Melanie Unruh, business consultant

A consultant takes a break

Melanie Unruh spent six and a half years as a specialist in “Optimizing sales processes” at Porsche Consulting. She ended up directing the department – and was the first woman to hold this position at the company.

Unruh is every inch the consultant – and she also applies her professional skills to her personal life. Her home is a model of efficiency. “All the toy boxes are labeled with pictures. So my two daughters know where their things belong, and more importantly, where they can find them again.”

As a child Unruh wanted to take over her father’s sales business. She helped out as a teenager, and earned pocket money by stacking the shelves. But during her dual-track theoretical and practical studies of business administration at the Stuttgart site of Daimler AG, she realized that her career was heading toward consulting. As she describes it, “Nowhere else do you get to know so many different companies, subject matters, and people.” Following her degree, she spent five years at Daimler AG. She held a number of positions there, including product manager in which she developed accessories such as watches and leather items for Mercedes model series. During this time she never lost her desire to enter consulting.

The day came in 2004. Unruh took a job with Porsche Consulting in Bietigheim-Bissingen, and helped to build up the field of sales. As she recalls, “We entered one sector after another, and our projects kept becoming more challenging.” A native of Hamburg whose husband worked in Switzerland, she decided she had had enough of long-distance and moved to Switzerland herself in 2010. But she did not stop working. She continued to support an automotive supplier as an independent consultant – until taking a maternity break. Since the birth of her first daughter she has devoted her energies to being a mother. But this will soon change. Unruh, who is also a serious mountain biker, remarks: “As soon as my youngest daughter enters pre-school, I would like to return to my profession.”