My name is Michael Chiodo and I hold the position of Process Manager Intercompany and Tax Operational at Bayer. I am a huge National Hockey League fan and love the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ice hockey is a fast-paced sport in which teamwork and the right strategy are essential for winning. These are also essential characteristics for working in accounting at international companies.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup Final again. But this year, I followed the finale in Leverkusen, where I am spending my long-term assignment (LTA) in the Global Process Governance – Transactional (GPG-TRA) department at Bayer. My enthusiasm for Pittsburgh sports teams like the Penguins or the Steelers comes from the fact that they are from my hometown. I have been working in Pittsburgh for Bayer Accounting for ten years now. During that time, my roles have varied from Business Partnering, General Ledger and Global Process Governance to Reporting functions.
Bayer’s reputation is what encouraged me to start my accounting career after completing my bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I obtained my master’s degree while working for the company. During these past ten years, I have learned that we work in an environment with only one constant: change. This promotes a culture of learning in which you are always looking for ways to improve both the company and yourself.
When I started to plan my long-term assignment I had the full support of my managers. It was important to me that any international assignment under consideration was the right situation, not only for myself, but for my wife and children as well. So we decided that only I would move to Germany for my LTA and the rest of my family would remain in the U.S.
A wealth of development opportunities and a good work-life balance
Bayer has been very flexible throughout my entire assignment to ensure that I still get to see my family relatively frequently. Throughout my assignment, Bayer has also made sure that I am able to maintain a good work-life balance. Spending a year and a half in Germany has given me the opportunity to travel around Europe on the weekends. I have traveled to more European cities than I ever thought I would see in my lifetime. The day I was selected for this assignment was my most exciting one at Bayer so far.
My current position in GPG-TRA focuses on governance and continuous improvement at a global level, whereas my prior positions were operational and involved reporting from a country standpoint. I am able to put activities performed at a local level into perspective by looking at processes on a global end-to-end basis and seeing how they fit into the bigger picture. This balanced perception and the fact that I have been able to expand my professional network will be highly beneficial in future positions. Bayer creates an atmosphere that keeps its employees motivated by instilling trust in them. We are open to understanding the viewpoints of others, we are expected to challenge the status quo, and we are empowered to make decisions. This environment makes coming into the office every day enjoyable.
When new employees ask me for advice, I say: Don’t become complacent; continuously challenge yourself and take ownership of the numerous development opportunities available to you!
This post is also available in: German