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International Women’s Day – Cornelia Schaurecker

Women in Big Data is spotlighting amazing women.

Cornelia Schaurecker is Global Group Director for Big Data and AI @ Vodafone Group
Interviewed by Silky Vaidya, Co-Director, WiBD

My Journey so far ….

I’ve always been passionate about all things data and digital, choosing to study in the areas of technology and innovation before it was fashionable!

I worked in digital and IT roles in Audi, before co-founding the Volkswagen Data: Lab, building a data-driven innovation hotspot for all the Group brands and Silicon Valley companies. I then moved to the BMW Group’s EMEA IT organisation, leading on GDPR, cyber-security, all digital priorities for the region, as well as building a data science capability that embedded design thinking, agile practice and rapid prototyping.

In 2019 I moved to the exciting world of telco, heading Vodafone’s global Big Data & Artificial Intelligence (AI) team as we build and implement our ‘AI everywhere’ strategy. Our highly skilled international team of > 300 data scientists, agile product owners and data engineers in Group and approximately 20 markets securely use the power of our data, cloud and AI to leverage the big data and AI insights across the business, delivering tremendous business value. This is supported by continued investment in in-house data science and our cloud migration across markets, in order to deliver data products (and thus business benefits) faster, more standardised and at scale.

My learnings through my journey thus far have been:

Being a woman is a definitely a challenge when it comes to academia or professional life.

Personally, I’ve been facing this so called “challenges” from the very beginning. When I started to work with lots of Silicon Valley companies to bring innovation to traditional big corporations, I didn’t face only defensiveness, but also many criticisms. People needed convincing about the merits of AI. However, I strongly believe that success comes down to hard work and dedication, and have stayed excited and focused on my plans to succeed in the mid-long term.

At present, I have to say that being a mother of two children showed me how life is challenging, especially in these days!

Quotes or inspiring words which inspire me:

Inspirational quotes: The American motivational speaker said something powerful to a good friend of mine, a successful entrepreneur: “You decide what your limits are. You decide your level of success. Get out of life what you expect. And for this you need to be hungry.”

‘I’m always inspired by what small teams of smart individuals can achieve with bright ideas, data, and passion for data! It is truly lovely to be a role model for young people and also being able to help them to achieve a successful career regardless of gender.

 

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