After finishing school, I luckily (and coincidentally) got my first job at the corporate HR department of Bertelsmann in their Guetersloh headquarter. I haven't stopped working in HR since and wonder what would have happened if I had taken another road.
Though I wanted to stay longer, my stay got kind of interrupted to a upcoming and exciting company literally on the other side of the street...Lycos.
Shortly after the IPO of Bertelsmann-backed Lycos Europe, I joined the company and became part of the HR team during a time when recruiting employees was our main priority. Back then, applications came in only via email, people that we recruited came from all different backgrounds and we loved being part of the "New Economy". During my 12 months at Lycos I also experienced re-structuring of fast growing companies and in the end the first downsizing.
I'd never wanted to have missed that year. A year that defined my later career in digital companies. One could say I got addicted to digital businesses and recruitment back then.
After having worked at an internet startup and being part of a group of exciting pioneers, I thought it might be reasonable to study something helpful: business administration. For some ambitious reason, I chose a highly expensive private school since they offered a trimester program, where you changed between 3 months full time work and 3 months full time study.
Because of the exclusivity (due to the tuition fee), there were only 28 students in my class. Most of them rich kids or giving aways their professional freedom to companies who paid their studies. Somehow, I was the only one paying for herself, no parents or companies included. This forced me to work a lot - and fortunately for a lot of interesting companies.
After my highly exciting internet experiences at Lycos, I spent my first university trimester with something completely different (but highly interesting): I assisted the project manager Dr. Andreas Osner within the Bertelsmann Foundation in a project concerning political steering.
E.ON: My second step in the corporate world... and my first and only stay in Bavaria. I assisted the HR department in daily business, screened the recruiting services they were using and handled some employee issues. I learned about Dirndls, corporate politics and that Munich is not my city.
During my studies I worked in a (by then) medium-sized automotive company and tried to establish and optimize their recruiting processes. I also build their first applicant database (in Access...) and held workshops for internal trainings. This was a very odd but great experience: I had never worked in a production company before - and never in a company that was so reluctant to change.
During my first stay as an intern at British American Tobacco, I dived into the internal recruiting processes and worked on different HR projects.
VNU Shanghai: I was in charge of the project management of 2 trade fairs in Shanghai and was esp. responsible for the co-ordination of the international exhibitors as well as supporting the VNU management. VNU is a joint venture between a dutch corporate and a Chinese market leader for trade fairs.
Shanghai was an outstanding experience - work-wise and personally. But although I was offered to join the company after my studies, I rejected since I didn't want to work in China again for several reasons.
The system/tool I built was a bit too modern probably for the organization as it chipped away all the concepts of traditional performance appraisal they were using. I don't think they ever implemented my suggestions in total, but it was a lof of fun to see how far one can go.
Management Angels is the market leader in interim management in Germany and has been part of the Randstad Group from 2010-2013. I joined the company (a team of 3) in 2005 building up the candidate network of more than 1,500 interim managers/freelancers. Starting from there I took over responsibility of clients with internet and/or IT businesses. This included acquisition/sales as well as negotiations and key account management.
This first real job trained my sales skills, thought me how to negotiate and respect corporate clients and gave me the broadest know-how on recruitment and business in general. I still benefit from all these learnings and especially my network.
I left in 2010 to learn something new and also the timing was perfect since the small startup of probably 15 people was by then acquired by randstad.
2010 - 2013
i-potentials is a market leader in recruiting digital natives - for startups, incubators or corporates.
I joined the company shortly after their start and helped the CEO to set up the business. My responsibilities focused on sales/business development and mostly: revenue. Since the past years, we successfully established a brand in recruiting and HR within the digital space. I left the company when executive search was not longer thrilling enough for me and I wanted to pursue my career elsewhere.
hub:raum, the incubator of Deutsche Telekom, invests in early stage startups backs them with co-working-space, mentoring and helps them to find the right business partners within Deutsche Telekom.
I support all portfolio and related companies with all HR related matters. This includes consulting, workshops, individual coaching and training as well as helping them setting up their HR structure. My main target is enabling them to become a great employer in giving them all my knowledge as a HR specialist and sharing my experiences in starting a company and managing people.