Name: Christina Schak Møller
Title: Director – Procurement Advisory
Degree: MSc Business Administration
Introduce yourself: Tell us your name, your age, your degree/university, and the fun fact that makes you unique!
My name is Christina Schak Møller and I am 48 years old.
I have a Masters Degree in Business Administration – and graduated all the way back in 2001. Which I celebrated by buying my first mobile phone!
A fun fact about me is that I love planning holidays. I have an excel sheet with all my ideas and planning from the past 10+ years. This summer I took 2 months leave with my family and travelled in French Polynesia and South East Asia – the excel sheet for that trip was quite extensive.
What does a day in your life look like as Director in Procurement Advisory at KPMG?
Working as a consultant means that your days are rarely similar and for me the days are often a mix between external client related work and internal tasks.
On the “external side” I am involved in client projects where we typically implement digital procurement solutions in large, global corporations or we provide advice and sourcing support to procurement departments. This includes participating in all sorts of project and steering group meetings, working on project plans, reporting on progress, staffing assignments, and raising risks and decision points with the relevant people. My job also entails a lot of sales activities – from coffee meetings where we pitch ideas to preparing proposals and develop answers to big tenders.
On the internal side, I manage a team of 10 people. My days therefore also require that I am available to exchange ideas and provide support where needed, as well as I set the direction for the team and the services we deliver. Sometimes I travel to meet up with colleagues from other KPMG firms to discuss collaboration opportunities and how to develop our services. And finally, there are a quite a few admin tasks in respects to budgets, reporting, recruitment etc.
What motivates and excites you the most about your career path and the leadership position you hold?
What excites me the most is that I have managed to change my career path by building on the expertise that I have gained over the years. This has not been a planned moved, but more an opportunity and an idea that was built along the way.
I worked many years in the “industry” as a Sourcing Manager and in roles as project and programme manager, and later I have moved on to the consulting industry. I can now use all this experience and put it into play in my client projects as well in my team. I am really motivated when and I can see that me and my colleagues make a difference at the clients and help them improve.
Share with us the biggest lessons you learned on your journey to where you are today.
There are quite a few 😊
The most important is picking a job that you like (and not what you think others would like or expect). I have worked in a job and in a culture which was definitely not a fit for me – and it slowly took all my energy. When I found myself ‘barking’ at old ladies in the supermarket, I knew that it was time to change as I was not a good version of myself.
On the boring side, I have learned that numbers count. If you are not in control of e.g. project budgets and estimates, someone will help you get in control (meaning you will be monitored and you will loose room to maneuver – as well as credibility).
Tell us about a (female) role model who inspired you to become the leader you are today, and how (s)he impacted you personally or professionally.
It is actually a friend from University that I think of. She has that Pippi Langstrømpe attitude ‘I have never done it before, but I know I will be excellent’ – which is really inspiring. She has been extremely good at challenging me when for example I have been in doubt on whether I would have the right skill set to pursue a new position or take on a large project. And I hope that I can pass on some of the same mentality to the younger people in my team.
In addition to her I think of the CFO in one of my previous positions. He was extremely approachable and treated all with a very high level of respect. Also in times when projects or situations were not on track – he steered with calm, pragmatism, and respect and he never threw anyone under the bus. A huge example to follow.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, or to other young female students today, what would it be?
Try out different things! Don’t worry if you do not take the ‘direct’ career path or know exactly what you want to specialize in. The experiences you gather along the way are valuable and can be used in many different contexts. Career paths are often a bit random and can lead to many interesting opportunities – even if you do not have a 10-year plan when you graduate.
Some of the best experiences when I look back has for example been taking a break between my bachelor and my master to go work in Vietnam at the Danish Embassy, and buying an old van and drive across the US for a couple of months. It extended my studies, but I learned a lot along the way.
How do you see STEM education shaping the future?
STEM is hugely important – I am not sure that has actually changed!
More and more jobs have for example a tech side to it – but this does not mean that you have to be a teach savvy or understand complex technical solutions to work in that space. But having a strong foundation in STEM can definitely bring a lot of opportunities across industries and organizations.
Why is it important for you to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM?
Diversity helps bring different ideas, approaches and competences together. It will be easier to create solutions that our out-of-the box and more creative if you bring people together who sees things differently and have different backgrounds. This is the case for STEM, workplaces and anywhere else.
What steps has your company taken to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and which one has been the most effective?
At KPMG we have a strong focus on diversity. One of our defined values are ‘Together for better’ – we want people to thrive with us and to make room for differences.
KPMG has implemented several initiatives and campaigns to support diversity. This includes establishing a number allyships such as ‘Queer Space’, ‘Gender Balance’, ‘Mindspace’ just to mention some.
The allyships aims to drive change, promote equality for all and strives to create a better and more inclusive work environment. They are employee-driven initiatives that involves both top leadership and passionate individuals who spend time beside their job to work on advancing the initiative and creating a balanced community.
In addition to allyships, KPMG has partnered up with for example the Sunflower Scheme, Inspired Beyond Babies and Above and Byond to help promote diversity and show or support.