Engineering firms are still largely considered to be a male bastion. But this has never deterred Alexandra Muszal. After completing her MBA, the 32-year-old joined EISENMANN, eventually becoming the Head of Finance & Controlling in Shanghai, and is now the director of the Functional Controlling Door Systems division at Brose Fahrzeugteile.

The MBA course at ISM proved to be the ideal career stepping stone for Alexandra. After working for four years in investment controlling at EISENMANN in Germany, the company assigned her a new role in Shanghai.

The two years in Shanghai, a key trade centre and multicultural metropolis, had a major impact on Alexandra's life. "Living away from family and friends and fulfilling a role that was both interesting and highly challenging has definitely had a lasting impact on my personal and professional development. I invested a lot personally during this period to ensure my time abroad and the project was a success – it is an experience that I would do again given the chance."

The next professional challenge was already waiting for her at Brose Fahrzeugteile near Bamberg in southern Germany. The Polish-born businesswoman had once again chosen a global player in the technical sector. Brose is the world's fifth-largest family-owned automotive supplier. "The greatest challenge is the reduction of complexity in an extremely fast-growing company. Besides having to mediate with divisional managers, product controllers and the central controlling teams, there is also the task of linking over 40 locations with controllers and commercial managers."

Professionally speaking, she is driven by her passion for sustainability. "Intense pricing pressure and the rapid growth of automotive suppliers impose onerous requirements on the industry," explains Alexandra. "My job is to create transparency and, from a controlling perspective, to put forward a set of recommendations to the management for action, thus ensuring we stay the course in the long term." "The graduate course at ISM gave me the opportunity to meet many interesting people and to further develop my problem-solving abilities. One of the things I found most fascinating was the insights provided by lecturers who had led companies through crisis situations."