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Profile in leadership—and success

Creating and managing a company-wide employee development program in Germany taught Northeastern University senior Stephanie Filipek how to become a leader in a room full of executives.

“I learned how to talk to anyone on any professional level,” said Filipek, a business major with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and marketing.  “I developed the confidence to facilitate conversations between managing directors and employees.”

Filipek created the employee development program for Bisnode Business Information Group on co-op last fall. The Darmstadt-based company helps clients in 17 countries in Europe maximize sales, minimize risks and make better business decisions.

Filipek developed the program by interviewing managing directors, creating workshops for employees and attending a conference for employees in Sweden.

The goal of the program, she said, is for employees to improve their management skills, build bonds between colleagues and pursue their educational goals through workshops and conferences.

As Filipek put it, “I wanted to create a road map for employees and figure out the best way to help them grow.”

She experienced a similar level of personal and professional growth during her experiential learning opportunity in Germany. The co-op, she said, taught her more about herself than about the corporate culture at Bisnode.

“I traveled across the world to build my own life for six months,” said Filipek, who also completed a semester abroad at CEFAM, an international business school in Lyon, France. “It’s amazing to discover and reinvent yourself.”

Filipek called her international learning experiences the “top two” highlights of her time at Northeastern. Honing her communication skills at Bisnode, she said, helped her land a job as an account assistant for the Boston-based advertising agency MMB after graduation in May.

“Clarity is of the upmost importance if you are speaking to an audience whose native language is not English,” Filipek said. “Acting as a project manager at Bisnode required me to become [more] organized and self-motivated,” she added.