Pia Petzinka

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

I have so many fond memories of Malvern College and find it difficult to choose a single moment. Rather, what I perceived to be most special about Malvern College is the strong sense of community. You can feel it anywhere - standing in Chapel and full-heartedly singing a hymn, watching cricket on a sunny afternoon or eating lunch at any of the houses.

What attracted you to your particular career and what do you enjoy most about it?

In fact, the Malvern College Economics Department opened this path for me. Economics was my favourite subject at school, challenging but nevertheless flawlessly explained by the wonderful teachers I had the pleasure of learning from.

During my studies, I first learned about Google’s approach to doing business and I feel privileged having the opportunity to have worked at this company for the past eight years. The exceptional talent, the challenging problems, the scale of impact, the speed of change. Joining this company’s journey and contributing to its evolution by leading people programs has given me an immense sense of purpose.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

Speaking English, having strong interpersonal skills, taking ownership are all key skills that I deepened at Malvern College in a variety of different situations, be it during class, living at a boarding house surrounded by international students, or partaking in extra-curricular activities. These skills have been key for my job.

What are your ambitions?

Never stop learning. I strongly believe that as we are exposed to new technology, ideas, challenges, we need to continue to reinvent ourselves, stay agile and resilient.

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating entering your field?

Business & Management studies provide you with a great base for many different jobs, which also means that it can be daunting if you don’t know where and how to start. My advice is to follow your curiosity - select a field of studies that interests you, that you want to learn more about, or that you are passionate about. Post graduation, when selecting a place to work, choose a company that reflects your values.

For the Tech industry specifically, I have found agility and diversity to be key; of thought, experience, background and much more. So gather broad experiences - travel, do internships, read, engage in hobbies that help you learn different skills, simply expose yourself to a broad range of questions.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at Malvern College?

To me, Malvern College was always more than a school. It became my home for the time I was there. It shaped me as a person and helped me grow in many different perspectives. My advice to you:

- Access the fountain of knowledge and expertise you have at your fingertips with the teaching staff. Each of the staff members has an incredible story to tell and lots of helpful advice to give - you just need to ask

- Partake in as many different extracurricular activities as possible - there is so much on offer!

- Enjoy yourself - you’ll make friends for life!

Any final thoughts?

The empathy, kindness and support I received from Malvern College Staff as a foreign national, struggling to communicate in English, was incomparable to anything I have witnessed elsewhere. The dedication to helping each pupil grow and become their best self, is and will always be exceptional to me.