Posted on 12/07/2018 via BSH Home Appliances Group

Pacific exploration

At the age of 26 Christine Haas started her first permanent job with BSH. Six years on she has lived and worked in two countries and has learned not only about new cultures but also about herself.

When Christine Haas decided to start an internship at BSH in Munich in 2011, she was hoping that it would prove to be an interesting experience – but she had no idea how much it would influence her subsequent life. At the time she was studying at the Technical University Munich (TUM) and joined BSH to work for the Strategy department of the Consumer Products department. Her tasks as an intern not only provided insights into work of a multinational company, but also a useful link to her studies. So she ended up writing her diploma thesis at the same department – a choice with major implications for her future life.

After graduating from TUM a year later Christine had developed such strong links to BSH through her internship and her thesis that she was offered a job. However, this time not in Munich – but in Asia. “BSH was just building up the Consumer Product team for the Asia Pacific region and I was lucky to get the opportunity to work permanently in Singapore as a Business Development Senior Executive,” she remembers. So in September 2012, aged 26, she was on the plane from Munich to the world’s largest city-state.

Regional relocation

Logistically, the Human Resources department in Singapore supported Christine on immigration and contracts. “So it was easy for me to look for an apartment and get settled,” she says. What made it easier for her on a personal level was the atmosphere at work. “It is a great team in our Asia Pacific Region with many different backgrounds,” she says.

After five and a half years however, a new opportunity opened up in another unique part of the region. “A Product Manager in New Zealand went on maternity leave at the beginning of the year. So they opened up the possibility to colleagues in the region to take on this role for 13 months,“ explains Christine. “Our regional management really supports and encourages exchange between countries and employees.“ So when Christine was asked she did not hesitate to apply. She got the job and in March she moved to Auckland.

In her relocation the Human Resources department supported Christine – again with immigration and visa, her new contract as well as insurance and other issues. „HR and the team in Singapore were great to make that process as smooth as possible and my manager and HR in Auckland were very supportive before and once I arrived.“

Living the outdoor lifestyle

Now she works in Product Management with responsibility for Laundry Care, Dish Care and Refrigeration for Bosch and Neff brands. “Since New Zealand is a small country our team is small, too, which means that I have been able to take on a lot of responsibility and to dive into many different topics,“ says Christine. Thus she manages the life cycle of the products under her responsibility and work closely with the Marketing, Sales, Logistics team and other stakeholders in order to achieve the business targets.

“Having previously worked in a regional role now being able to work in a country organization is a great opportunity to be closer to our consumers.“ she says nine months into her new role. But the experience in Auckland is not only interesting as an opportunity to understand the challenges of the day-to-day business. “New Zealand is an amazing country and my colleagues have been very welcoming and supportive,“ she says. “People here love outdoor activities and are very social, which fits with my personality. So I adopted quite fast to the local culture.“

Since her assignment will end in March 2019, Christine is not sure yet if she will stay in Auckland, move back to Singapore or move on to another post. “But I look forward to any new challenges, options and possibilities,“ she says confidently.

Shaping the personality

Irrespective of her next step, her experiences abroad have already influenced Christine – not only on a professional but also on a personal level. “Once you decide to move to a new country and culture you need to adopt to the new environment. Luckily, I did not have problems with that in both countries,“ she says. “Leaving family and friends in Germany behind just after uni and starting a new life certainly taught me to be more confident. Being outside of my comfort zone I have learnt a lot about myself.”

When asked how her personal experiences might influence the advice she would give to others, Christine is unequivocal: “I can only recommend to everyone who gets the opportunity to go out and walk new ways. It will give you new perspectives on people, values, cultures, business models, approaches and ways of thinking. With an open mind and team player approach you cannot fail.“