Jessica Johan Mercedes-Benz Australia

Jessica Johan

Monash University
Communications Coordinator
Jessica studied a Bachelor of Business, double major in Business Statistics and Marketing at Monash University

What did you study? When did you graduate?
I studied at Monash University and graduated at the end of 2018 with a Bachelor of Business, double major in Business Statistics and Marketing.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Palembang, Indonesia. I moved to Australia at the age of two. Even though I had lived in Australia basically all my life, I still felt ‘different’ which impacted my self-confidence. Growing up, I was very shy. I wouldn’t even ask a waitress for water, I would get my family to ask for me. I remember practising interview questions over 100 times. After getting my first proper job working in retail, I was able to come out of my shell. I learnt to rely on myself, I developed a thicker skin and ultimately I found my voice. As crazy as it sounds, it really was a blessing in disguise.

How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
I applied for the Campaign and Project Intern position after my final exams. The role involved various aspects of the after-sales business. The job description outlined tasks which were related to both my marketing and data analytical fields. I was given the opportunity to work on many projects that gave me a holistic view of the overall business and what interested me most. After about six months of hard work and assisting different members of the team, I was promoted to Communications Coordinator. I have been in this role for two months now. It has been challenging but very fulfilling. I have learnt so much in such a short period of time. I never thought I would be where I am now, so soon after graduating.

Applying for your job

How did you choose your specialisation?
Growing up I’ve always been quite creative but I was never really the artist. I was also very interested in business. It made sense to go into marketing as it gave me the freedom to be creative but within business constraints. I don’t think I have completely ‘chosen’ my specialisation just yet. I am still in the process of taking in as much knowledge as I can, whether it be in marketing or different departments.

What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?
The interview process was straightforward. Questions were asked about my character, studies and level of experience. There was also a section of questions focused on leadership principles such as teamwork, empowerment and agility. I really felt like it was important for the company to understand me as a person and how I operate to see whether or not I was a good fit, not only for the position but the work culture. It wasn’t all about the qualifications. It was about hiring the right people.

Your work

What does your employer do?
Mercedes-Benz has always been the pioneers for innovation and technology. We work on everything from electric drive systems to fuel cell technologies. There are many facets to the business which include Mercedes-Benz Cars, Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. It’s offering experiences above expectation, it’s about “The best or nothing”.

What are your areas of responsibility?
I currently work in the after-sales department. We focus on areas of the business after the sale of a car. It really focuses on bringing the back end of the business to the front. I work on a few different things like accessories, merchandise, events, dealer incentives and other ad-hoc items. By working on so many different projects, this ensures there is never a dull moment.

Can you describe a typical workday?
I typically come into work and start off my day with a coffee and catch up on emails that have come through overnight. This really sets me up for the day. I am able to plan and focus on my top priority items. I usually put together a list of what I want to achieve. This ensures that I am most efficient with my time. It’s always very satisfying to tick off tasks too! Some days, you’re in meetings all day and you don’t get that far into your list. My days are always, different, you never know what’s going to come up. Currently, I am preparing for an AMG Drive event where we open a merchandise boutique which is open to our VIP AMG customers. We want to ensure that our customers are immersed in the full AMG experience.  

What are the career prospects with your job?
There are boundless opportunities that come with my current role. Since I do so many different things and not just one area in particular I am exposed to various parts of the business. It has given me a good understanding and base of the company as a whole. By being a part of so many different things, this gives me the ability to be able to go into multiple areas in the company. The sky’s the limit.  

Could someone with a different background do your job?
I think anyone with a drive and passion can do anything. A marketing or business background is always an advantage in this role but it isn’t the make all or end all. I think a person’s character is the real decider. If someone with a different background wants to go into this role, if they prove that they’re willing to work hard and take on as much knowledge as they can, whilst having a good attitude I don’t see why coming from a different background would be an issue. At the end of the day, you can teach a person the role but you can’t teach a person good character.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
If I wasn’t in my current career I would probably be pursuing my passion for cosmetics and start my own business as a make-up artist specialising in bridal. Prior to my present role, I was working in the beauty industry as a make-up artist. It is one of my other great passions. Not only is it a creative outlet where I get to express myself, but the feeling that you get when you are able to make someone feel beautiful is so rewarding. To be part of someone’s wedding day and make them feel special is just the icing on the cake.

Pros and cons

What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?
The culture. I am really lucky to be surrounded by motivated, like-minded people who support your work. I really appreciate that there is top-down structure but also bottom up. I find that my ideas and thoughts are listened to and encouraged. In terms of tasks, the event side of things is really great. Being able to organise a merchandise event or conference, you learn so much, but to then be given the opportunity to travel and actually see what all your hard work has contributed to is very fulfilling. On top of that, I meet new people and am able to network. It’s a win-win.

What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility?
I don’t think there are any evident limitations so to speak. A lot of the decisions and projects that I work on tend to have full support from management, which is really encouraging. There is a lot of responsibility when it comes to this role, but I love it. I feel like my decisions and work are really making an impact on the business. Even if stress levels are high and deadlines have to be met, which may mean working on the weekend, I don't mind, its part of the grind.

A word to the wise...

  1. Throw yourself into the deep end. It’s amazing what we can achieve when we’re out of our comfort zone. We may even surprise ourselves! I sure did.
  2. Don’t spend your time worrying about what others think (to an extent). If you’re focused on what others think of you, whether or not they like you, you’re focusing on the wrong thing. Be yourself and let your personality and work do the talking.
  3. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we are so engulfed by our work and things happening around us we get so frustrated when the smallest of things happen. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want and that’s okay. Just remember, whatever happens, is either a blessing or a teaching. And at the end of the day, there’s always a solution!