Verena Kuhr: “Despite its many locations, BSI is a greater whole.”

Verena recently began working at BSI – at the company’s new, seventh location. She helped set up the new office in Dusseldorf, to link it with the BSI ecosystem and to spread the BSI culture. And with her passion – the Carnival – she is also adding a new piece of culture to our greater whole.

  • Graduated from RWTH with an MSc in Computer Science
  • Lives and works in Dusseldorf
  • Grew up in Aachen
  • Most important smartphone app: weather app
  • Morning ritual: to eat a relaxed breakfast and then ride the bike to work
  • Would really like to travel and visit every continent
Favorite means of transportation in Dusseldorf: The bicycle.
Favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon: Spending lots of time in the fresh air.
Favorite book: “Und jenseits liegt kein Paradies.”
Favorite thing: People in action.

 

Verena, directly upon completing your studies you immediately jumped into the “brand-new BSI location” adventure. How did you manage to find your way in the new office in Dusseldorf?

At the beginning, many things were still temporary and it reminded me of when I moved into my first apartment. It was empty, echoing and seemed rather cold. Little by little, we have filled the office with life: we placed a desk here, set up a shelf there, added some green with plants. The kitchen was soon set up and now, is a cozy meeting point. That is where we drink coffee, eat snacks or fruit and sit down to eat lunch. We later purchased a grill and furniture for the terrace. Now it is really comfortable.

 

Wasn’t it rather lonely in the new office in Dusseldorf?

No, not at all. The offices are very well linked together. There is no location mentality and there are no borders. It’s more like we are all just BSI employees who happen to work in another city. Of course, it is easier when I can turn to my colleagues who work just two meters away with questions. But we have many options to interact with other colleagues by phone, Lync (Skype for business) and screen sharing.

BSI has a total of seven locations. Is BSI nevertheless a cohesive “ecosystem”?

BSI is simply a large community consisting of many different people. And one is part of the community right from the start and is welcomed with open arms. It is this openness – not just among those working at BSI, but also among our customers – that creates a very pleasant working environment. And which in turn makes the individual BSI locations into a greater whole.

Time and again BSI staff from other locations visit or we go to other locations. The projects I have worked on so far and the interesting introductory courses enabled me to quickly get to know the offices in Darmstadt, Berne, Munich, Zurich and Baden and made it possible for me to network with BSI employees there. I like this because it facilitates an exchange and strengthens networking. And the overall corporate culture is always passed on and put into practice.

How does this openness express itself towards our customers?

We deal very directly with our customers. I do not have to first present my work to my project manager, who then shows it to his contact at the customer, and from there it is explained further until it finally reaches the person in charge. Things are much simpler and much more efficient with us. I am currently working on the CRM project for Hermes and am creating the concept as well as the technical specification. I can present my concepts and ideas directly to the customer; without detours. I receive feedback immediately and undiluted.

With the Dusseldorf office, BSI has entered new cultural territory – the Carnival. Is this Rhineland culture also part of your life?

Yes, I have danced in a Carnival club since I was six. Majorettes and show dancing are very popular at the Rhineland carnival. These forms of group dancing developed in the post-war period and were intended to spread a bit of joy. Also popular are couples dancing with lifts and plenty of acrobatics. And then there are the solo dancers: the “Mariechen.” I have done it all, from being a majorette, to show dancing and couples dancing. Now I dance as a “Mariechen,” a solo dancer, in my Carnival club in Aachen. As a “Mariechen,” I am freer, choose my own music and have a say in how I dance, which, of course, is a lot of fun. I am already looking forward to next winter when I can again spread joy among Carnival fans.

Verena dances as “Mariechen” in the Carnival club.