Meet Dragana, Vice President & General Manager, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa
We sat down with Dragana to discover what drew her here, her journey at Stryker and how she’s grown her career while achieving work life balance.
Why did you join Stryker?
I had already been working in the medical business when Stryker approached me. I was immediately attracted to this amazing company, especially because it was recommended by one of my customers, Prof. Papavero. It counts even more when a customer recommends a company, as it speaks for the high value of its products and services at the same time. Additionally I was impressed by how innovative and future-oriented Stryker was and of course still is. After running first interviews we recognized each other quickly as it was obvious how much value Stryker sets on its people. It was clear I found a new family at Stryker and eleven years later I still feel at home here and believe it was a perfect match for both.
What has your journey at Stryker been like? What was the path you took to get where you are today?
The journey has always been marked with my hard work but also with opportunities offered by Stryker, which enabled my growth and development. I would especially highlight the support I got from various leaders on my way up, starting as a Sales Rep back in 2010, being promoted to the Regional Sales Manager in 2012 and the National Sales Manager one year later. In 2014, when I was five months pregnant with our daughter I was offered the position of General Manager Spine Germany by my boss at the time, Markus Ochs, who I still keep in touch with on a regular basis in our mentorship program and who has been a great friend and support for me over many years at Stryker. The support I received from Spencer Stiles, The President Spine at that time, to take over this job was a crucial factor in my decision, which turned out to be the right one. For me this opportunity was not only a job offer but a proof of D,E&I within our Stryker family, where we all get equal chances to grow and develop. In March 2020 I was promoted to the Vice President & General Manager EEMEA by my current boss Stuart Silk, who is, once again, huge support and a great leader to work with and look up to. The trust and recognition I have been given on my Stryker journey have shaped who I am now and determined my successful journey which does not stop here.
What does a day in your shoes at Stryker look like?
Before the pandemic my job involved a lot of traveling, many meetings and congresses. Nowadays they take place online. It enables us to meet more frequently and use the time more efficiently. In both cases we communicate a lot to find opportunities and make right decisions for our business. Whereas face-to-face meetings provide such an important factor as human contact and the possibility to see and understand each other emotionally and react accordingly, online working in the pandemic proved how flexible we are and how flexible our organization can and has become. We saved so much time and costs due to travel bans, and were able to connect and organize our business affairs quickly and spontaneously which proved how adaptable we are to the unexpected and unplanned developments within our organization. It has been a real-life example of learning-by-doing, as we had to make sure we still take care of our physical and mental health by finding time for ourselves as well as for our families and friends in order to ensure the work-life balance on a daily level and still deliver results in our business.
Do you have any regrets in your career? What would you have done differently?
It is my personal motto that there are no mistakes as long as you have learned something.
I have no regrets as I take the best out of every situation. My early days at Stryker were marked by occasionally overreacting in my communication, especially in being too fast with my ways and my words. This is partially due to my cultural background but also my personality. I had to learn with years to breathe in deeply, to be more patient and less emotional in my reactions as well as take time to explain all steps on the way. This is a great personal gain, which I learned at Stryker and which helped me a lot later on in my career.
What advice would you give someone looking to apply at Stryker?
We at Stryker are always on the search for new talent from all cultural backgrounds at different levels and departments. You are welcome to join our Stryker family. Great teams and colleagues are waiting for you! Stryker is an extraordinary workplace with the very strong mission to make healthcare better together with our customers. We work hard and share common values, stand up for each other and make sure everybody gets an equal chance. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
What is life like outside of Stryker?
Apart from work I always make sure to still have time for my family and friends as well as for myself, doing pilates and yoga, taking long walks, reading a nice book, traveling and relaxing. It is always important for me to ensure work-life-balance and be able to offer my maximum in both. My family, Goran and our daughter Klara, have been very supportive and understanding during these times. We all know how huge a challenge Covid-19 has imposed on our daily lives and how difficult it was to cope with long lock-downs. Klara has been very understanding despite being too small to understand the context and repercussions of the ongoing pandemic. We are still making sure we have quality time as a family and preserve the stability and safety of our family life.
What are you listening to and reading right now?
I am a big fan of audio books and I have just heard a great book: The heart of business by Hubert Joly. Apart from that I really like TED Talks, classical music and literature.
For more on Stryker, our culture, our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) focus and growing our career with us, visit http://adtrk.tw/tp/rj6_GVa_z-K