Maike Winkler has gathered a lot of different experience, skills, values and memories through education and work experience which enable her to deal with very different kinds of situations and challenges in work life. The future is open for new professional adventures as she wishes to keep on learning with inspiring people around her.
When my professional journey started, I wanted to take the opportunity to explore and find something new and exciting in the world – to get out of familiar surroundings and embrace a completely unknown experience.
My combined natural interest after school came with the intention to inspire by travel and enable people to connect to each other and to new contexts. So the choice to study Hospitality, Tourism and Experience Management seemed obvious. Driven by this intention, I had the unique experience at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science in Helsinki to dive into the aspect of hospitality and to gain a true service-oriented attitude.
The psychological side of business started to interest
In a first internship in event management at the InterContinental Hamburg, Germany, I collected initial work experience and decided to foster my organizational and planning skills as Consultant & Project Leader at Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Basel, Switzerland.
My journey emerged and unfolded due to new triggers in this work environment which motivated me to learn more about the psychological side of business and understand what motivated people. I started interpreting situations at work and wanted to understand why people behaved in a certain way in organizations and how to initiate change.
This encouraged me to pursue studies in Business Psychology at London Metropolitan University in London where I explored topics more deeply such as motivation and leadership. The experience in London filled me with a sense of possibility, excitement and strong inner motivation to have a true impact.
Meanwhile, I discovered my strong interest in being part of something big like the Olympic Games which took part in 2012 where I had the unique opportunity to volunteer as a Games Maker and work as team leader in a highly international environment. This was one important motivator for me to focus on team work in a scientific doctoral thesis.
The road led to organizational learning field
In addition, the world around me was changing quickly with new forms of digital possibilities. I wanted to create knowledge that others can build on or which they can use. Hence, I pursued my doctor at the Institute of Information Systems at the University of Bern, Switzerland to specialize on cross-border collaboration with digital tools, such as prototypes, during collaboration in extreme virtual team settings while engaging in teaching activities at the institute.
This led me to the organizational learning field which I experienced in very sales-driven and international environment engaged in complex international learning transformation projects in the DACH region and Italy strongly collaborating with HR departments. In order to take the client perspective, I then chose to accompany transformation at an internal HR department in Learning & Development at a traditional insurance company Die Mobiliar that is in the process of transformation.
Future is open for new professional adventures
Today, the combination of collected experiences and memories as well as skills, values and practices are so rich and unique that they enable me to deal with very different kinds of situations and challenges I encounter in my work life. I wish that I will be able to keep on learning with inspiring people around me to achieve something meaningful together and be part of something big.
In the future, I am planning new professional adventures in various contexts and subject areas with amazing and inspiring people who I sincerely enjoy working with, who are extremely talented and whose company I truly enjoy – one of these people happens to be a former companion at Haaga-Helia University and I am very thankful for our connection and shared experience.
I wish you great travels and stay curious. I hope my story inspires you to embrace a sense of freedom as there are so many choices out there, yet also paradoxes. Take the time to find out what you really want and be aware that this will emerge over time. Step beyond your comfort zone and go to new places and meet people. Reinvent and develop yourself continuously.
After all, like Kevin Kelly said: Travel is still the most intense mode of learning.
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