Michael Kraft
International Key Account Manager

Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper
Austria

What’s your job at Mondi and where do you work?
I am an International Key Account Manager (as of January 2020) for Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper.

What did you study or do before you joined Mondi?
Before joining Mondi, I did my Bachelor and Master at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), as well as a semester abroad at the University of Miami, USA. In the course of my academic career, I specialized in International Business, Finance, Marketing and Sales.

When did you start working for Mondi? 
I had my first encounter with Mondi back in 2013, when I started an internship here during a 6-month gap period between my Bachelor and Master degree. I got my first experience in the Extrusion Coatings & Release Liner departments before I started my professional career with Mondi Uncoated Finer Paper in 2015 after completing my studies.

Did you have a different role at Mondi earlier?
As mentioned above, I did internships with EC & RL in 2013 (as well as 2014) before I was accepted into a Mondi Graduate Traineeship program, getting the chance to “deep dive” into Sales, Marketing, and Supply Chain, getting to know Mondi’s key business touchpoints and exploring the business from different angles.

Ultimately, I always wanted to work in sales. I felt like that would  really help me unfold my true potential. I already shared this vision/aspiration with our Marketing and Sales Director in the last round of my job interview. Yet I still very much enjoyed working in the different departments of the Mondi Sales and Supply Chain organization before I got the great opportunity to start working in a “hybrid” function. It consisted of 50% sales responsibility incl. Regional KAM and local customers in Austria, and 50% being a key project member of our digital platform myMondi. My role was to coordinate the rollout to all customers across Europe and beyond. After its successful implementation in 2017, I received 100% sales responsibility dealing with regional KAMs and local customers in the DACH region.

What do you like most about working at Mondi?
I don’t just “like” but love the fact that when you are open to challenges, and you are willing to go the extra mile, you always receive a return. You get the feeling that the company wants to develop you and considers your aspirations. This gives a serious motivational boost.

What are your colleagues like?
My colleagues are professional, open-minded, dynamic, “action-packed” people who (and this is something I really appreciate) never forget that a sense of humor in the work place makes our demanding tasks easier to overcome (together).

What is your secret talent?
Last time my dear superior came up with a nice statement – “Michael is picking up each single colleague from every floor within Mondi for the party together on the 17th floor”. My fiancée laughs at me for walking into a bar and befriending everyone in there. In a nutshell, I enjoy spreading good vibes, motivating my friends and colleagues, and forming new relationships.

What’s your dream job?
I already have it. As of January 2020, I´ll be promoted to International Key Account Manager in the Uncoated Fine Paper department. My key stakeholder contacts are located in the Netherlands, where we will shape international agreements and strategies. We work with the customer in approx. 15 different countries in Europe (from West to East), as well as overseas. In this role, I will have the chance to learn our key countries and markets better, and work with multiple cultures to ensure that our commonly agreed tactics and strategies are successfully implemented across Europe. This is the job I was striving for and I am excited to see how my journey will continue.

How do you like to spend your free time? 
For the past two years, in addition to my demanding job at Mondi, we have also been building a house. We were actively involved not just in the planning phase but also in the manual work. Finally, a few months ago, we moved into the house and, shortly after, welcomed a new family member, our daughter Magdalena, who now brings a lot of additional happiness to our new home. I still spend a lot of my free time finalising the outdoor elements, like the fence and the flooring. But I´m happy to see that I can dedicate more and more time to my little family (including more day and weekend trips), enjoying our life together. We love to travel and we would like to teach our little princess this common passion in the near future.