Life at Avery Dennison

Alexandrina Cheptanaru, Finance Manager, FP&A, Oegstgeest, Netherlands

Years with AD

What attracted you to your chosen work? 

When I joined Avery Dennison 5 years ago as an ECP (Early Career Program), what attracted me the most was the opportunity to get a taste of different areas of finance so early in my career. On top of that, I was looking forward to getting exposed to non-finance areas in the form of projects, interactions through my daily work and formal training, which materialized through the various roles I had. In my current position, this is still what keeps me excited the most - working in very driven cross-functional teams.

What skills did you develop early that are still useful today?

I think many skills come naturally with time and experience, but what helped me the most at the beginning (and to this day) is that I am a curious person and I get excited about various topics. This has allowed me to get exposed to areas that might not be within my immediate work scope, but still seem interesting and challenging.

How have you grown in your career at Avery Dennison?

After having some experience in Operations Finance, 5 years ago I joined Avery Dennison as an ECP, having in mind the idea of trying out other finance areas. However, at the time I was convinced that Operations Finance was where I wanted to keep developing myself. 5 years later, this remains a field that interests me a lot, but I added a couple more in the meantime.

In my first year at Avery Dennison, I worked in Commercial Finance, then I switched to an SG&A (Selling, General and Administrative Expenses) controlling role, which was a great opportunity to interact a lot with colleagues from different functions. Last year, I made the transition to the FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis) manager role, being in charge of other exciting topics.

By far, what has helped me the most in this progression was the LGM EMENA team and the many opportunities to learn from my colleagues both inside and outside the finance organization. Of course, it goes without saying that the confidence and responsibility that my manager had manifested throughout my journey at Avery Dennison has been very empowering and has kept me motivated.

Having the mindset of being focused on the journey and gaining as much experience as possible is one of my main beliefs and continues to be useful on a day to day basis.

What's the biggest stretch opportunity you've taken on?

I think beginning to manage people in a very busy period of time was a big stretch opportunity for me. Although I have always been confident that this is an experience that I was looking forward to, I knew this would come with an increased level of responsibility, but would also help me develop both on a professional and personal level by learning from the daily interactions with the team.

What role has mentorship played in your career?

Being part of the ECP program at the beginning, I was assigned a mentor who provided me with a broader perspective of the role of Finance, career development opportunities and was a great example of an experienced person who is always willing to share knowledge and develop themselves. On top of that, throughout my career there have been multiple people who did not necessarily have the formal role of a mentor, but definitely were instrumental in my development and served as inspiring examples.

Life at Avery Dennison

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?

Instead of a specific decision, I would rather say that it is the overall mindset of being open to new opportunities and seeing different roles as learning opportunities, not as choices driven by short-term benefits.

As you think about the next steps in your career, what are the most important actions you plan to take?

Keep learning from the people around and from challenging situations, and keep having fun at work. No matter what the next career steps will be for me, I believe these things will help me thrive.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

Although Finance might seem standard and repetitive to someone outside of this field, I enjoy a lot the fact that it is actually very dynamic. Very often, even the most standardized processes can lead to very lively discussions because of new insights and different people having different perspectives. Another aspect I enjoy about the work I do is that it involves a lot of interaction with colleagues responsible for different areas, coming from different backgrounds; all this being an enriching experience for my personal and professional development.

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