Working at Bayer: A Limitless Journey
By Sofia Lago Marsicovetere, Source to Pay Specialist, Projects & Support, Procurement, Central America & Caribbean
When something is limitless, there’s an unending supply of it. If you truly believe there are limitless possibilities in life, you see no limits to what people are capable of and what they can achieve.
My name is Sofia Lago and I’m proud to say I joined Bayer’s Procurement Central America and Caribbean team four years ago in Guatemala. When I think back to my first day at Bayer, my primary objective was to focus on contributing to the company and making an impact. I was just starting my career at the age of 22 and had no clue about the immense opportunities Bayer had to offer for my professional and personal growth.
When I think about all I’ve experienced these past four years, including the ways I’ve developed in my career, I couldn’t be more grateful, satisfied, or encouraged about the start of my journey here — and confident my story of limitless possibility is just beginning.
I remember my first call with colleagues at Bayer’s global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. I thought it was something unusual, especially because I wasn’t located in a “key” country, and our work was more locally oriented than globally relevant. However, I quickly realized this wasn’t true. Today, I can say more than 70 percent of my work is done through virtual collaboration with international colleagues.
Shortly after starting at Bayer, I learned about international assignments and I was impressed. I always imagined myself travelling and having a professional experience abroad, but I wasn’t sure it would be possible for me in my region. I had assumed these opportunities were more for employees working in a “key” country. Nevertheless, this idea of a hard-to-get opportunity that might not be affordable coming from a “small” country like Guatemala never stopped me.
Key countries at Bayer are those with the most relevant business, largest spend and overall market share. They’re usually also large countries in terms of geography, population and economy.
What I found out is Bayer invests in opportunities that promote its employees regardless of background and country of origin. And, I discovered these investments open the door for a truly global business and for realizing the potential in our colleagues, regardless of country of origin or cultural background.
I believe when you want something, you work for it; you make your best effort and, sooner or later, you will be rewarded. And, if you don’t get what you’re expecting, then work harder. Just like that, three years after my first day at Bayer in Guatemala, I started my first day of work on an international assignment in Leverkusen, Germany.
I joined Sourcing Support in the Source-to-Pay global organization for nine months. I enjoyed many things; more so than the amazing experience of living overseas, or having the huge Atlantic Ocean between my home and me, I loved working out of my comfort zone and being challenged by new tasks. But even more than that, I loved increasing and strengthening my international network because the people I got to meet amazed me.
I met so many colleagues from different countries; in fact, there are quite a lot of foreigners working in Leverkusen. Being so close to many different cultures, perspectives, ways of working and ways of thinking, I grew not only professionally, but personally through interactions and collaboration. I am for sure not the same Sofia I was when I got there.
My experience during these four years feels like a rollercoaster full of interesting and enriching twists: travelling around the region, managing not only my activities but also projects related to other areas, getting passionate about the business, leading regional projects and cross-functional teams and looking forward to every day being different from the next. Yet, the most important thing Bayer has given me is the great colleagues I have worked with, and many good friends that will stay in my life. Moreover, I never stop learning — one of the best things I have gotten out of this exciting journey.
I am proud to say four years ago, I didn’t start working at Bayer Guatemala or Bayer Central America & Caribbean, but rather for Bayer around the world. I’m excited to take on whatever comes next and continue my personal and professional growth. Bayer has truly brought limitless potential to my life.