Photos: Alex Zakharov

On 5 December 2022, Lauder business School re-opened its Fireplace Talks series with Mag. Roland Schöbel, Partner and Member of the Territorial Leadership Team at PwC Austria. He shared his insights on his current work at PwC and offered advice to our students willing to follow in his footsteps.

At the forefront of helping companies and organizations implement the latest environmental, social and governance (ESG) directives, PwC is an auditing and consulting powerhouse which gathers a “community of solvers” under one roof focused on finding solutions to important problems and on building trust. Starting from PwC´s own motto, Mag. Schöbel stressed the importance of value-based and purpose-driven work: “Invest a bit in defining these two.” Value and Purpose are the engines that drive a company forward, regardless of its industry, because they define the most important asset a company has: the talent that gets hired there and is retained. At the end of the day, a company is defined by its people, not its numbers and clearly established values determine a company´s culture.

As a consultancy firm, Mag. Schöbel shared that PwC is strategic in finding the best solutions to problems that keep CEOs awake at night, even if those solutions imply a long-term strategy, and in fact, he advised our students to develop long-term thinking in whatever they do. Mostly, Austrian CEOs find it tricky to navigate the muddy waters of ESG directives compliance and the lack of clear governmental policies in this regard. Now, more than ever, most companies feel the stress of the rising energy costs and feel the pressure of finding cheaper energy alternatives.

He spoke from an executive perspective on what employers like PWC are looking for in new talent. Besides the rigorous education and a broad and solid knowledge on topics relevant to one´s intended career, a potential PwC employee should:

  • Be passionate and interested in learning new things.
  • Be proactive.
  • Have an open-mind.
  • Be collaborative.
  • Be communicative.
  • Be open to lifelong-learning.
  • Try to have an active role in the company, show interest in what your colleagues are doing, too.
  • Recognise that mistakes are part of the learning curve.

However, he stressed continually, passion determines all the other qualities– because passion ultimately determines the way one goes about pursuing their goals, boosts curiosity and the motivation to delve deeper and transform existing models.

Mag Schöbel concluded the evening by taking questions from students on a wide range of topics, ranging from ESG practices and implementation, digital assets, smarter energy management to his recommendations on how often one should switch companies in the course of one´s career.

He strongly urged our students to use Social Media to their advantage, especially LinkedIn (mentioning that PwC actively seeks talent on LinkedIn), and encouraged them to be open and communicative on the platform and reach out to him with a LinkedIn message in case they are interested in a position.

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