Jennifer Drucker leads a seven-member team of creative minds. In the interview, she speaks about her approach to creative work, what helped her find her style as a leader and what is critical for a good work‑life balance.
Jennifer, please tell us about your current role at Sartorius. What do you like best about it?
Together with my team, we execute the many tactics required to deliver our over-arching marketing strategy to our customers. Among these tactics are online assets such as videos, animations, illustrations and offline assets like photography, print advertising and collateral.
I really enjoy solving problems and working within teams to find simple and elegant solutions. Many times, in the beginning, challenges seem complicated and overwhelming, but as you keep bouncing ideas off of other people, the solution becomes clearer until you find the best result benefitting the people, the product and the organization.
You have held leadership positions for over 15 years. From your experience, how do you climb the career ladder and become a good manager?
Find a mentor. Someone whom you admire both professionally and personally, and then learn as much as you can from them. Great leaders love to teach, and people who aspire to be great leaders love to learn. It benefits both parties and, ultimately, the company they work for.
This approach worked for me. Over the years, I have met many people who inspired me and whom I emulated. In my early career, I particularly remember one manager who taught me how important it is to respect people, listen to them and to give them a sense of belonging.
This is not about age. No matter how old you are or how many years of experience you have, you can always learn from each other. It could be from a manager, but you can also learn from your peers or even from more junior colleagues. I can see that within my own team. I feel like I am standing next to the people, not above them. This helps me see things from their perspectives and through this I learn more about them, about the way they work and even about myself every day.
Perhaps one more personal tip: Develop a morning routine and spend some quiet time alone before work begins. That’s exactly what I do. I go to the gym most mornings followed by a cup of tea or cappuccino and spend time alone before starting with my work. This time allows me to contemplate the day and organize my thoughts so I can face it with a positive outlook and address any challenges it may present.
You not only lead a successful career, but you also have a family. How do you manage to keep both in balance?
It’s challenging. I have three children and, with the exception of taking a couple of years off when my third child was born, I have always had a career. When they are younger, it is more demanding, but you can definitely do it! I was lucky to have great family support and an early understanding that you need to create a work-life balance that doesn't leave you exhausted. Choosing to work for a company like Sartorius that understands the challenges that come with balancing this is critical. Sartorius provides a very flexible working environment, which helps to navigate through daily life struggles. It is the best company I have worked for– I mean that from the bottom of my heart.