Karina has been working for our client in Munich as Travel Coordinator since July 2019. As a much-travelled tourist she has already seen and experienced a lot. On her bucket list, Karina has already ticked off 49 countries on five continents. Her passion for travelling is now her profession.
You completed your cultural studies degree three years ago, how has your career developed so far?
Although I am actually a humanities scholar, I have been working in tourism during my entire studies and continued doing so after my master's degree. However, I felt the call of the distance and so I decided to leave my job again - I went to Australia for half a year. When I came back to my home town Regensburg, I wanted to reorient myself professionally and applied for a job in the marketing department at ARTS. The colleague then suggested my current position to me during the interview because he recognized my potential for it - and so I finally came to ARTS.
How does your typical day as Travel Coordinator look like?
Working for an international group is in itself a very exciting thing. My main task is to coordinate and approve worldwide business trips by our employees in Europe, including those of colleagues at other European locations of the company. To do this, I am of course also in close contact with a business travel agency, because I don't book the trips myself. My tasks also include monitoring the budget for the individual trips in order to report to the controlling department in a way that is properly comprehensible. When I check the business trip applications, I often have to contact the respective employees again because documents are missing or not filled out correctly. Afterwards, I can then approve them. Even after the employees have started their trips, I can still be reached by them if there are any questions or uncertainties. At the moment, many employees from other locations are taking business trips to Munich, so I have been spending a lot of time recently dealing with the hotels around the office in order to be able to give competent advice to colleagues.
You coordinate the business trips of hundreds of employees throughout Europe, what language do you speak in the office?
Almost everything is done in English, which is naturally due to the international character of the company. Our origin is the Asian region. I will soon be taking a language course again. I'm really looking forward to it, because I've also enjoyed getting to know new language cultures on my previous trips. But of course I also speak German with my direct colleagues. We are a very multilingual team.
What challenges have you already successfully mastered?
The most challenging situations are those that occur unpredictably. This is, for example, a delayed or even cancelled flight, as a result of which our colleagues are then stuck. In such cases, I must of course find a replacement as quickly as possible or see to it that they get one or more extra nights in a hotel. I would also like to identify and use synergy effects early on. Every employee has to submit a separate business trip application, even if it is a group trip. Of course, Corona was or is also an enormous challenge for us, as business trips have been radically reduced accordingly. Certainly we have learned from the last few months that some matters can also be clarified by video call. Nevertheless, I estimate the situation in such a way that the travel activity will increase again, because a personal conversation face to face cannot be replaced also by technology and is often very crucial.
What drives you in your daily work?
I hate inefficiency and love organization. That's why I'm constantly working on optimizing and improving the travel processes for the traveler as well as for controlling and ultimately for myself. I want to remove all possible stumbling blocks in the run-up to the trip in question. I am also always interested in making costs as efficient as possible without sacrificing comfort for the traveler. This is a balancing act that makes the work exciting and challenging.
Working in an electronics company suggests that you have arrived at the "paperless office", do you?
In fact, almost everything in a technical company is digital. But we are not completely paperless here either. Nevertheless, we too are committed to sustainability in the workplace, and this is clearly reflected in our location in Munich, where everything is state-of-the-art and which has an energy-efficient overall concept.
How do you estimate ARTS as an employer?
Up to now I have actually had mainly telephone contact with my ARTS colleagues. And yet it is a very open and friendly communication. This is certainly also favoured by the Duz culture, which creates a relaxed atmosphere. During my search last year I had contact with several service providers and I am very happy to have chosen ARTS. I think that this offers a very good start to my professional life, because you always have an additional contact person who is available for advice.