The year that made me a Senior Leader, Thought Leader, and Digital Innovator

or: My year in review

Victoria Riess, MBA
8 min readJan 23, 2022


In 2021, I shared updates around bringing business acumen and leadershipCambridge MBA and 8+ C-level consulting projects, sound thought leadership 5+ speaking engagements, and digital innovationWomenTech Global and TechWomen100 Award Winnerto my teams and organizations. And I had some fun along the way, too. Here’s a look at what I was up to in 2021.

1. I developed into a sound Senior Strategy Leader in technology, building and leading digital functions with high performing global teams

Cambridge MBA

I was beyond excited and thankful to have completed my MBA at the University of Cambridge with distinction — the #2 ranked MBA program in the UK (according to FT). I have gained five years worth of leadership experience in General Management in the past twelve months, leading over three C-level consulting projects with some of the worldwide leading companies.

Over three C-level strategy consulting projects

Digital Transformation Strategy Consulting Project

I assisted BT Group’s new CDO in re-thinking their digital transformation through digital innovation by leading the team to develop the digital transformation strategy.

I helped Europe to achieve global AI competitiveness by selling the engagement, building and leading my team to develop Europe’s AI strategy together with BCG’s Senior Partner and Global AI Lead

  1. Data platform orchestrators. Europe should set up data platform orchestrators
  2. EU data ecosystem. The EU policymakers should treat digital giants as strategic partners
  3. AI talent attractiveness. EU industries and universities should widen the net for AI talent collaboration globally

I identified market opportunities with IoT devices in the European smart energy market by managing the team to develop the smart energy strategy for the leading Electric Vehicle charging start-up DevicePilot together with the CEO and Founder.

MBA Work Placement

I partnered with the Co-CEO and Leadership team of Celonis, the global leader in execution management, to help them develop Celonis’ new M&A Integration Strategy during my MBA Work Placement. I maximized deal value creation by advising the Integration team and Executive Sponsors to lead over three Integrations for multiple acquisitions, across all aspects of the Integration life cycle.

MBA Work Placement at Celonis

2. I demonstrated senior leadership in technology, combining business acumen with innovative strategies to attract and develop top talent

More than 5 C-level strategy consulting projects

I identified 70% Accounts Payable process optimization and ca. EUR 200m value creation potential by managing the development of the process mining strategy for my worldwide leading multinational company client together with their executive team.

I led the development of the GTM Sales Strategy for one of the worldwide leading product-led growth companies, from building the GTM team leadership to developing the product-led GTM strategy.

People Transformation Strategy Consulting Project

I managed the development of the new global people transformation strategy together with the SVP People of one of the worldwide leading German technology companies, from planning through building to sustaining changes

  1. Establish transformation team. Build central team to plan and coordinate transformation
  2. Design new org structure. HR collaboration required to redeploy managers and employees
  3. Communicate and monitor people pulse. HR helps with communicating transformation, monitoring employee reactions and addressing concerns

I advised the supervisory board of one of the leading European rail freight companies to reimagine rail freight through the innovative, powerful and robust (transport) services strategy.

General Management Strategy Consulting Project

I led the development of the general management strategy together with the General Manager, which helped my worldwide leading hypergrowth company client to develop their global tech hub and hyper grow their site by 150%.

3. I developed into a known thought leader in technology, showcasing the value of digital capabilities to a wider audience

Over five speaking engagements with more than 15,100 attendees

I was invited to speak as panellist at the Females in IT — Future of IT conference in Frankfurt about “Empowering sustainable business (ESG) — Digital transformation and leadership in the context of sustainability“.

I took the stage at IBM CASCONxEVOKE conference to deliver my talk “‘Quantum supremacy’ — is quantum computing about to break cryptocurrency?“, highlighting what quantum supremacy means for cryptocurrency and crypto mining.

My talk at IBM CASCONxEVOKE conference

The top three takeaways from my talk about quantum computers and cryptocurrencies at CASCONxEVOKE, Canada’s largest developer conference with 5,000+ attendees, 212+ industry speakers and 10+ technical themes, are

  1. The biggest danger to blockchain-based cryptocurrency is a quantum computer’s potential ability to break traditional encryption
  2. A quantum computer that can decrypt current cryptographic ciphers of blockchains is more than a decade off
  3. The hazard of such a quantum computer is high enough that the prioritization of the development of post-quantum cryptography for cryptocurrencies is critical

I delivered my speech “Is quantum computing about to break cryptocurrency?“ at Women in Technology Online Festival conference, Europe’s most practical Women in Tech festival with 2,000+ attendees, 100+ speakers and 100+ sessions.

My talk at Women in Technology Online Festival conference

I gave my talk “’Quantum supremacy’ and cryptocurrency“ at Women of Silicon Roundabout conference in London, the UK’s leading women in tech conference with 1,500+ attendees, 100+ speakers and 80+ sessions.

I delivered my talk about “Can quantum computers hack your crypto wallet?“ at herCAREER conference in Munich, the leading trade fair for female career planning with 60+ panels, 300+ talks and 200+ exhibitors.

My talk at herCAREER conference

I continued to publish my weekly online newsletter “Great Leaders Are Made, Not Born” which includes access to content of over 14 articles on my leadership experiences, from leading in a turbulent world, through strategic leadership, innovation and creativity to entrepreneurial mindset

4. I collaborated with different senior stakeholders to enable the digital experience across my organizations, their digital ecosystems, and services and products

More than six engagements

I was invited to join Google for their Community Connect Europe annual summit for the Google Developers community programs in Europe — from GDG through GDSC and GDE to WTM.

I was invited to join SAP for their Digital Leadership Roundtable to come together to virtually exchange ideas about opportunities and challenges of digitalization.

I was selected to join Google for their Google Women Developer Academy Europe to help senior professional women in tech to become leaders in the industry through public speaking.

Google Women Developer Academy Europe

I was selected to join Google for their Google Women in Cloud Leadership Roundtables on a variety of topics for senior professional women working within the Cloud technology sector.

Google Women in Cloud Leadership Roundtables

I joined Amazon for their AWS Cloud Camp Munich to deepen my cloud skills in hands-on labs and help me prepare for the AWS Certified Developer certification.

I joined Google on the International Womens Day for the IWD Student Celebration to celebrate the IWD 2021 — full of moments of resilience and accomplishments of Women in Tech and business.

5. I encouraged digital innovation to further positive impact solutions, sustainable practices (ESG), and a more inclusive working environment

I was selected to be one of the Google’s Women Techmakers Ambassadors for community leaders who are passionate about achieving gender parity in technology.

Google’s Women Techmakers Ambassador

Two-time Women in Tech Award Winner

I was recognised with the prestigious WomenTech Global Awards in the category WomenTech Community Award powered by WomenTech Network for my outstanding achievements as a leader and speaker in technology, demonstrating excellence in all aspects of my community engagement and leadership

Helping women to move their career forward in technology like Victoria did is something she feels passionately about, so much so that since her time at Deutsche Bahn she is championing a holistic response to an industry-wide challenge in technology — diversity.

WomenTech Global Awards Winner 2021

I received the prestigious TechWomen100 Award powered by WeAreTheCity HQ and Goldman Sachs to celebrate my achievements in demonstrating a clear passion for technology, paying it forward, and helping other Women in Tech

Victoria is focused on three dimensions — hiring, developing, and retaining women at all stages of their careers, as Co-Chair of Tech Club and Wo+Men’s Leadership Club at the University of Cambridge and in the tech industry.

TechWomen100 Award Winner 2021

Three-time Award Finalist

I was three-times shortlisted as Women in Tech Award Finalist in the category

  • Inspire As Rolemodel for the FTAfelicitas-Preis powered by Femtec.Alumnae e.V. is to celebrate and award my achievements to inspire women and men to change existing patterns and models in STEM professions by acting as role model
  • LiT — Ladies in Tech for the eco://award powered by eco — Association of the Internet Industry to celebrate and award my achievements in diversity and female empowerment as an outstanding woman in the Internet industry
  • Digital Tranformation for the Digital Female Leader Award powered by GDW Global Digital Women GmbH to recognize my achievements as a courageous woman who drives digital transformation in her organisations
LiT — Ladies in Tech eco://award Finalist 2021

Nine-time Award Nominee

I was nine-times nominated for the Women’s Leadership Awards by my sponsors and mentors in the category

Midlands Women In Tech Awards Nominee 2021

And I finished my Year In Sport again strong with 238 hrs active, 6,377 km covered, 39,377 m climbed, and 248 days active 🚴‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏊‍♀️

This is just a short list of everything I was up to in 2021. And in 2022, I am looking forward to sharing more new updates and stories around my leadership, thought leadership, and digital innovation!



Victoria Riess, MBA

Senior Strategy Leader & Digital Board Advisor | WomenTech Global Award | TechWomen100 | Keynote Speaker |