What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was buying engine parts for Volkswagen in China, which began with a long night in the factory testing all the parts I had just bought to make sure they actually fitted. I was curious about the commercial side of business - the part that happened after my job had been done - so I applied for a position as sales and marketing manager in a software company and soon found myself in IT.
What sport should be in the Olympics but isn’t?
Most definitely table football. We have a table football game in our office and a female colleague and I were stiff competition for the men. We could take on any nation and bring home the gold.
In my dreams…
…I own a beautiful loft apartment with a rooftop garden and a Mini John Cooper Works in racing-car green.
What is the best business trip or junket you have ever experienced?
I was late for a flight from the Volkswagen office in Beijing to the factory plant in Shanghai and economy class was overbooked. They “unfortunately” had to upgrade me to business class.
What is the best holiday you have ever had?
Recently I did a round trip of America, clocking up about 3,000 miles by the end of it. The west coast and its national parks are just stunning. I highly recommend it.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
I was fearless when climbing trees, testing out my (non-existent) skateboard skills, and performing Britney Spears songs in front of a mirror. Today, I’m much more reserved, which is good for avoiding embarrassment, but can be a bit boring.
What would your superpower be?
Teleportation, so I could be in another place with just a blink of an eye. Being able to transport myself to a beautiful beach would be very handy on a cold and wet winter’s day.
Print or online news?
As much as I love the smell and feel of a newspaper, it is just not as fast and up to date as online news. Browsing through the headlines on my smartphone is the first thing I do every morning.
Do you use social media?
Personally, I use Facebook and LinkedIn. At Paessler we use Twitter and Facebook extensively to share information about new product features, what’s going on, special promotions, and so on. It is so much faster and it reaches a wide audience directly.
Is IT well taught in schools?
I think it is far better now. When I was in school we just learned the basics and, to be honest, at the end of the 90s, that wasn’t much. But pupils today are learning to do some pretty advanced things such as programming Lego robots. I wish we could have done that!
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
It’s all about good communication. I really value partners that show an interest in our products and company and ask the right questions. Keeping us updated on projects and campaigns is also key. Being able to share ideas with a partner who is receptive, but also wants to share their own ideas, is great in terms of development. It’s about a reciprocal relationship, where we can share our knowledge and learn from each other.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?
Music always helps. Nothing beats a song from your teenage years, to which you can somehow still remember the lyrics!
Christine Gebauer is UK business development manager at Paessler
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