Tokyo to Dubai

Guest post by Alex Schaeffer (BABA 2005). Alex also earned a Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) from the Foster School.

Alex SchaefferAs director of Lincoln Middle East, I am responsible for spearheading Lincoln’s brand transformation in the region. I work closely with cross-functional teams that range from sales to design to ensure the product aligns with the Middle East target customer.

I joined Ford Motor Company in 2005 and have worked in a variety of roles. I initially served as zone manager in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region, facilitating sales and marketing for the region’s dealer network. I also led the company’s global growth initiatives as Middle East field operations manager, and worked as regional manager in Saudi Arabia before returning to the U.S. to become the Lincoln Black Label brand manager.

I currently live in Dubai with my wife, Sandra, and our two children, Valentina, 3, and Stephan, 1.

How did your Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) experience help you in your career?
CISB opened the floodgates for my curiosity in international business.

While having experience in marketing and sales in the domestic U.S. market, my study abroad program took me to Tokyo, Japan where I was able to assemble three of my key career passion points: my fondness for the global automotive market, the challenges of growth in emerging markets, and of course, marketing and sales. This led me to my career at Ford Motor Company and gave my employer confidence in my capabilities abroad. Without the CISB program, I would not be where I am today.

What are a few highlights from and/or fondest memories of your study or work abroad experience?
While in Japan I was able to study and live with a global community.

As expected, the Japanese influence dominated the discussion, but I also had the eye opener of studying with European and Asian expats. This allowed me to understand how each aspect of trade may have a different impact on each region of the world. Twelve years after my study abroad experience, I still maintain some of those great relationships I established at Waseda University.

What are your career plans?
My career plans are to continue leading a team in an emerging automotive market. Over the next few years in the Middle East I will be leveraging the U.S.- and China-led investment in the global Lincoln brand transformation. This includes setting up a solid distribution network, establishing our brand positioning, and implementing luxury automotive processes internally as well as externally with our stakeholders.

Learn more about the Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) program.

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