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      April 12, 2021

      Be courageous, believe in yourself and don´t forget to smile

      The power of a positive and open mindset. My short guide to success includes five key aspects. Following those, let me grow to where I am today and shaped the development of my career and life.

      ​​​​​​​My name is Mirjam and I am a passionate, energetic people´s person. I grew up in a big family and learned my entire life how to interact with others, to get alignment and attention. As a triathlete I know how to focus, clear my mind and face challenges. And my scientific background is key for my work in Research and Development. With those aspects bundled together I want to make a difference in my environment in a positive and open-minded manner.

      For this reason, I want to share these five key aspects, that helped me to achieve better results in my life and career.

      1.  Know your strengths:

      After graduation in 2015 as a natural scientist, I decided to start at Continental Tires as a tire development engineer. Even without an engineering background, I was convinced that my structural thought process, result orientation and communication skills would help me succeed in adjusting my scope from academia to industry. These so-called soft skills are my skill set that I can always rely on to guide me through my career and life.

      2. Take the challenges you are given:

      Early in my career, I was asked to lead the Conti Tire Award, a global project focusing on rewarding people and projects from the Tires Division all around the world. From leading this project, I realized myself what has been said a million times: Tire business is a people business. I was thrilled to see first-hand how enthusiastic colleagues nominated over 700 extraordinary projects and I gained a broad overview about all areas of our organization. Together with the passionate, international project team, we organized the Award ceremony. Once I met the finalists from around the globe, I experienced an inspiring, welcoming, open and intercultural atmosphere. The ceremony was an evening the project team and I still remember well and continues to connect us to this day. This culture matters to me the most and makes me proud being part of Continental.

      3. Use your network for support:

      When I took my first leadership position, I adjusted my scope once again. I was facing the challenging task of being responsible for the development of truck and bus tire technologies. Together with the team, we managed to solve topic after topic and grew closer together. The feedback and support I was given from my team, colleagues and supervisors were key for my development in this role.

      4. Leave your comfort zone and it will grow:

      Inspired by the intercultural atmosphere in Tires R&D with almost 60 nations in one building, I decided to go for an international assignment. Now being in Shanghai, I am responsible for R&D passenger car tires in OE Asia Pacific. This challenge has just started, but the first months already prove that my decision was right. Being in the middle of a new culture, language and lifestyle, I have the chance to learn something new every day about this country, the city, its history and culture. It is crucial to know the history to be able to understand the culture of today. At the same time, I am also learning and reflecting so much about myself and am convinced this growth will shape my future.

      5. Be courageous:

      It would be a lie to say I don´t have days when I am overwhelmed by a task or confronted with challenges. But I always have someone next door- a colleague or a friend- who supports me, gives me advice, listens or joins for an afterwork bike ride or run. The partnerships and friendships I have built are key not only for my personal success but also in the projects and tasks we deal with together. With increasing responsibilities in the positions, I believe it is crucial to have a strong bond of peers, coaches and mentors.

      It all comes down to: Be courageous, believe in yourself and don´t forget to smile.

      This article was written by our employee.

      Dr. Mirjam Peters

      Head of PLT R&D OE APAC