For a long time, Viet Do had her sights set on an international career in a large management consultancy. In this interview, the always cheerful German-Vietnamese reveals why in the end she decided to take on a strategic task in industry after completing her management studies, how from her point of view strategy is connected to creativity, and why she can successfully apply her intercultural skills to her work as Consultant to the Executive Management at the Berghof Group.
1) The constant striving to become even faster and better is deeply rooted in Asian culture. Even though you were born and raised in Germany: Have your parents, who come from Vietnam, left their mark on you in this sense?
Yes, that played a big role at home. As with many people who growing up feel the tension between two very different cultures, this “walking between the worlds“, the mediation of both cultures, has also shaped me.
That’s why, already towards the end of my school years and for a long time during my studies, I thought that a management consulting career would exactly be my thing.
I wanted to have variety, constantly new challenges and to apply my intercultural skills in an environment as international as possible – which is why I also worked for a well-known management consultancy during my studies and as an intern abroad.
This strategic, conceptual work excited me from the very beginning. I’ve always been impressed by people who find effective strategies for positive change, who present them so thrillingly and later implement them across cultural boundaries so that real change, positive energy and growth emerge.
That’s the kind of person I wanted to become back then – and initially I couldn't think of a better place for this personal development than a respected management consultancy.
2) But things turned out differently: After graduating, you initially worked as a management assistant in a large logistics group, and since the beginning of 2020 you have been part of the Berghof Group management team. What was the reason for this fundamental change in your career plans?
A thrilling experience: During the course of my studies, I gained practical experience in my majors management and business administration as an intern in various companies and countries, the U.S. and China among them.
Especially after a longer internship in the U.S. it was very clearly to me that in companies too there are very strategic and varied tasks – and the opportunity to make a big difference.
The closer I got to completing my master’s degree, the less comfortable I felt with the idea of launching strategic projects in different companies just for a short period of time – and then moving on to the next project. I much preferred to have long-term success in a permanent team, grow together and see the fruits of my labor. I also found it difficult to imagine being on the road constantly, living out of a suitcase, seeing friends and family only occasionally.
So, after graduating, I looked for opportunities in the industry sector to come as close as possible to my ideal of strategic, conceptual work with a clear mandate for continuous improvement – and especially now with the Berghof Group, that is absolutely the case.
Today I am very happy to have made this decision. As part of a strong team, it is great fun for me to contribute to the further positive development of the Berghof Group with my ideas – and then enjoy the success achieved together.
3) What exactly is your job within the Berghof Group management team?
Through my complex management consulting expertise in strategic cooperation with various companies, I have learned a lot about which strategies can uncover and develop existing potential for further healthy, sustainable growth. My intercultural skills also make it easy for me to understand different perspectives and circumstances and to mediate between them – a very important issue given the diversity and international orientation of the Berghof Group.
These two central skills are crucial success factors for my business development task: Together with the respective management team of our diverse business units, we work on strategic issues to ensure even stronger growth in the future. Topics can be new products or services, but also new markets, new sales channels or newly created positions in our group of companies.
Berghof is the perfect address for this aspiration, but also for my drive for constant improvement. As we all know, if you’re standing still you’re going backwards – and that’s why Berghof will always be in constant motion. My position was newly created to strategically support this urge for innovation which is typical for Berghof. And, of course, as part of the group’s joint service organization, it’s also about strengthening ties among each other, finding additional synergies and process optimizations, and thus getting even better for our customers.
We have already achieved a lot – but we still have a lot of potential in all areas to become even better and more successful, bit by bit. I’m looking forward to enjoying much more success together with the team.