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Interview with Lidija Šoldić, Lear Corporation

Lidija Soldic

Ms. Lidija Šoldić is a graduate of Professional MBA Automotive Industry. She is also a winner of the "Die Presse" scholarship. When she started the MBA program she worked as a Senior Financial Analyst at Lear Corporation. During the program, she moved up to a higher position and received more assignments in the same company. In the following interview she talked about her personal development with the MBA program.

What has been the greatest success in your career to date?

Opportunity of creation, supporting and building up a team from the ground up is for me one of the greatest rewards & achievement you can experience in the career path. For me, being successful, means that my team enjoy what they do and that they can grow and expand new horizons.
I have had opportunity to work with many people in different cross functions area and I would always enjoyed actively supporting my team and realized together many demanding tasks as the: One Team.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people”. (Steven Jobs).
The success formula: “Growth = is possible out of personal comfort zone”, brought an further opportunity to develop my professional journey in Germany, within current company “Lear corporation”. It involved overcoming the difficulties of emigrating from a non-European country and adapting to a new environment. Successfully navigating these challenges and establishing myself in a foreign land was a significant accomplishment. 
These joint challenges are my greatest professional successes.

How did the Professional MBA Automotive Industry help you achieve your career goals? What has been the greatest benefit for you?

The greatest current benefit I have experienced from pursuing an MBA is the ability to advance within my current company. As a result of obtaining my MBA, I have been given the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and tackle professional challenges with confidence. This upward mobility within the organization has been immensely rewarding and has allowed me to further grow and develop in my career.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced on your career path?

Learning new things is always a challenge for me. But with sincere efforts you can handle any challenge. One of my great experience, trough I have learned a lot, it was a possibility to be part of great project team within greenfield investment in Serbia. Overall, the business and investment in Serbia is still considered difficult, requiring caution and patience for success by foreign companies. Ongoing improvements in administrative procedures such as customs, optimization and implementation of new business processes, e-procurement have improved the business climate and brought significant progress in economic and administrative reforms.

How did the qualifications you gained during the MBA program help you overcome these challenges?

The knowledge and skills gained through this program have been instrumental in propelling my professional career forward. The newfound abilities developed as a result of this education have enabled me to take on new and exciting opportunities.

In your opinion, what are the defining personality traits of a successful manager?

In my opinion, successful managers possess key traits like strong leadership, adaptability, effective communication, integrity, and resilience. They lead by example, easily adjust to changing circumstances, communicate well with their team, uphold ethical standards, and bounce back from challenges with a positive mindset.

What topics that will affect us in the future should managers definitely be looking into?

As the automotive industry evolves, managers must keep up with emerging trends to stay successful. Key topics for future managers include electric and autonomous vehicles, sustainable practices, digitalization, and connectivity, mobility services, cybersecurity, and talent management. By staying informed and proactive in these areas, managers can position themselves and their organizations for success in the dynamic automotive industry of the future.

How do you keep a good balance between your professional and private life?

In today’s world, achieving a balance between personal and professional life has become increasingly important. With advancements in technology and flexible work arrangements, it is now possible to accomplish a significant portion of work remotely. This shift in the way we work allows individuals to effectively manage and integrate both aspects of their lives, leading to a more harmonious and fulfilling lifestyle. By embracing this flexibility, individuals can strive for a successful equilibrium between their personal and professional commitments.

Which famous person would you like to meet? Why?

The famous person I would have loved to meet is unfortunately not alive.
I would have cherished the opportunity to meet President Ronald Reagan, as I consider him one of the great forerunners of the globalization era. His economic policies, which shared similarities with the principles of the Austrian School of economics, deeply resonate with me.
His liberal policies, which placed the state in a secondary and non-interventionist role, even in critical domestic situations such as the American automobile industry crisis, where he allowed the entry of Japanese automobiles despite the short-term challenges it posed to his country, demonstrated his commitment to long-term benefits and individual development.
Reagan’s ideals of responsibility and personal growth have greatly influenced my perception of adulthood in a society that often leans towards a state of immaturity.

What is your connection to the TU Wien Academy for Continuing Education  nowadays? Are you still in contact with your fellow students or lecturers?
I am following the activities and events organized online by TU Wien Academy for Continuing Education. These offers are highly appreciated by my side as, I keep myself up to date regarding new trends & innovations. With some of my MBA colleagues we have realized business collaboration between companies, and I am very happy that we organize our yearly MBA gathering.

What personal or professional goals have you set yourself for the next 10 years?

In 10 years, I hope to advance in my role as much as possible. I love this industry and think it is the right choice for me long-term. I want to continue working in a collaborative environment where every employee can thrive. One of my goals is for my ideas to make a bigger, positive impact on the company, and I will use my communication and leadership skills to make this happen.