This week, we speak with Monika Grafl, Head of Regional Marketing, Business Customers, and Professionals at UniCredit Bank Austria. Monika is passionate about marketing because it’s different every day. The key to balancing work and family? Organization!

2:30 min

Who are you, what did you want to be as a child and what do you do now at UniCredit?

My name is Monika Grafl, I am 42 years old, I live in the southern part of Austria, and I have been leading  the marketing team for Business Customers and Professionals,  as well as Regional Marketing, at UniCredit Bank Austria since 2017. As a child, I wanted to become an elementary school teacher. However, after graduating from high school my interests shifted to banking.  I started my professional career in 1998 in a small branch in Vienna, where I learned the banking business from scratch. From  2005, I have managed numerous projects and sub-projects such as the introduction of segmentation  with Accenture, as well as numerous product and service launches such as the Tageslosung and Smart Banking Solution, Eurosig, the TPL Service Model NEU, and Campaign Manager.

My strengths are in building cross-divisional networks, and contacts with  stakeholders  also outside the bank. I like to work with colleagues from other departments and divisions on new projects.  I currently support the Unicorns Group in all internal and external communication topics related to LGBTQI+.


What do you enjoy most about your job and what is the proudest moment or greatest achievement of your career?

I like marketing because it is so versatile, which makes it exciting and interesting every day.

I am particularly proud of our initiatives in 2021 on the Unstoppables 2.0 - Lockdown stories, where we offer companies a platform for their personal Lockdown stories and experiences.

Our current digitalization campaign for small business and corporate customers is another project I really enjoy working on. We support companies with pinpointed digital offers such as digital contract signing, video advice and legitimization, thereby increasing awareness for digital services among our small business and corporate customers here. I am super-pleased about being ranked among the "Top 8 most creative, efficient and innovative projects" by the Group in the category Digital Acquisition & Customer Activation.

However, my greatest success continues to be combining my full-time job with my family of three children.


And what is the hardest part of your job or most difficult moment at work?

The outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic in2020 confronted us with once-in-a-generation challenges in marketing. Thanks to the strong commitment and professional collaboration between all stakeholders, my team and I were able to produce, coordinate, create and handle 60-70 promotional materials such as billboards, stickers, posters and flyers for our branches under intense  time pressure and constantly changing conditions.


What advice would you give your younger self or somebody considering this role as a career?

During my time at school, I had the opportunity to complete many different internships. I highly recommend this to everyone. This practical experience is enormously important for finding out which tasks and areas are interesting, and which are less so.  I advise young people to do what they enjoy and where their strengths lie. But solid technical knowledge and a sound theoretical education play an essential role. Curiosity and flexibility are also important success factors, as well as the chance to participate in training and development programs such as talent management, mentoring, shadowing, and so on. I had two great mentors in Toni Kolarik (Head of Identity and Communication Austria) and Martin Bachl (Head of Small Business Austria).

How do you balance your professional and personal life?

Organization is everything! Organizational talent and commitment are key to reconciling family and career. My husband and I bring both, so we complement each other as a great team. But time for the two of us should not be neglected either, and so it is almost a tradition that we go on a city trip together once a year.


What do you like to do to relax after a hard day work/ at the office?

My family and I love spending time in the great outdoors and we usually enjoy the evening after work in our little garden paradise. For me, it's pure relaxation and helps me relieve stress and process negative thoughts.


What would your perfect day look like when you are not working?

From my point of view, there is no such thing as ONE perfect day. Having the freedom to spend hours as I chose is a perfect day for me. Here's an example:

A great hotel as part of a trip to a cosmopolitan city or in a stunning landscape. The day would start with me sleeping in, and then having a leisurely breakfast, preferably a buffet with delicious cheeses and cold cuts, eggs, coffee, orange juice and sparkling wine. Afterwards I would explore the city or go for a little hike. Then in the evening I would enjoy a delicious dinner of the best local food, and a good glass of wine, or attend a concert or a play. Of course, I would spend the day in the company of my husband or a dear friend. But as I said, this is just an example.  I can also imagine perfect days at home with my three children, or in a different environment with friends or work colleagues.


What was the last book or the last movie you loved? And why?

My last film was "Das perfekte Geheimnis" (“The Perfect Secret”) a German film comedy from 2019. The film is a remake of the Italian feature film “Perfetti Sconosciuti” from 2016, which has already been remade in numerous countries.

It’s about seven friends who decide over dinner together one evening to put their trust to the test by agreeing to share all the messages and calls received on their cell phones during the meal.

I found “The Perfect Secret” to be an amusing film with surprising twists and turns. The script scores with wordplay, spot-on dialogue, and plenty of situational comedy.