Name: Marianna Papuščáková
Company/ Position: thyssenkrupp Materials Slovakia, Sales Manager
Education: Master´s degree in International relations and political science
Hobby: all kinds of sports - skiing, playing ice hockey, tennis, badminton, table tennis, hiking and cycling. Instead of TV, my everyday passion is reading books.
Why did you choose the steel industry and why thyssenkrupp Materials Slovakia?
First of all, I love sales. The truth is I have always been attracted to the machinery industry and wanted to be a part of it, even though I don´t have any technical background. My first job was in international trade, working with hydraulic pumps.
I later joined the electricity trading business which involved a lot of virtual trading via exchanges, brokers and cross-country auctions. It was a very exciting job that gave me an adrenaline rush during my decade there, but I was starting to miss the “conventional” business. When I saw a job offered by thyssenkrupp Materials Slovakia six years ago, I felt I could reconnect with customers and the industry I admired. I like being part of the production process and providing our customers with key ingredients. I’m driven by the feeling of responsibility and the perception that my everyday work is an essential part of the results at the end of the production line.
What are the daily challenges for someone who chooses to work in such a tough industry”?
Maybe the strangest challenge I had to face at the beginning was the prejudice that a woman is not well suited for this business. However, I took it in my stride. I knew I couldn´t change the culture immediately. The only way to convince clients and my colleagues of my abilities was through my actions. Personally, I have never perceived the steel business as a “tough industry”. I am sure that the main premises are valid in all industry areas: to be hardworking, trustworthy, to work effectively, to keep your word and to be willing to search for solutions – with this attitude I managed to defeat the prejudice and gain the respect of my colleagues.
What makes it exciting? What is it that attracts you to this industry or to thyssenkrupp Materials Slovakia?
Nowadays, the steel industry has become quite volatile and completely unpredictable. That´s what I find exciting. It requires quick reactions, quick decisions and you have to be permanently beware. Those are the things I love and it is never boring.
Our customers today expect us even more to support them; to find solutions that bring them a bit of stability in all this chaos. What attracts me to thyssenkrupp Materials Slovakia? I joined the company during a turbulent period. We’ve all worked hard to give it the right direction but now, we don´t want to remain just a conventional supplier… we want to go beyond. MaaS strategy and closer cooperation within the group has opened a lot of new activities and possibilities. New areas of creativity are ahead of us and I am looking forward to being part of it.
How can you best balance work and private life to make time for everything? Is it even possible? What is the secret of your success?
Now I can say that I feel there is a balance in my life. However, it was not so easy at the beginning. I used to come home with a head full of problems. I couldn´t relax and was falling asleep worrying about how to sort things out. Fortunately, I managed to organize things very quickly and set up some crucial processes, so now things are working well. I cannot say it is always ideal and that I leave work with closed doors singing “adiós,” but at a certain point I understood that balance is essential for me. I know myself very well; I must find time for physical activities, otherwise I will not be able to reach my personal targets. I have a big family (three sons), they all understand what I need (a bit of craziness) and are willing to help me to be happy in my private and professional life. This is my humble secret.
Why do you recommend the women@MX initiative to your female colleagues?
I think it is a great idea for women to network through a platform like this. We can share each other’s experiences, knowledge and ideas. I consider it as a tool of mentoring and training. It is a great support network for women to gain self-confidence and to see how other colleagues are dealing with probably the same situations. The more women involved the bigger diversity of experience and strengths it brings.