Name: Leo Tonidandel
Position: Lufthansa Busan Manager
My first job was working as a customer service agent at the international airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, nineteen years ago.
The name Lufthansa has an interesting history, right?
In 1926, the most successful companies at that times, Deutsche Aero Llyod and Junkers Luftverkehr were merged into “Deutsche Luft Hansa AG”. Only since 1933, Lufthansa, as one word, has been used for the company name. Actually it is pretty simple – just the combination of 2 words, ‘Luft’ (the German word for “Air”) and ‘Hansa’ (derived from the Hanseatic League, a 13th century economic alliance of European trading cities).
Did you know about the Hanseatic League going into your first interview?
No, I did not know anything about the company or even the working world. My resume was quite simple and very short.
You’ve done well coming from the ground floor. What would you say is a “must do” for the average business school major to help their career?
Most importantly practice. It takes some time. Implementing theories without overdoing them and being practical and very creative. Business without creativity will not have any success anywhere on the planet. Reading and understanding business cases can be a good start. Sometimes we also learn how things should not be done.
What is an absolute “must not”?
Overdoing things. Once anything becomes too much, we can not process any information into practical implementation. Moreover, the fact to work long hours without breaks is also not
productive and reduces the ability for innovation and creativity. We live in a very interactive world and the work can be done literally anywhere, anytime, anyhow.
Additional Questions for Online Version of Interview
When you were a kid, what was your dream job?
It kept changing. First, I wanted to be a truck driver because trucks were big and always on the road. After a while, when I became a bit more aware of life, I wanted to be a fighter pilot, because of the adrenaline, challenge, high speed and adventure. Throughout high school I changed my mind quite a few times: doctor, dentist, production engineer, pilot again, musician, and much later I started thinking on the business World, where I am now.
My parents were always very open and often said I should do what I want to do. This kind of openness gives us freedom to explore different opportunities out there, and I am very grateful -and will do the same for our kids.
Any interesting (funny) stories about a bad job you had?
Not really. Lufthansa was my first job, however throughout my career, I did face interesting challenges which became funny stories, especially when I used to work as a customer service agent at the beginning of my career within the company.
What do you like to do in your free time? Hobbies?
I have two beautiful daughters and I spend a major part of my free time with them, however, I like my hobbies as well. Playing the piano is my top activity, not because it calms me down but because it is my first profession as I did learn piano for 18 years.
As well, cooking, cigars and any kind of sport activity, from beach volleyball to mountain biking or just a power walk at the beach!
Where and what do you see yourself in 10 years?
Interesting how priorities change according to our family – it will be very interesting to watch my daughters growing up, going through school and also quality controlling their boyfriends! (lol) … As for my professional life, I believe there are still some milestones to be reached, which will take us to different places in the world.
Any closing statements?
Living in Korea improves my ability to understand to which extend the culture impact our lives, both professionally and privately. Its interaction bring relevant contributions to us, our families and our businesses.
For more information about Lufthansa and their extensive services here in Korea, you can visit their website here.