No Match Found
Global Tax Director
During a recent conversation, Lorena Gega shared more on her early-years, education and experience at PwC Albania - while also providing valuable career and leadership advice.
What were your early years like?
As for many, my childhood days are the most treasured. Born and raised in Tirana, I was beyond lucky to grow up in a lovingly family together with my parents, my younger sister and my cat. I got my mother’s looks and my father’s questioning mind. Whereas from my sister, I borrowed a pinch of her practicality. My childhood memories are made of precious family time and self-made traditions, cozy holidays and countless family trips. And I owe it all to my madly in love parents.
Teenage and university years have been quite a gem too. I was very fond of school, as well as the get-together moments with friends. It is right in the early years that I discovered my eternal passions for food and numbers. Cooking is a big deal to me. Even nowadays, regardless how much time has passed and how far from home I might be, the smell of home cooked meals creates an emotional bridge to my childhood years. Mathematics was my first love. This is how I learned that there are solutions even for impossible problems, you just need to have the right determination and curiosity to find them.
What drew you to PwC?
Well, as geeky as it may sound, it was definitely my passion for taxes which I developed during my university years. Back in the days, tax consulting was not a largely known profession in Albania. While many professional service firms in Albania were primarily focusing on audit, PwC was instead already growing a strong tax and legal department. A friend of mine who was already working there at the time hinted the possibility of me joining the firm.
After doing some research, I realised that this would likely be a perfect fit for me. I would develop my analytical skills even further, would explore my interest in tax and law and turn it into a lifetime profession, and, at the same time it would allow me to grow by getting out of my introverted comfort zone. It turned out that I was not wrong.
After submitting my application, I was invited to have a couple of interviews - which were more than job interviews - they felt like conversations with old friends. And that was it! I soon became part of an incredible family for many years to come.
How was your experience at PwC?
In few words: dynamic, fast learning, challenging, exciting and much more. At PwC one certainly hits the ground running but I was surrounded by great mentors, colleagues and friends to help me make the most of this once in a lifetime experience.
During my 13 years at PwC Albania, I was shown patience; I was transferred deep knowledge and robust technical know-how; I was taught to never compromise with quality at work; and I was given trust, unlimited support, continuous recognition and appreciation. And what is more important, it was proved that I can rely on all of these even now that I am not part of it anymore. PwC has irreversibly shaped me into the professional I am today.
Any lasting lessons from your time at PwC?
Some of the first words of wisdom that my manager at the time shared with me were “the important thing when making mistakes, is making them together”.
We were a team and worked as such, by applying a ‘no blame’ policy. It was an environment with high psychological safety – I was always heard, could challenge opinions, and freely explore new opportunities.
This lesson was imprinted in me, and has been part of the professional I became in PwC and still am today.
Reflecting on your career at this point, what makes you feel the most proud?
I would definitely say that is utilising problem-solving to create a long-lasting impact for many of our clients. Even nowadays, in my new company in Berlin, I am constantly aiming at finding solutions to complex problems and enable growth.
In addition, by growing professionally I grew personally as well, and through this development I have become a better person, someone who I am very proud of.
How would you describe yourself as a leader?
As a leader I am close to my team, focusing on helping them grow, taking care of them, treating each member fairly, showing appreciation and recognition, and always having and open door policy. But I am also demanding and with high focus on quality. PwC role-modeled me into this behavioral attitude. In fact, something that I am grateful for PwC, was indeed the opportunity to work closely with people I respected a lot, and was able to learn how great leaders should act.
What do you think is most important in leadership?
The most important thing as a leader is to be a role model to the people you work with. To do this, it is not enough to be technically capable – but even most important is to be who the team members want to be when they advance in their career, not only as a professional, but also as a human being.
What helpful career advice can you offer?
Be curious, ask for help, have a voice.
If you could go back in time and tell your 18-year-old self something, what would it be?
I would tell her that she is already perfect (sometimes she would forget that). She does not have to be the perfect daughter, sister, friend, student, or employee – she has to be the perfect person to herself and make sure she is happy.
Country Managing Partner, Tax and Legal Services, PwC Albania