Women at BSH: Brand Communications Manager Katja Flann
Here on Stories we regularly introduce talented women at BSH! Today, we meet Katja Flann in our office in Singapore.
Hi, Katja, how long have you been working for BSH?
I started working at BSH Singapore on 1 November 2012, that’s over 5.5 years ago now. But who’s counting when you are having fun, right?
What kind of roles have you had with BSH in those 6 years?
I was hired to do Brand Communications for Gaggenau. In 2014, I became part of the team for the BSH Region Asia Pacific (RAP), looking after 12 countries (such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, India). Then in 2016 I started to also get involved with Corporate Communications for RAP and since the beginning of 2018 my focus has been also on communications and events for B2B in the region. Home Connect is a big topic and we are very proud to have one of the first stand-alone, state-of-the-art Home Connect showrooms here in Singapore. With so many topics in the air, there is never a dull day in the office!
It sounds like the past 6 years have been very exciting! What would you say are your career goals, and how is BSH helping you to reach them?
I have always had a strong sense of what I want to do in life (and what I do not want to do). I think if people are allowed to bring their full potential to work, they will achieve great things in their roles, be inspiring employees and impact the office culture positively from within.
Going forward, I would like to explore more the areas of my interest and where I believe I can excel in – these areas are PR and Communications. I hope that BSH can give me the platform to do so.
You were born in Germany, but you studied in England and have already worked a lot abroad. Maybe you can tell us something about your stations?
I grew up in the beautiful and picturesque Black Forest but from a young age I wanted to go out there and see the world. Once I had my Abitur (A-levels), I was gone; first stop; Nice, France. I worked for two years as a trainee journalist for a German newspaper, which was great fun as I covered pretty much the entire Cote d’Azure and a bit of the Italian Riviera. I had a blast, great work experience and afterwards felt ready to get serious about studying again. I moved to London to pursue a degree in journalism. Apart from a six months stay in Brussels, interning with the European Commission, I stayed 10 years in London; mainly because of a great guy (my now husband), fantastic friends and a crazy job at CNN. I loved working at CNN as it was fast paced, super diverse, very rewarding and had an amazing office culture. Despite this, I left CNN to start a new adventure and a new life chapter in Singapore in 2009.
What ultimately brought you to BSH Singapore and what are the biggest differences between your working life here and your working life compare to other countries in which you have already lived?
When I heard about the vacancy for Gaggenau in Singapore, I was excited about the idea of being connected to a German brand I knew from back home. It was a nice coincidence and life goes full circle sometimes. It gives me the feeling that I am getting the best from both worlds as this enables me to talk to Gaggenau customers throughout Asia about the beautiful Black Forest; the cows, the trees and, of course, the great German engineering!
I believe it’s hard to compare work life scenarios from different countries, as each company is different and has different values and culture. I am also now in a different stage in life, a full time working mother of three young kids. Like everywhere in life, there are pros and cons but since I have now been in Singapore for over 9 years, the pros outweigh the cons.
Have you experienced any cases of culture shock? And if so, how did you work through it?
So far, nothing has really shocked me. I raised a few eyebrows here or there but let’s put them down as a learning curve of cultural differences. Singapore is so-called “Asia light”, and it’s a wonderfully modern and efficient city with friendly people. Being part of the RAP team has exposed me to working with different cultures in Asia.
What are your plans for the future?
For now we are still happy to be in Singapore, but I don’t want to ever say this is it – the world is such a big, exciting place and BSH has so many global opportunities.
Do you know other women at BSH and want to celebrate their work with an interview? Nominate them to be featured in our next article here on Stories!