Debora Gambalonga has been marketing manager at Bechtle Clouds GmbH for two years. Her aim? To bolster the Bechtle Clouds brand. Debora is someone who always gives 100%, not only at work, but also in her personal life, committed to helping the homeless people of Heilbronn in the city’s shelter. Her passion and her "nothing is impossible" attitude make her an extraordinary kind of person. In our interview, Debora gives us an insight into both facets of her life and shows us where she sees parallels.
Debora Gambalonga: I’m responsible for the in-house and external marketing of Bechtle Clouds GmbH, its cloud portfolio and its managed services developed in the Service Factory. Our aim is to bolster the Bechtle Clouds brand. To make sure we succeed in that, we support the system houses and the e-commerce subsidiary with their central and localised campaigns and also push for cloud certifications. My work puts me in touch with a lots of other specialist departments, such as Marketing when it comes to centralised campaigns for vendors such as AWS, Google and IONOS, and also with Corporate Communications when there’s a need for press releases or success stories.
One aspect is definitely the variety of tasks, which means that each day is completely different from the next. The great part of the job is being able to get to know so many new people. I would say that I’m very communicative, open and persuasive and I really enjoy talking to others, and I would say that these are key qualities needed to do the job. As I said before, the variety of tasks is huge, and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s happening, and so having a basic understanding of project management and being able to prioritise tasks are both extremely useful. For me, however, the best part of my job is that I get to see some kind of result, whether that’s a new campaign, a landing page or some kind of press release—seeing them is the best reward.
I started out in the catering and hotel industry because I loved languages and travelling. I was too young to start working on ships when I finished my training, which is which is why I worked as an event manager at Software One for three years. When I was offered the position of Bechtle Clouds marketing manager by a Bechtle recruiter, I didn’t hesitate to accept.
Being able to see things, not just from a marketing point of view, has always stood me in good stead, and as a result, the team and I really complement each other. For me, things really couldn’t be any better.
I’ve always been concerned by homelessness. I come across people on the street several times a day and I have never been able to get used to the idea that some people have no homes to go to. My voluntary work can help prevent this from happening. Especially at the moment because homeless people are particularly affected and are not able to follow hygiene measures, e.g. increased hygiene or to simply stay at home. Showing humanity is more important than ever right now.
The shelter is located at the Neckarhalde pool in Heilbronn. Between November and March, I work there at least once a week, usually on a Friday. I tend to start at 8pm by welcoming our guests. We have a couple of rules such as a ban on drugs, alcohol and weapons, but to protect ourselves and others, we check everyone coming in and take their details. Due to corona, I also take everyone’s temperature and make sure they are wearing a face mask. We have a total of 16 beds and as soon as they are full, I write up a daily report and carry out checks. If I find out someone has broken the rules or there’s an argument, I try to mediate, but if I have to, I lay down the law. I tend to finish up around 8 am. Because of corona, the shelter’s opening hours have been extended to provide the homeless with a safe environment even in times of a pandemic.
I need to be able to communicate in both. I think that is the most important aspect because if I weren’t communicative, I wouldn’t be able to hold in-depth conversations with the homeless people I meet. It’s really important that when we meet it’s on a level playing field. By doing so, I’ve been able to experience how cruel fate can be. My voluntary work has also grounded me and that’s something that I leverage in both my personal and professional life. When I think about the homeless, my problems get quickly put into perspective. Now I’m able to react more professionally and calmly to challenges than most others can.
In the short-term that anyone who needed help could get it quickly and without all the red tape. In the long-term, that everybody had a permanent place to call home. Otherwise, it would be great to have some cash as donations from passers-by have largely dried up. And then, of course, more humanity in the world.
For me personally, I hope that I can continue doing the voluntary work for a long time to come and that other people get involved at the shelter—either as a donor or a helper. I think we as a society have a great responsibility to help the homeless.
Thank you very much Debora for talking to us. We sincerely hope all your wishes come true.