In an interview: Sonja Müller takes over Hungarian management
On August 1, 2020, our Head of Managed Services also took over the role of Managing Director in Hungary. In the interview, she reveals where she started at ADWEKO, what new tasks she will be facing and how she envisages future cooperation between the German and Hungarian locations. Among other things, she also addresses the currently difficult travel situation.
That is Sonja Müller:
As a valuable member of our ADWEKO family, Sonja Müller joined ADWEKO in 2015 and initially worked as a key account manager for our customers such as Mercedes Benz Bank.
Due to the close cooperation with her Hungarian colleagues, she took over the management of our nearshore location in Budapest in February 2019.
In addition to her current position as Division Manager for Managed Services, Sonja Müller also took over the role of Managing Director in Hungary on August 01, 2020.
For me there is no "here" and "there" - only ADWEKO at different locations!
Dear Sonja, first of all, congratulations on your new position. As location manager for Hungary, you have been working for one and a half years for a good cooperation and understanding between our nearshore location Budapest and Germany. What were your first impressions?
During my first visit to Hungary I was overwhelmed by the outstanding hospitality - the feeling of being "at home with friends". When I then experienced the competences available in Budapest, it was clear to me that ADWEKO Nearshore is in the right place and has great potential for development. Everyone who has been to Budapest before can probably understand a little bit of my passion for this culture.
What has changed since then until now?
At the beginning, the cultural differences led to inhibitions and I was able to learn a lot and broaden my own horizon by working closely with my colleagues on site. It was clear to me that we will only be successful here in the long term if we interpret the nearshore approach differently.
And so we followed the ADWEKO motto: "Culture comes first" and fully integrated our Hungarian colleagues into the German organization. For me, there is no here and there, only ADWEKO at different locations.
Why is our location in Budapest so important for ADWEKO?
Budapest has given us the opportunity to develop a model of "best-of-both-worlds" - highly qualified German-speaking colleagues combined with a considerable cost advantage of a nearshore location and a great potential for further development. This together is an absolute unique selling point from which our customers in the German-speaking world benefit.
Now you have been promoted to the Hungarian management. What new tasks does this mean for you?
Since I was previously in charge of the Budapest office, the only difference is that I now take full responsibility for my actions.
Does that mean more traveling for you? To what extent does the current Corona situation make itself felt in this context?
At the moment there is no question of "more travel" ;). For me personally, it is generally very important to be in regular and direct contact with colleagues.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the same measures have been taken in Budapest as everywhere else for the safety of our colleagues, so all ADWEKO's currently spend most of their time in their home office. Our communication via the digital tools is an integral part of our daily work, there are many virtual meetings, sometimes for lunch, coffee or even for a beer after work. Important is: Camera on!
However, even if I feel comfortable in the digital world of collaboration, it is no substitute for an evening with colleagues and a glass of Tokaj!
In ADWEKO's almost 12-year history, you are the first woman in the management of one of our companies. How do you feel about it?
The diversity approach plays a major role in the ADWEKO family, which is generally characterized by a very flat hierarchy. So this was not really an issue I was thinking about. I was very pleased that I was given the confidence to take up the position and that this was seen as an appreciation of my person and performance.
Are there already long-term goals that you would like to achieve for Hungary in the future?
My goal is to look for a new office in Budapest in the coming years. Not because the current one is not good enough, quite the contrary. But it would mean that we would need more space.
Thank you very much for your answers! We wish you good luck for the future!