Markéta Mravcová (May 2016)

Markéta Mravcová, by her maiden name Šlaisová, comes from Prague and she finished her studies at the IES with the PhDr. in 2001. During her Master studies, she spent a semester at the Humboldt University in Berlin. After this experience, still studying, she started to work as a Research Analyst at CDA. After finishing her Masters she joined the company EEIP, where she was a Consultant for RWE within the project of privatization of Czech gas industry. And that was a forming moment for her future career. In 2002 Markéta started to work directly at RWE as an Analyst and then she moved to a position of a Senior Manager, where she led a team of 5 people. In 2007 Markéta became a team leader of Sales Governance and was responsible for portfolio management, pricing and sales controlling across all RWE sales companies in CZ. After that Markéta had two short career breaks to fulfill her maternity duties, but she returned back to work soon. Since 2013 she has been working as a Senior Manager Commercial Modelling & Sales Business Development and currently she works as Senior Manager of Innovations & Sales Business Development. Apart from her job, Markéta devotes her time to coaching. She is a certified coach. Markéta spends her free time with her family, she likes skiing, cycling, mountain hiking, modern dancing and yoga.

 

You have also studied in Berlin at the Humboldt University. Was there anything surprising for you in comparison to the studies at the IES?

The one thing that was different is the active participation and the engagement of students during the lectures and seminars. When they did not know something or could not follow the argumentation fully, they simply asked. In case they had a different view, they voiced it. It was a safe environment, where questions were a standard - it was good for all. Students at the IES participated less those days. The need not to be embarrassed was stronger than the need to learn and discover. Nowadays, I think, these differences are more wiped out, our society is developing in the right direction in this sense.

Another thing that fascinated me in Berlin was the mixture of cultures and people. It is however not directly connected to the University, it was rather the character of the metropolis I have chosen for my studies. Berlin is a young and vital city, many new buildings were constructed during my stay there. On top of that, the living expenses were low compared to the rest of Western Europe - it was a perfect place for students from all over the world. I really like coming back to Berlin.

You have been working in RWE for most of your career life. It is more than 10 years. Nowadays, the employees tend to flucutuate more, how did you manage to stay in one company for so long?

When I started to work for RWE I did not expect to stay so long. I was lucky I could work at different roles and on different topics. There has been a lot of things to learn, to build up. I started with the pricing of transit and purchase contracts, I helped the company to enter the then emerging short-term energy markets. After 5 years I have moved closer to the end customer – to retail, and I started to work on the optimization of portfoliae of sales companies. When returning from my maternity leave I got an interesting opportunity to engage in arbitration with our Russian supplier. I applied my experience from the different parts of the supply chain. Now, my mission is to build a team focused on innovations and sales business development in retail. It is a wonderful job full of exploration of new markets, innovative technologies and fresh views on the needs of the customers. We are looking at solutions for savings, self-sufficiency and comfort. We are opening up to the world, negotiating partnerships with established companies as well as starts-up, cooperating more with the universities. The facts that RWE is a living organisation and that there is still something new going on in the energy market and at the company, are the major reasons why I have moved within the group for relatively long time.

You have two kids. In both cases you started to work after one year lasting maternity leave. Is RWE a “baby-friendly” company? How do you combine career and maternity?

RWE is a baby and parent friendly company. They inform parents who are at home about what is going on in the company, invite them to various events, support flexible jobs and home office. However, for a successful cooperation, both sides have to be flexible and trustful. I personally wanted the smoothest possible come-back to work without a loss of contact with the industry. I believed that an early part time job would help enough. So I started to work part time at an ordinary position in the department which I had led before. After the second maternity leave, it was similar - I went definitely “down” as well. It was a kind of a bet, but it was worth it.

And to the question of the career - maternity balance, I can say the following: You have to realize your priorities, at home and at the office. When I cannot make it all, I have to filter some activities out, I try to concentrate on what is important. The tidiest flat competition is not for me, I do not prepare home made fruit jams, I have to take some work home for the evening time to time, when I want to pick my kids up from schools. I am sorting the business trips; when the skype is possible instead of a meeting I go for it. Sometimes something goes wrong, but it is because it was not important: extra kids’ socks in my hand-bag mixed with the laptop cable; realizing the fact that I am wearing fancy pattern tights and a checquered coat only on my way to the office cannot spoil my day.

Last but not least, the cooperation of the partner and the family are a necessary condition. In our family all this works naturally, the kids are having a real papa. Also our whole wider family really enjoys the kids, our kids enjoy the family. Anybody who has to be for any reason with the kids alone deserves appreciation.

You became a certified coach. What does it exactly mean? Do you actively practice coaching?

For me, coaching is something between a hobby and a professional development. I realized that especially some of my team colleagues asked me for advice to solve something, how to move somewhere. As I wanted to do this responsibly and helpfully, I started to attend a course of systemic coaching. It helped me learn how to work with people, and how to coordinate myself as well. It gave me a new insight into dealing with children, too. I apply some of the coaching methods in my communication with people in the team; I also coach some of my friends from time to time.

You have quite small kids, you have to manage them, work, household. Do you have some free time just for you own? How do you relax?

I really like time spent actively with my family and it is a great reward for me. This time (weekends and now with the warmer and lighter days also in the evenings) is sacred for me. I like mountains, hiking, cycling and skiing. I really like dancing and lately I enjoy yoga, volleyball or badminton.

Combining sport and children is getting better and better, as they are growing older. Especially the cycling and skiing are events for the whole family. But when I want to work on myself I have to wake up early and do the sport while everybody sleeps. It is extremely hard for me as I am not an early bird, however it is totally worth it. Approximately four times a year I have a weekend just for myself. My husband takes children away and they have “father’s weekends”. I call it “mother’s weekends”, and I am very inefficient at that time…

 


 

 

 

 

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