Despite all ups and downs, Roxana has managed to turn into a genuine German business woman, grateful however for her strong Romanian roots. Her daily actions, her performances and way of being actively contribute towards a positive change in the image of Romania, which can only be good for us in a strong economy like Germany’s. Why should we always cherish a person like Roxana - in the story below.
Name: Roxana Boramir
Abroad for: 8 years
Living in: Stuttgart, Germany
Current position & company: Global Head of Shared Service @ KSB AG
TGR: Roxana, welcome to The Golden Romania! You still consider yourself Romanian right?
RB: I definitely consider myself still a Romanian. The good part is that having a global role and responsibility makes this very interesting in seeing that a lot of other cultures are very alike to us Romanians.
Born and raised in the most German city in Romania, living in Stuttgart for the last 8 years... Everything around you revolves around Germany, doesn't it?
Well to be honest it does. I have also had a part of my studies during high school in Germany and after I started working in management consulting I have had a lot of projects in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. So I almost lived there for the past 10 years even though I am in Germany now for the last 8 years as home base. Nevertheless, it is great to have a global role and to get the possibility to see the world, even if sometimes it is exhausting.
So it wasn’t really difficult for you to blend in.
I think that when you start building up a career abroad you also need to face challenges. I haven’t been spared from that either. When I first started to work in projects in Germany, the mindset of people here towards Romanians wasn’t there yet. Everybody has been very skeptical that we have knowledge, skills, that we are very well educated and that sometimes we are doing things better than they do. This changed a lot during the last 6 years and this is not a big issue anymore, even though you need to fight sometimes and prove yourself.
The biggest struggle was to be a woman working in men-dominated fields, and this is where being a Romanian girl helped a lot. Being straight, adapting easily to change, eager and pushy and of course self-confident helped in managing this world of men and gain their respect and acceptance. It has not been easy but if it would have been that easy it would not have been so much fun in growing in this role
What's the other side of the story? I mean, how do you Romanians generally perceive Germany?
Romanians abroad have a different integration approach. Some of them find new friends quickly and in a very short time the acceptance in the communities, but it is very sad to say that I also met Romanians which are not even willing to learn the German language. They just want to work here for some months and then immediately go back to Romania without giving this country a chance. Of course there is a second side of the story as well – how many Germans want to learn the Romanian culture? Well, I have also met a lot of Germans which were open and willing to do that. Maybe the reason are the Romanian girls – even it is a cliché it so very true
But seriously though, I do think that we need to start thinking and living globally and to be more open for change. We cannot act globally and act locally this is a huge change that needs to come in the next year in order to break these boundaries.
Despite all these small obstacles, what made you stay in Germany for such a long time?
I have met Stuttgart when I was 11 years old and I loved the city from that point on. The city and region develops itself a lot, especially due to the business and the industry that you will find here (Headquarters for Daimler and Porsche, Kärcher, Bosch etc.). What has been keeping me also here for the last over 9 years is actually the most important fact and this is my husband and my best friends, a great mixture of nationalities (Romanian, Mexican, German)
Is there an expat community you relate to or you prefer spending time with German people?
Well I think that we have built up our own expat community here in Germany. Almost all my closest friends are here, not necessarily living in Stuttgart but close to me so we see each other very often.
What's your current job about?
Currently I am the Global Head of Shared Service, having the responsibility for Business Process Optimization as well as for the Shared Service Organization for Accounting, Finance, Controlling and Procurement.
Can you tell me something only you can do in the company?
I am the “brain” behind these concepts and initiatives if you can call this that way. For the upcoming 2 years, we have defined a worldwide reorganization project that we will roll out, which also implies new Shared Service Concepts. The main idea and concept as well as the change management behind all the topics are my major responsibility in bringing this into practice and making things work.
I am glad you are the one who makes things happen! How many direct reports do you have?
I am working most of the time project based. This means that I currently have over 40 people worldwide working on my side.
Now let’s talk a little bit about our home country. How often do you travel to Romania?
I try to travel to Romania, to Sibiu, as often as possible. I manage to be there 4 times a year.
What do you mostly miss about Romania?
I am missing the spirit of Romanian people. Being open and extremely friendly, loving life and not worrying so much about what will come. They just do things without needing a plan and process for this.
Unlike Germany I presume… Are these enough good reasons to think about moving back sometimes?
This is something that I don’t know right now. I would say no because our life is now based here in Germany. Maybe when we will retire
Please tell me something particular about Romania that you would usually say to a foreign friend.
I always praise how great Sibiu and Transylvania are and they need to visit these. The people, the cities, the mountains and the spirit are just great. They don’t need to think that Romania resumes itself just to Bucharest or gypsies that they see on the streets. These scare people a lot and think that the complete country is like that, which is not the case.
What is your biggest dream?
At the moment: to finally have some more free time for me and my husband currently we have a lot on our plates but hopefully this will change soon.
Any final remarks regarding our home country?
I am more than happy and proud to be born in Romania. There is no week when I am not missing what I call home: my family, the city, the free spirit and the love for life.
Well, Roxana, Germany needs a person like you: they do need this free spirit of Romanians to alter their rigorous way a bit, and I honestly believe you are doing an amazing job in this area! Thank you for your time!
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