Currently, she is the Director for H2R Operations at adidas, responsible for leading the operational delivery of end-to-end global and local HR processes operated by Global Business Services (GBS) for EMEA focused on delivering the best customer and employee experience. Avril drives her outcomes by collaborating across the entire company. It’s in her DNA and she believes the most powerful tool to achieve best results is to bring the whole team together.
Director GBS Operations Hire to Retire, Adidas
- Program studied
- Current Location
Q&A WITH AVRIL
Define your experience in the IMBA in one word.
What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way? How did your master program and IE help you through these challenges?
Studies can be very demanding during an MBA. The program has both theoretical and practical sides that can be overwhelming. You need to analyse a lot of theories and at the same time you need to focus on developing, growing, and improving yourself. To find the perfect MBA-life balance was challenging, while studying outside my home country; however, IE gave me all the support I needed to accomplish this.
How did your experience at IE prepare you for your professional career? In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally?
I believe the program helped me sharpen my management skills, gave me a fresh overview on how to make tough calls at the right time, improved my leadership and people management skills, and allowed me to enjoy every learning opportunity.
What was networking like in the program?
We live in a globalised world, and that’s not different when we talk about the Business world. The program gave me international exposure, multicultural awareness, and the opportunity to create new connections and partnerships. It was a very rewarding experience.
What was your favorite memory from your time at IE?
My best memory would be the time I spent with my peers. The discussions, the exchanges, and the opportunities to learn and grow with them.
If someone was considering going to IE, what would you tell them?
The MBA experience is one of a kind. IE is highly prepared to support their students and to give them the tools needed to reinvent themselves, to achieve their goals, and to enjoy and learn from every educational experience.
Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
IE is a very well-known institution with a great reputation. The school offers high-quality programs, qualified faculty, and a choice of subjects and majors that would support me to achieve my goals.
What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student? What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
Take advantage of all the opportunities in front of you. An MBA from a prestigious institution like IE offers a full range of dynamic learning experiences. Make the most of them and don’t take your time for granted.
Tell us about the IE alumni community and the impact they have had in your life and/or career. Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IE alumni community?
In an MBA program you will meet smart, helpful, and sharp peers. I was deeply inspired by their way of thinking and how much I was able to learn from their own individual experiences.
The networking was a great part of it, and I’m amazed how approachable and supportive everyone was in sharing their thoughts and their perspectives.
In 2016 you were IE Woman of the Month, what was your experience with that?
Maintaining an awareness of diversity is paramount in our contemporary world. It’s important to promote all minorities in the Business world and maintain a focus on equal opportunities. In this way we can celebrate everyone.
Being IE Woman of the Month was a powerful and inspiring experience, which gave me the confidence to prosper and remain cognizant of the professional and personal impact I can have on the lives of others.
Tell us about your day-to-day at Adidas?
My days are rarely the same; however, my primary responsibilities daily include managing 110+ across Europe. I’m responsible for overseeing their work, coaching them, joining different meetings with very important stakeholders, and making tough decisions. My team is normally very busy, yet highly efficient.
Do you have any advice for IE students and alumni who are looking to pursue a career in your field? What skills do you consider are needed to succeed in your field?
I’ve been working in HR for the past 23 years in different companies and countries. Nonetheless there are some skills that remain extremely important when dealing with HR: communication skills, critical thinking, business acumen, networking skills, change management, project management, and discretion.
What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?
To think of myself as a lifelong learner, maintain my curiosity and to always venture outside of my comfort zone. After 23 years, as I continue to develop my career, I believe I have so much more to learn and I’m still excited about it.
What skills would you recommend job seekers develop in order to make them more competitive in today’s workforce?
I believe they need to focus on essential skills to compete in today’s workplace. Think critically, become a problem solver and a change agent, be flexible and adaptable, be a leader and upskill yourself.
If you could had a billboard that you could display to the world, what would it say?
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