After working for 14 years with business consulting, a work season in New York awakened Simone Frizzo’s interest for a new area. Now expecting her first child, the executive thinks over the key elements needed to a successful personal and professional path.
Which facts in your earlier life do you consider to be essential to form your personality?
I understand the essential elements to form my personality were my family and the school I attended. In both the family and school environments, I was encouraged to live with people from different backgrounds and social classes, who always stimulated my curiosity and critical sense, and developed my awareness regarding our participation in the community we are included. Such stimuli helped me having greater flexibility for changes, teamwork and always try to improve the quality of the work I deliver with my team.
Could you explain to us the main factor that made you choose your career in tax?
It happened by chance. Recently graduated, I saw an ad for trainee programs in two consulting agencies. As I felt I was very inexperienced, I though a trainee program would make the transition from the student to the professional life smoother. But I must confess I didn’t really know what to expect. I was hired for the fiscal area, I loved the subject and the corporate environment as soon as I started my career.
In your opinion, what are the key aspects for a woman to be successful in her career? What attributes do you consider essential to encourage and lead people?
Dedication and knowledge because women still need to prove their competence to reach executive positions. Once in the position, in order to motivate and lead people, I believe having empathy, strategic vision and paying attention to communication are crucial. Putting yourself truly in the other person’s shoe and understand his/her strengths and weaknesses will help you get the best of your team. Strategic vision is necessary to align the form of work and the goal to be achieved with the team. Communication is the Achilles’ heel of most leaders and there is always room for improvement.
You chose a different path from consulting and moved to the automobile industry. What motivated you to make such a meaningful change?
I spent 14 years working with consulting and I am very thankful for the learning and opportunities I had in this career. In one of these opportunities I was head of the Brazilian desk in New York and I participated in a group that handled the fiscal analysis for the supply chain. I thought this more complete approach was very interesting and I was very interested in understanding production chains more deeply. At the time, I received a proposal from Mercedes-Benz and I thought it was a great learning opportunity on a theme I was already very interested in.
Considering that you are expecting your first child, what do you think will change in the way you see your personal life? And your profession?
Yes, I’m very excited. I think it will be my greatest challenge due to the responsibility and feelings involved. My work availability will be certainly reduced, and I will certainly need to find ways of being more efficient. The good part is that today we have technology working in our favor and companies are more aware of the need to support the formation of a family. In this sense, I have great support at Mercedes-Benz, which is important for me so that I can dedicate myself to such an important period of my life.