Becoming an All-Rounder Abroad
With initiative, flexibility, and self-confidence, in five years, Linda Schleining has followed an “exotic” career path at tesa.
Germany, Singapore, the Netherlands. These are Linda Schleinings’ stations at the beginning of her career at the adhesive specialist tesa. The 30-year-old calls it an “alternative career”, but it could also be described as an internship with consequences. And it all began in 2012, after her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Hamburg. Born in Cologne, she worked at the tesa affiliate Scribos and became a “tesa talent” – She was thus admitted to the corporate pool for potential junior staff. With her MSc in Austria and the USA successfully completed, in 2014, Schleining took the initiative: “I called tesa and asked for a job. Unfortunately, there was no vacancy in Germany, however, there was an opening in Singapore.” As luck would have it, a new position in product management for industrial adhesive tapes had just been created in the Southeast Asian island and city state. The then 24-year-old took her chance.
Linda Schleining has worked for tesa SE since 2014, currently as Marketing Manager for the Benelux Management Unit in Hilversum (Netherlands). The 30-year-old native of Cologne has a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration (HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration) and Master of Science, International Management (University of Klagenfurt / Austria, University of West Florida / USA).
A bold leap into working life away from home that – without the previous “detour” to the Headquarters – represents an exception in the company. After three years of temporary employment at the regional headquarters of tesa tape Asia Pacific, she moved back to Europe in early 2018. Schleining successfully landed in the regional tesa headquarters in Amsterdam, where she took care of the regional marketing for adhesive products in the consumer markets Do-it-yourself, Food and Discount for Western Europe. Since mid-2019, the cosmopolitan Rhinelander has been working in nearby Hilversum. In the division Trade Marketing Consumer, she is today responsible for all consumer markets for Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
For Schleining, the fact that up to now her dynamic career has been proceeding “only” horizontally represents an advantage for herself as well for the company: “Through many experiences, I’ve turned into a generalist. Therefore, I hope to continue to be widely deployable, even for vertical development steps.” She appreciates the uncomplicated support during her previous moves, both from superiors in the countries as well as from human resources in the German headquarters. After all, she didn’t go abroad as part of a structured expat programme, but rather took an exotic path in the tesa working world.
My tips: Proactively raise your hand, don’t be afraid of horizontal steps, don’t underestimate regional positions in the company and – very importantly – be patient until the right offer comes along!
Marketing Manager Consumer for tesa Benelux
Schleining says that her strengths, which she sees in her flexibility and initiative, as well as in her self-esteem and ambition, have helped her a great deal along this path. The marketing manager has the following career tips for her colleagues: “Proactively raise your hand, don’t be afraid of horizontal steps, don’t underestimate regional positions in the company and – very importantly – be patient until the right offer comes along.” Linda Schleining’s central message about her career in the company: “At tesa, you can take part more than you would ever think!”
Faces and Stories
tesa offers not only vertical but also horizontal career paths. Who are the employees that have successfully moved forward on alternative paths? What motivated them? What tips do they have for others? These and other questions will be answered in an article series on tesa.insights. In loose sequence, we’ll portray protagonists from the diverse working world at tesa. General information about tesa as an employer: