A rebel mathematics student during the Peaceful Revolution in Leipzig, now Head of Finance at Vienna House. She always keeps a cool head and is known throughout the Head Office for her hearty laugh. Today we introduce you to Susann Nötzold and her exciting career, which finally took her to Vienna…
Let’s begin with your education: What influenced the most and where did you begin your professional life?
Surely the most exciting time for me was in the years 1989/1990 when I was studying mathematics in Leipzig. Actually I had planned to study law, but who would have guessed that just a short time later my life would be changed by the Peaceful Revolution – the beginning of the end of the Berlin Wall. I probably don’t have to explain in great detail how exciting this time was – and I, too, wanted to be a part of it all and make a change. But while the whole world was being turned upside down, I had to admit to myself that mathematics wasn’t really the thing for me after all. I then decided to do a course in hotel management. I ended up in a 3-star hotel in the Bavarian Alps – a dream come true, since I love skiing. That may even have been a decisive reason for my move [laughs].
And where did it go from there?
I landed a position in the controlling department at a hotel head office in Munich – where I worked as accountant. I then took a job as Director of Finance in St. Moritz while earning my Executive MBA degree at the University of Zurich on the side. I’m not really a career person, but it was quite fulfilling to see my signature on large projects right next to that of the General Manager [grins].
Head of Finance probably makes most of our readers think about numbers and figures and less about creative processes…
Would you believe me if I told you I truly am a creative person? Ask my team – they’ve all got used to me taking a pen and scribbling the glass walls in the office full of structures. I’ve even got them getting creative on the walls themselves! What I appreciate and want to support: promoting young talents at our hotels. I experienced it myself and can only be in favour.
What about your free time?
I’d say pretty conventional: I like to read and just laze about to relax. I also love diving: More than once I catch myself reminiscing about my last holiday to the Maldives.
And where do you go when you’re not under water watching fish?
I love travelling to far-away places – from Namibia to Venezuela, I’ve been almost everywhere. Of course, Europe is just as exciting and I travel here regularly, too. But I’ll save that for my old age when travelling far is no longer an option [smiles]. Something that’s still on my Travel Bucket List: the angelo by Vienna House Ekaterinburg in Russia. I’d love to explore the Urals and get to know the people and their culture.
Thank you for the interview!