBA at the Solvay Brussels School enabled her to take her career in a new direction – business and finance.

“I got to know personal limits and
how to define my bottom-line”

What is your current job and position ?

I am now Value Strategy Lead at UCB Biopharma. In this New Product Planning Role, my objective is to articulate a vision for early pipeline assets under development, to match scientific ambitions with unmet needs within the current and future immunology landscape and to make this vision become a reality.

How about your professional experience ?

As people with technical profiles, our R&D and corporate departments train us to become very process- and detail-oriented. However, in our today’s world, it is all about change, inter-connectivity and working with interfaces to enable innovation. It is no longer enough to be an expert in one field, you need to be able to evolve, understand the big picture and the way other influencing factors and fields can change and shape the future.

My personal challenge was to go from the deep expertise in one field to a more transversal profile, to bridge functional differences and find the right balance between operational and strategic focus, pragmatism and creativity and ultimately, to lead teams towards creating sustainable value for our clients and society. The mentoring I received as part of my MBA training enabled me to make this transition a reality.

What did you learn from these challenges ?

Everyone has unique skills and experiences. The key is to be humble, to learn from everyone and leverage these skills to create the best outcome.A changing environment, organisational structures, and conflicting interests create barriers and fears along the way. From everything I have experienced previously, it is key to understand the human element, the underlying issues and then to focus on the common goals and interests of all involved parties as guiding principle.
Everyone has unique skills and experiences. The key is to be humble, to learn from everyone and leverage these skills to create the best outcome. A changing environment, organisational structures, and conflicting interests create barriers and fears along the way. From everything I have experienced previously, it is key to understand the human element, the underlying issues and then to focus on the common goals and interests of all involved parties as guiding principle. Leading your team towards this goal and keeping the members engaged help you achieve the impossible.

Go for it! And the earlier you do it, the better!

How did your MBA shape who you are ?

I realised my personal limits and how to define my bottom-line. With every step I am taking in my personal development, I am now able to push this even further. In today’s VUCA world, it is key to know your own core from which you can navigate, regardless of what life throws at you.

At business schools, you learn a lot of concepts and drivers for businesses and functions in the decision-making process. It is an eye opener and provides the toolkit to become a great leader.

The key is to apply them every day, going beyond your comfort zone, standing for what you believe in and inspiring other people to join your cause for the greater good.

My work and my board experience at PWI have been great assets to ‘put it all together’, to run an organisation and transform it from within. It requires your entire toolkit and daily courage but it’s definitely worth it.

Do you have any advice for people who wants to start an MBA?

Establish and engage your support network before you start (in particular when you have a family!). It will sustain and support you during this remarkable experience.

How would you describe your MBA experience at the Solvay Brussels School?

It was a very enriching experience to go back to school, to take some quality time for personal development and to deeply immerse myself in a new environment, new context and new personal network.

I made great friends and gained more experience. Although it was very challenging besides working and having a family, I enjoyed it a lot. I definitely learned to prioritise and balance my responsibilities.

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