In this interview we converse with Anja Monrad, the woman that leads Dell Technologies in the Central & Eastern Europe region, covering 31 countries, from Israel to Poland. This episode focuses on marketing communications and Anja's journey from starting as a graduate in IT sales to becoming an executive, all through planning her career.
Having joined Dell as Marketing Director for the Nordic countries in 2000, Anja has since pursued an international career within Dell Marketing holding various regional and global roles. She has been in charge of Dell’s CEE business since 2013.
Anja oversees Dell Technologies entrepreneurship initiatives for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She is an ardent promoter of female entrepreneurship and has been recognized among the top inspiring women in the Nordic tech scene.
Anja is a member of the Danish IT association board and Chairman of the IT association’s Steering committee for Female IT Executives. In 2018 she has been appointed the chair of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board at the European Union.
Anja's journey is full a wisdom and in the 45 minutes of the interview, we follow her upbringing, the decisions she made to pursue a career in marketing, and how she built her career by creating one opportunity after another, finding sponsors within the company and taking on more responsibility when there was no one else to do the task.
‘’Life is too short for companies who are not supportive of a diverse & inclusive culture. If good talent disappears, companies will change. But you don’t have to waste your time while they figure it out. Try and change the environment, but if it doesn't work, pack up and go somewhere else.”
“Ask for help: Go ask again and then go and ask somebody else. Ask for sponsorship. There is a difference between asking for mentoring and then asking for sponsorship in the organization. Go and ask for help from people who have influence.“
You can follow Anja Monrad on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anjamonrad/
02:48 Did you plan your career? Did you know you will become an SVP?
05:00 Were there role models or anything in your upbringing that made you want to decide your path?
07:00 Is there anything you wish you knew before deciding your path e.g. university?
08:30 What do you tell people who feel they are running out of time to building their careers?
13:30 What was a lesson prior to joining Dell that helped you decide on your path?
19:20 What was the best piece of advice you received navigating the first year of your career?
21:30 What were some of the obstacles in navigating your career?
25:00 What do you tell women who feel their promotion paths are not going the way they want?
28:20 Is there something you would have done differently in your career knowing everything you know now? What about if the company you’re in does not support your path?
31:55 What was the biggest surprise of your career?
33:26 What is the most rewarding activity of your career?
34:30 What do you tell people who feel the pressure of always looking for a new position?
38:37 Were there any situations where you had to go “through fire”? How do you navigate difficult situations?
43:15 Final thoughts on seeing your job as part of your life, it is a marathon. Your job is NOT your identity.