top of page

Meet Fenna Neubauer: The Top Strategy Consultant, Award Winning Entrepreneur & Expat!

Introducing Fenna Neubauer: Top Strategy Consultant, Business Professional, Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Certified Coach, and University Lecturer in Management and Entrepreneurship. With her diverse range of skills and expertise, Fenna has made a significant impact in the business world, helping companies develop effective strategies and achieve success. In this blog, we will explore Fenna's journey and gain insights into her strategies for success. Join us as we delve into the mind of one of the most accomplished professionals in the industry.

1: You have had an illustrious career, what would you say are the most prevalent?

Definitely it is life-long learning, actually research & development, no matter in which field, industry, country or role I am in. I relate a lot to life to education, and also personal development which is essential in the coaching sector. In business life, I definitely appreciate project work. Perfect for consultancy, the entrepreneurial lifestyle but also academia. Entrepreneurial and life generally is an ongoing journey, of course. There, I would say: Development in every sense! Learning about cultures, innovative technologies, services, products, “how to manage things” - Its my slogan for my consultancy business as well: Be an explorer. Be brave. Be you.

2: You have lived the expat life for quite some time at different places. What challenges have you faced in London as a German female?

This one is very tricky! LONDON IS LONDON. In that case - the “challenges” that I face actually have not much to do with being “German” or “female” – it is JUST LONDON. I Just talked about it with friends and we really had to laugh about it. Many people all over the globe share similar perceptions, no matter which nationality, gender, age, professional background. The challenge I struggled the most is getting used to the different infrastructures and “technologies” – namely, electricity and water how buildings are just “built” in the U.K. actually. Unfortunately, I had severe, life threatening security issues in buildings not only one time – and I am not the only one! In the middle of London…!

Also, I still don't get used to massive amounts of people “squeezed” in the public transport system sometimes, it is just too close for me. Regarding the physical safety as a woman in London, I have to say that I felt surprisingly save, despite its a big city – for instance, traveling in the evening is not a big issue. Of course, it depends on the area, but we know what we should avoid and get informed about it or take a taxi /uber. Trust your instinct, I would say, and be careful wherever you are. Take care, ladies!

3: Your achievements span from strategy consultant, certified coach, university lecturer and award-winning entrepreneur (over 10 awards in innovation, business, teaching, technology).Tell us how you manage your time throughout your business commitments? Which role is the most rewarding for you?

The different roles did not take place simultaneously but have been carried out more “in series”, lets say. There were times in my life where I focused a lot on the corporate career and demanding projects, then I was deeply involved in the academic world and finally being a consultant also finding solutions for complex cases.

Whats the most rewarding?

I prefer to focus on one single project or task several days or even weeks - and can dive very deeply into projects for several weeks, work things through quite intensively and “stay on track” without distractions - which is often appreciated by clients to accomplish the task. It is a bit of a “serial scanner thing”. I love to take and have the time to think things through very thoroughly, also to achieve the best results, no wishes should remain open.

However, a fulfilling life is mainly not about the work, job or role itself but the surrounding and environment and mainly the “right people” – in professional and in private life, this is absolutely key.

There are also times where I love to communicate, and attend or host networking events. Its a bit like “big city life” and “country life”: You cant have both at the same time, but you give it the time and room. I really appreciate and love both, and for everything there is a time in life. Time to calm down, time to speak, time to be silent - time to work hard, time to reflect, time to close a deal, and sometimes it is even time to say good bye.

4: Congratulations on being a ‘ female role model entrepreneur’ by the German ministry of economic affairs and for being featured in the media in Germany including a bespoken VIP people, lifestyle & society magazine for an International sponsoring project with the Abu Dhabi Arts Society! Please do tell us more about these entrepreneurial endeavors!

Thank you! Selected role model entrepreneurs, in that case that was even from the ministry, inspire the young generation to at least consider to set up their own business, for instance by giving speeches, being a mentor or through media articles. We have been featured also on the website of a bespoken classy fashion brand, even if we are not models – but “role models”! Sadly, due to media, people mostly think only about the high tech, also mainly male-dominated and “young” start-up scene which is only a smaller part of what is possible. Role models represent the diversity and the reality, since entrepreneurial life can be very different – from a side hustle to a full-time serial entrepreneur, from a start-up to a spin-off, acquiring an exiting traditional company, working in a team with other founders or being a solopreneur. Or think about digital nomad life or being an online coach. It is also common sometimes to switch between different jobs, working part-time or sharing knowledge. The traditional careers where you spend your whole life in one large corporate and industry is over – company's should foster intrapreneurship nowadays.

Regarding the project with Abu Dhabi, the grandson of the first foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates reached out to me and asked me to take care of the public relations for a sponsoring project, which was about a historical tower in Hanover, Germany, and artworks related to the local historical museum. An official press release which I created for that purpose has been sent out allover Germany by an influential public institution and we achieved an amazing feedback from organisations, politics, personalities and the media.

Connecting arts, architecture, business and diplomacy is an elegant way to deepen international friendships between countries and foster intercultural understanding. If people read about it in the media, they also learn about each other beyond borders. It was also fascinating to see the connections between London linked to the history of Hanover, Germany in former centuries and finally the link to Abu Dhabi which also has strong ties with the U.K. – quite accomplished and professional initiative on the highest level I have to say!

I was very honoured and grateful to have this opportunity – it enriched the life I had in those days in business and academia, especially in the tough corona times. I also appreciated the fact of a successful outcome, which has been supported by leading institutions such as the embassy in Abu Dhabi. Amazing what can be achieved with the right connections - and to contribute to something meaningful on a more cosmopolitan level outside Europe.

5:What does it mean to you to be a female expat? What are the pros and cons? Challenges you faced and overcame?

Surprisingly, the challenges in business life generally and an expat are often pretty similar! One main challenge is the “subtle arts” to differentiate and balance between professional and private life and finding the “right way” since cultures are different. Even being internationally experienced, it can be challenging on a personal level since it is individual and really depends on the situation.

Also, subcultures can be different – British people in the country really differ from the “Londoners” for instance. Somehow I really love both. The challenges I faced include mainly getting used to different infrastructure. I appreciate clean environments, and I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about “big city life” in certain situations. I found a way to deal with it through the luxury house sittings in different areas, for instance beautiful Cambridge countryside and working remote if possible to calm down and just focus on my work and soak in the power of the nature.

Generally, it is very time-consuming to figure out “where is what”, since daily life is also very different. Since I am quite communicative, I appreciate to connect with people. There are just countless opportunities, such as networking events, groups and venues, architecture and museums. What you potentially could do is just so overwhelming sometimes that the main challenge is probably to chose wisely where, why, with whom, when to go – and what REALLY feels right for you.

The main challenge is probably looking after yourself, knowing your boundaries and saying NO as well even if it might sound or look appealing, but figuring out what is really going on.

6: What does your coaching consultancy entail? What can people expect of you as a business or personal coach?

My work at the moment is the “classic” general management field – my very first basic profession actually - and the personal and executive coaching. The knowledge-based consultancy is based on over two decades of business life with various partners and in totally different industries – from a project manager within a demanding Post-M&A integration project in a large German large IT corporate to machine industry, in the academic world in Europe developing entrepreneurship bootcamps and traditional SME life. I have seen ups and downs in the high-tech start-up scene and gained insights as a personal mentor in various projects.

Not to forget the 12 years lecturing, all together 18 subjects at different universities in Europe - mainly management and entrepreneurship. Clients can take advantage of a holistic approach in the fields of analytic consult, creative consult and execution consult, where I or my business partners can act as an interim manager which is necessary in turnaround projects.

In my coaching business, I provide my knowledge and also life experience for an international target group – such as executives and business professionals. Also, since I am familiar with expat and digital nomad life, I connect to people travelling a lot and the challenges they face – no matter if they are managers or solopreneurs. I think it is useful that clients can identify and connect with their coaches, and it helps having similar values and lifestyles to deeply understand the challenges involved not only in theory, but in practice.

7:You were an ambassador and also Consul for InterNations - tell us more about your time there and what you learned/did as an ambassador!

Thank you – yes, I strongly recommend it! In my case, I lead a business networking group and founded the international women's group, which has grown to over 100 members. Also, I invited speakers from all over the globe and connected people. It's very rewarding if you see you make others happy. Some related to each other business-wise, some are even married! We are a sort of world-wide huge family, “tribe” actually.

Many are still friends, and you really can make an impact on peoples life. Imagine a Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, Brazilian and German woman together and becoming life-long friends, staying connected even if some move around the globe and caring for each other. It feels a bit like a “movie life” hearing about the adventures everyone faces sometimes. Memories and unforgettable events stay in your heart forever, no matter where you end up. We don't connect over “nationality” – but as human beings and female expats, it is even a different form of communication and connection you just can't explain, teach or “learn”. You need to do it by yourself and just experience it for yourself, there is no “school” or university for that but the “school of life”.

I enclosed precious moments in my heart and you always can come back to that – all over the globe, wherever in the world. However, you learn what you really, really appreciate – but also, what you DO NOT like! And believe me – there is SO MUCH OUT THERE…. Without dark, there is no light. Sadly.

You learn who you really are and who you want to be. And you learn about gratitude! It is a very special vibe and once you understand the “codes”, habits, behaviours, “symbols”, subtle signs and so on as a more global person lets say - nobody can take that away, no matter in which situation you are in, no matter in which country. You know you can go anywhere and you find your way.

Intercultural competencies are a never-ending resource, a cosmopolitan lifestyle and mindset. In the meantime, I sort of wonder how professors can teach intercultural management if they never really lived abroad by themselves or only in very secure positions in stable jobs, at universities - or where your company or secretary organises everything, in “the expat bubble” - same with entrepreneurship.

8: What advice do you have for women who are starting their expat life or are looking to advance their career abroad?

The recommendation is very simple: START TODAY. Otherwise you will never learn about it. Whatever it is. Every long journey starts with the first step: you might ask your employer, boss, HR department if they have guest from abroad you could take care of – I did that for instance - you could attend international events even in your own home country, you could start volunteering – or reach out to headhunters, learn another language, just attend an international event in your city. Join international clubs, find out partner cities, move together with international people early in life.

There is no “rule” – only: JUST DO IT. You need to start, with a very single small action even. You could take care of other expats, and the chance is high that they invite you to their country! Get connected, don't be too shy. Join international groups in social media, connect with others who did it before. It might cost you only one minute to subscribe somewhere, get connected. It is so easy nowadays. Be an explorer. Be brave. Be you.

9: What do you do for fun/in your spare time?

Actually what many of us do probably – regular sports, mainly cardio which is swimming and running in my case. Also I really love wellness and 5 star resorts, I have a strong weakness for fantastic architecture, luxurious classy surroundings – such as enjoying fabulous interior design - and appreciate the hospitality sector, trying out new places.

Reading and studying, generally, is what I really love as well since it calms me down. I enjoy having meaningful and deep connections to very selected friends, being on the same wavelength, sharing values and having a similar view on the world or exchange ideas - whilst having a decent cup of tea and just spending time together. Connecting with nature is also fantastic!

10: You mentioned you are a five star house and pet sitter?! Sounds fab! Tell us more ;)

If you can manage to work remote and independently - luxury housing and pet sitting gets on very well along with a digital nomad and expat lifestyle. If you theoretically can work from all over the globe, and explore the world. You temporarily could enjoy stunning places, country side mansions, city lofts – and deeply connect with pets and the nature, where you learn about yourself – like a “mirror”. A good way to get to know a country as well – where you want to live, how you want to live, before you are “stuck” in the wrong area or even move to the “wrong country”! You never get this experience if you are just in a hotel. Also, you learn about different technologies in households, cultures, brands and products, architecture, interior design, furniture, areas, people, dialects and accents, the pets of course – and you connect with the society from very different angles, you can widen your horizons. As a coach, it is essential to have a broader view on things actually, especially when it comes to lifestyle issues. Learning never stops! If you work in marketing for instance, it even adds new ideas to products and services!

I also probably would never have discovered some very hidden places, mainly in the beautiful countryside, if you did not connect with locals. Moments in life – like a hidden beautiful river I went for a swim totally alone - can be more precious than a gem – nobody can take it away. Nobody would have told me if it wasn’t recommended by the locals. You learn what is really important in life. I wish you also lots of most wonderful moments! Maybe it is also for you - try it out!

Connect with Fenna:

533 views0 comments


bottom of page