"Sometimes I wonder about how my life has developed"

Since March of last year, Juliane Löbig has been the Head of Finance & Accounting at Kuraray Europe GmbH – a new, exciting challenge for the 40-year-old Business Management graduate. We spoke with her about the not-so-straightforward career path she took, the many obstacles she overcame and the enthusiasm for her work.

"No, my career has certainly not been straightforward," Juliane Löbig smirks. Originally, she wanted to become a primary school teacher. "After my first teaching experience at a primary school, I found out that this profession was not for me and cancelled my studies." In 1997, she applied to Hoechst AG for training as a specialist in computer science – and was contracted as a foreign language correspondent. "During that time I impressed the decision-makers with the fact that I had learned several languages – including a few years of Japanese – because I was simply interested," she explained.

Grown into the tasks

She started working as a secretary at Clariant, later becoming a sales clerk. Without any SAP experience, she had to acquire a lot of knowledge by herself. Shortly afterwards, Kuraray took over Clariant’s PVA/PVB business and founded Kuraray Specialties Europe. Juliane Löbig was shared their enthusiasm: "I was fascinated to be part of the company's development right from the start," she said. In 2004, Juliane Löbig graduated in Business Administration (work/study program) as a Businesswoman and increasingly took on new tasks in the company with greater responsibility. "It was a great time," she recalls. "Our challenge was to integrate new business areas and structures into the existing SAP system in order to be able to present a meaningful results statement.”

Ascent with maternity leave

In 2008, just having become group leader in the Finance and Administration department, she announced she was having a baby! For the dedicated woman this was not a problem: Despite being a single parent, the young mother returned after fourteen months on a part-time basis and gradually increased her working hours until reaching full-time status again. "Even today I still am working partly from home," says Juliane Löbig – and she appreciates her employer's commitment. "Not all women get a comparable chance in this situation," she says. "But ultimately, it’s a give-and-take from both sides." Ms. Löbig never would have believed that eventually she would take over management of the department, she frankly admitted. Even this choice was like so many others she had to make in her life. "I have no absolutely predetermined goals and am happy to meet new challenges that are offered to me."