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Tatiana Siuchak, MBA ’23, Product Manager at VW Credit, on leading through disruption and breaking down barriers for women

When Tatiana Siuchak, MBA ‘23, first pictured her career, she didn’t expect to find herself in the automobile industry. But once there, she found it was a field she loved – and one undergoing the types of changes that would require strong leadership.

It was also a field that hasn’t traditionally been led by women – and that was something Tatiana thought an MBA education could help her change.

“For me it wasn't about the three letters; it was more of a long-term investment in myself as a leader and in my career growth,” said Tatiana, Product Manager at VW Credit, which provides credit for Volkswagen, Audi, and Ducati

“The MBA helps you figure out what type of leader you want to be, which I wanted to explore, both for myself and to find ways to lead the way for other women in my organization as well.”

Tatiana joined BMW in as an intern, later moving to VW Credit and eventually working as project manager for North America, where she’s leading digitalization projects for both the U.S. and Canada.

During her Accelerated MBA, she found the perspective she gained during courses that encouraged her to look at problems from numerous angles allowed her to speak with added authority, since she’s more aware of how strategic decisions are made and how industry dynamics work.

“I’ve had senior leaders in my organization and our partner organization tell me they wish they were as aware of the industry and its dynamics when they were my age as I am,” she said.

She points to an exercise in her Managing Innovation course as an example: The class was asked to come up with seven different ways of handling a situation. One or two solutions, she says, are easy. Six or seven get a bit harder – yet that kind of innovative thinking is exactly what’s needed in an industry like automotive, which is going through major disruptions like electrification and digitalization.

“So many things are changing, yet people in this industry have operated the same way for 30 years,” she said.

“We need more creative thinkers, we need more people who can think outside the box to come up with creative solutions, and the MBA really helps to look at how we deal with all this change in a more structured approach.”

Tatiana was able to share insights from the MBA immediately with her colleagues during the program, and found several courses were directly applicable to issues she was handling at work.

“When it came to courses like Consumer Insights Amid Disruption, or Managing Innovation – those were relevant because it’s what I deal with every day,” she said.

“And of course, soft skills for negotiation, impact and influence, or managing people.”

She also found a lot of value in informal conversations with classmates who came from different industries but were also debating their next career move or thinking about what they wanted their leadership style to be.

“I’ve definitely seen a change in how I’m developing as a leader, and I feel fortunate to be where I am, but I also think I bring a lot to the table. It's not very common to see someone who looks like me in a room where decisions are made in the automotive industry,” she said.

“And I'm trying to figure out how to bring more women to those groups as well.”

AMBA '23

Ivey Business School

Tatiana Siuchak

Tatiana Siuchak

Toronto, Canada

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