The year that made me a Next Generation Women Leader, an AWS Cloud DevOps Engineer, and an MBA Candidate

2020 was a transformative year — guess most people worldwide can say that. For me it was, for sure, and with this year coming to its end, it is a good time to share what I have been doing.

1. I have achieved success within my senior role and displayed qualities of dynamism and daring in my working life

MBA Candidate at University of Cambridge
  • I was selected to attend the University of Cambridge this fall as a 2021 class’ MBA candidate to further develop my leadership and general management skills for European business success in the technology industry, to grow my ability to make a positive global impact and to help others make a difference
  • I was invited to attend McKinsey’s flagship three-day Next Generation Women Leaders leadership training event for outstanding female leaders to explore the importance of women in leadership and refine my own leadership skills
McKinsey’s Next Generation Women Leaders training

I was recognized as one of McKinsey’s Next Generation Women Leaders

from a pool of c. 7,000 global applicants to further shape my leadership style, helping me become a trailblazer in my personal and professional live

McKinsey’s Next Generation Women Leaders Award

I have used my skills beyond my own career by my involvement with furthering the interests of women in the technology industry

  • I was nominated as President/Co-President of Cambridge Business School Club to run the formal University Club for benefit of the student community and to make the time in the MBA the best it possibly can be
President CBSC Hustings
  • I was elected as Co-Chair for CJBS’s exclusive Wo+Men’s Leadership Club for women leaders and allies to lead this exclusive, cross-industry student group of ambitious and motivated women in leadership
  • I was elected as Co-Chair of Tech Club of Cambridge Judge Business School to lead one of the most popular Student Interest Groups across range of initiatives
  • I was selected for BCG’s Women@BCG event to show me how women at BCG partner with world’s leading organisations across variety of industries and sectors, to help them solve their toughest business challenges

I am considered a role model and made a significant impact by driving change across the tech industry

  • I was invited to attend the best technology conference on the planet, Web Summit 2020 to take stage with some of biggest names in tech and meet all of who’s who of CXOs and founders
  • I was recognized again by Web Summit’s exclusive Women in Tech initiative for next generation women leaders to empower women leaders in technology across the globe
Web Summit’s Women in Tech
  • I joined Amazon Operations on their #IAmRemarkable Workshop for women and members of underrepresented groups to empower MBA students and professionals to celebrate their achievements in workplace and beyond
  • I was selected for McKinsey’s “Sustainability at McKinsey” to join McKinsey’s behind-the-scenes online session for sustainability and enjoy its new approach on long-term conservation financing

2. I made an exceptional impact within and shaped my organization

  • I won the applause of my client in the IoT devices SaaS industry for delivering my 2-months smart energy strategy consulting project at CJBS to enable them to become a key supplier to the smart energy sector, incl.
  1. preparing market opportunities analysis,
  2. providing customer behaviour analysis, and
  3. developing actionable strategic recommendations
INSEAD Product Games
  • I and my amazing MBA student peers developed the breakthrough virtual wallet ‘Carbon Wallet’ to earn, trade and redeem consumer carbon credits solution for INSEAD’s annual Product Games 2020 competition, helping to move people from sustainability awareness to action and impact
  • I joined Google’s Women Techmakers for its International Women’s Day Special 2020 to celebrate IWD 2020 and empower women to pursue their dreams and build tools that change the world
Google’s Women Techmakers
  • I pushed myself again to grow outside of my comfort zone by completing a total of 6,264 km road cycling with 49,047 m elevation in 243 h on 242 days
My Year in Sport 2020

I shaped my organisation, not only in terms of business success, but also in the example I provide to colleagues

  • I was invited to join WomenTech Network for its WomenTech Global Conference 2020 to have me with it on its mission to unite 100,000 Women in Tech from 181 countries, with 200+ incredible speakers and our 1,500+ awesome Global Ambassadors amd 100+ community partners from all over the world
  • I joined Microsoft for Women Think Next — Virtual lunch and learn event for senior professional women from across the industry for networking, getting to know people within my profession, creating new connections and business opportunities
  • I was selected for Digital BCG Ladies’ Night 2020 to join @DigitalBCG’s exclusive chance to network and to meet Boston Consulting Group’s leading women in digital
Digital BCG Ladies’ Night
  • I was invited to join The WIT Network and Microsoft on International Women’s Day 2020 for Women in Tech to celebrate the IWD 2020 full of impulses, exciting interaction possibilities and impressions

I out-performed my peers across the tech industry and demonstrated huge drive for career success alongside energy for helping others

  • I joined the Boston Consulting Group for its case interview practice to learn what to expect from BCG’s case interview process and how to prepare for my interview and ultimately crack the case
  • I joined the Amazon Launch session for MBA Candidate Women for Amazon’s corporate MBA program for senior professional women to give helpful tips for career promotion as women at Amazon in uncertain times
  • I was selected for McKinsey’s Virtual Career Fair to join McKinsey’s flagship live sessions for candidates across Europe and to get to know McKinsey from comfort of my own home and enjoy great sampling of work McKinsey does
McKinsey’s Virtual Career Fair
  • I joined Google for its Google Careers event by MBA Alumni for MBAs to provide a stage for me as MBA candidate, Google’s interviewing and how they hire and actively support MBA Candidates in their career development at Google
  • I joined Amazon for itsLearn about Amazon’ event to have a chance to hear from MBA alums who have built great careers at Amazon and their piece of advice they offer to me
  • I joined Boston Consulting Group for its MBA Panel Event to showcase what joining BCG as an MBA means and what an MBA Candidate’s key learning at BCG is

3. My outstanding contribution within Tech and FinTech

  • I took the stage at the world’s largest hacker conference Chaos Communication Congress 2020 remote from Leipzig to deliver

my talk “Forget Google’s quantum supremacy — is China about to destroy cryptocurrency?“,


  • what China’s official claim of supremacy means for cryptocurrency and cryptomining and
  • how quantum computing will practically change world of cryptocurrency
My talk at Chaos Communication Congress

I led the Tech agenda through thought leadership, technical expertise and as an innovator

My newsletter “Great Leaders Are Made, Not Born“
  • I published my weekly online newsletter Great Leaders Are Made, Not Born“ with access to content on my leadership experiences that include
  • leading in turbulent world,
  • strategic leadership,
  • innovation and creativity and
  • entrepreneurial mindset
  • I graduated as AWS Cloud DevOps Engineer from the Nanodegree program in Udacity Technology Scholarship powered by Bertelsmann to become part of a powerful, global network of lifelong learners and industry thought leaders
  • I joined BCG Henderson Institute for its “The Imagination Machine” session to discuss imagination’s role in business and how to reimaging leadership and future of work in uncertain times

I have demonstrated my passion and innovation in my thought leadership project and leveraged technology to advance and improve gender equality,

helping my organisation move forward in terms of my digital agenda

  • I was recognized by AWS’ Cloud DevOps Engineer Nanodegree program of Udacity Technology Scholarship powered by Bertelsmann out of c. 15,000 global applicants in Technology Scholarship Challenge Course
AWS’ Cloud DevOps Engineer Certificate
  • I was recognized as You Rock Award Winner in Udacity Technology Scholarship Challenge Course powered by Bertelsmann for being the best role models one could find and more often than not just good but pretty good at every single thing I do
You Rock Award Winner
  • I joined Microsoft for its “MBA Tech Talk” to learn more about Microsoft and its technology and how Microsoft is at forefront of the innovation which is disrupting and improving way we do so many things

What to expect in 2021

OK, 2020 taught us to put expectations aside… and still — below is what I plan for 2021:

  • I will further shape my leadership style as next generation women leader in technology by leading a 4-weeks global strategy team consulting project with a major international company next March 2021 to solve technology companies’ operating model challenge as a highlight of the Cambridge programme
  • I will continue to lead the Tech agenda and grow into different roles that have not even been invented yet from next July on through a 6-weeks MBA internship in strategy and technology, respectively, to take on some of technology’s greatest challenges
  • I will continue to make an exceptional impact within and shape my new organization as well as mentor, coach my team members from next September on by landing a senior full-time employment in strategy and technology to continue developing into a thoughtful female leader who creates value for my new organization
  • I will continue to act as public speaker about strategy, leadership, fintech, intelligent transport and cybersecurity to change the world one technological achievement after another
  • I will continue to built outstanding long-term connections with big tech thinkers and exposure to high-level tech leaders to further the interests of women in the tech industry to make a significant impact by driving change across the industry

2021 is going to be an exciting year!

Hoping it will be a healthy, refreshing, fulfilling one. Contact me at victoria.riess [at] gmx [dot] de if you want to learn more.




Engagement Manager @McKinsey | WomenTech Global Award | TechWomen100 | Ex-Corporate Strategy | Speaker | Cloud DevOps Engineer | Data Scientist

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Victoria Riess, MBA

Victoria Riess, MBA

Engagement Manager @McKinsey | WomenTech Global Award | TechWomen100 | Ex-Corporate Strategy | Speaker | Cloud DevOps Engineer | Data Scientist

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