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Be Internationally Competitive with an MBA

Gulchekhra Bakeberg

"I would say a mindset shift is the biggest take away from the business school."

General information:

  • Name: Gulchekhra Bakeberg 
  • Home Country: Uzbekistan
  • Current Job Location: Germany
  • Job Function: HR Business Partnering
  • Industry of Work: Sports fashion
  • Name of Company: PUMA Europe
  • Hobbies: Tennis, reading
  • Degrees:
    • Bachelor in Economics, Uzbekistan
    • MBA in General Management, HHL Leipzig, Germany

What did you do between undergrad and MBA?

Working for an international company in Uzbekistan, learning different languages and discovering new cultures.

Why did you decide to pursue a Master/MBA degree? What was the “light bulb” moment you knew business school was in your future?

I wanted to relocate to Germany. It was quite clear for me that in order to be competitive in the European Talent Market and find a dream job in an international company, I would need comparable education and experience.

Please describe your current job and the skills you need.

I am a Sr. HR Business Partner Europe.  My role is to provide the management with professional HR expertise, support them in decision process related to people and organizational development, consult employees on their professional  growth, and of course,  to ensure  we do all that using modern HR tools, technics, and technologies. The role requires specific functional knowledge, skills and awareness  (i.e.  HR related) like recruiting,  labor law, dynamics of the talent markets, HR administration, you list them. Also an understanding of the company business, it’s challenges and opportunities, economic environment, forces and trends  influencing talents choices, their skills and needs inside and outside the company.

What did you learn or gain from business school that has allowed you to get where you are today (skills, internships, network, etc.)?

I would say a mindset shift is the biggest take away from the business school. Of course topics we learned, experiences we did together with my classmates are also at a great service for me, and I refer to them quite often. But I think the mindset shift makes these knowledge more valuable. I see the picture  much broader now and far beyond the HR specifics. Before I come up with a solution, I usually ask myself what real measurable benefits it can bring to people and the company? Is it adding additional complexity? Will I buy this idea if I would be a business owner?

What was your inspiration for pursuing your current job/career—why did you get into this particular line of work?

The Company, I just love PUMA. I had a luck to do my internship in Global Strategy department at PUMA as a part of my MBA program and during this time I realized this is my environment, this is my company, from product it makes until culture and people it has.

Is the job/industry how you expected it to be? If not, what’s the biggest difference?

Yes, I love it!

Did you take the GMAT exam and if yes, when do you think is the best time to take the exam?

Yes I did. I think the best time to take the GMAT exam is when you feel you are ready. The GMAT exam needs time and attention, but the success is definitely matter of training, not a miracle.

Where do you see your career taking you 10 years from now?

The world is turning so quickly nowadays, it is difficult to predict, but I will make by best to ensure I have my dream job, whatever it would mean for me in 10 years from now on.