Sylvia Vogt, 43
Vice President, Corporate Affairs Americas, Robert Bosch LLC
Education: Undergraduate degree in law from University of Cologne; Master's degree in law from German Ministry of Justice, University of Cologne
What your college professors didn't teach you: "Knowledge you learn is static. But in real life (you learn) everything is about change. Everything is way more dynamic, influenced by this constant change and flexibility."
First automotive job: Attorney in legal department for the Bosch Group in Stuttgart in 1994
Most fun automotive job: "That's an easy one: the current one."
- 2003-04 Vice president, corporate affairs, Robert Bosch Corp., Farmington Hills, Mich.
- 2001-03 Director, office of the chairman and president, Robert Bosch
- 2000-01 Director, contract management, automotive technology, Robert Bosch
- 1998-2000 Chief counsel for OE contracts, Robert Bosch
- 1994-98 Corporate attorney, Bosch Group, Stuttgart
Proudest achievement: "I come from Germany and moved over here in 1998. It moved me completely out of my comfort zone.
"I'm a German attorney, not a U.S. attorney. I have to work in a completely different field of expertise, in a different language. To do this, to be happy at that, to find my balance here and to get accepted into the business teamwork in the company, that's definitely my proudest" achievement.
Current challenge: "To strengthen our brand further in America. We are rather a more silent player in the United States. I have a vision I would like to strengthen our philanthropic giving."
On being successful: It is posted on a sign in her office: "Perseverance yields results."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "I was surprised by the complexity of the whole automotive industry. It's so complex across different functions, across different people, across different products, and everything works together like one big systemic concept. The other thing is how global it is."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "The first word that comes to my mind is again this 'perseverance.' I believe it is truly helpful if you have that. And if you are given an opportunity, I believe you need to wholeheartedly grab it. You need to turn it into something you are passionate about, and then again, you have to yield results. The other piece is: You definitely have to work hard, maybe harder as a woman sometimes."
Job to which you aspire: "My current one, of course. I still have a lot to do in this."
What you do to relax: "Fun things. I work hard, but I play hard. I have a very deep love for nature. I go canoeing, back-country hiking, things like that. The other thing, I've been for many, many years always active in sports," especially a Korean martial art, tae kwon do.