The bustling Go-Getter
We met Vanessa at renowned ad agency Jung von Matt in Zurich several years ago and boy are we glad we did. She was one badass consultant to learn from. When she decided to leave the company, she actually got promoted and was one of the only women in a leadership position at only 28 years old. She’s a hard worker and has an incredible set of soft skills. After Jung von Matt Vanessa accepted a job with Switzerland Tourism and just recently decided to take a leap of faith and moved to NYC.
We love Vanessa’s straight-forwardness, her strong opinions and her sense of humor. Here she shares her thoughts on cultural stigmas and taboos, what inspires her and how she's coping with the current Covid-19 situation in the big apple.
Your work ethic is incredible – and it paid off. What was it like to get such an amazing job opportunity at such a young age? Scary? Challenging? Exciting??
Exciting. Challenging. Scary.
We’ve seen you in many meetings and you are always very confident, deliberate and sharp. This is something we wish we’d see in more women. Who inspired you and who did you learn from?
Jasi, Andrea, Regi, Thomas, Franziska, Nath, Pascal, Angi, Maja, Dani, Dorothea, Stefan, Jules, Meret, Sibylle, Martin, Carine, Katharina, Nici, Alain, Anja to only name a few of the inspiring women and men I met along the way and who are all - in their very different ways - kick-ass without compromising on respect and kindness. Oh! And I not only look for inspiration at work, let alone just above my own hierarchy level.
The gender pay gap is a huge topic in Switzerland at the moment. Just because women don’t talk about money as much as men it doesn’t mean they don’t understand finances as well as their male counterparts. Yet it still feels like women are more uncomfortable around this topic. Why do you think that is?
Because we have to put us first? Because we underestimate our value and skillset? We must stand up for ourselves instead of others? We don’t want to be annoying? Because of our upbringing and the structures that still exist, which are often not very encouraging? We sometimes have to say thanks but no thanks? And once in a while have to deal with a no from the other side?
Or because we often ask questions instead of confidently making a point?
So let me put it right: most probably, because it simply is uncomfortable (but so is coriander mistaken for parsley! And even more than that: to accept not to have tried.).
What’s a mistake you see get made all the time, even by very smart people? What have you learned from that to handle it the right way?
To consider failures as failures.
By seeing opportunities in the alleged failures, I have gained in confidence. Confidence that something even more exciting is awaiting me. For example, the wanted position, this time in NY - only a few months after the non-received promotion in Switzerland.
So you just embarked on this pretty exciting journey and moved to NYC. Then Covid-19 hit. Can you tell us a little bit about how you're doing, your hopes and worries and how you're coping with this unknown situation?
I am worried about the health system, the doctors, nurses and all the people who don't have health insurance. But above all I am worried about the social structures with all the ordinary workers and the working poors who cannot work at the moment and cannot rely on a social system similar to the one in Switzerland.
But myself, I am doing well. After two weeks in an empty apartment with only two suitcases of clothes and lots of toilet paper (haha), a mattress and the most necessary utensils to cook something, I can assure you: It might be nice to own a little bit more. But then again, most of us have too much of everything. I have prepared myself for "the unknown unkown" anyway. Et voilà! But seriously: I consider myself lucky with my great new apartment, a job that provides structure and wages. Also my daily walks through my new (even though sleepy at the moment) neighbourhood Greenpoint inspire me. And as soon as we can party all night long again, I'll already have the orientation I need to get home. Yay.
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Currently listening to on Spotify: AUDE podcast
How to unwind after a long day at work: Having a Negroni Sbagliato with friends or blowing bubble gum while riding my bike
Last thing you've eaten: Tantanmen
Can't live without: More salt and even more pepper
One thing you don't miss about Switzerland: The Swiss “Mötzli-Kultur”
And one thing you wish you could have take with you: Can I trade this ‘one thing’ for all my dear friends? *puppy-dog-eyes*
Most used emojis: 🙌💥🧡😂💁🏻♀
Finish this sentence "Women should be more: confident to say more often no to others and more often yes to themselves.”