After studying virtual and augmented reality technologies (VR/AR) from a scientific point of view for four years as part of her doctorate, it was clear to Mara Ortner that she wanted to promote their use. At Bechtle Karlsruhe, her focus is very firmly on these technologies when it comes to the Modern Workplace. In our interview, Mara gives us a look behind the scenes of her working day and her sporting pursuits, and tells us what makes Bechtle a stand-out employer.
Mara Ortner: That’s a funny story. Back in October 2020, an acquaintance told me that Bechtle was looking to expand into AR/VR, so I had a look at the Bechtle home page and saw Bechtle Karlsruhe report on its first event in cooperation with the VR Business Club. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any vacancies, but in November, I plucked up the courage and sent my application directly to Richard Einstmann, the managing director of Bechtle Karlsruhe, via LinkedIn. Four weeks and three interviews later, I had signed my contract, ready to start in January 2021.
I am a Managed Workplace AR/VR consultant. In my position, I introduce our customers to new hardware and software solutions that leverage augmented and virtual reality. I then work with them to identify specific application scenarios, sharing my knowledge and experience of the individual solutions to create a tailored concept for the customer’s needs. That doesn’t just include the hardware and software, but also their integration and management in the existing IT network.
Last but not least, it is crucial that the company’s end users are included every step of the way in order to boost acceptance of the new technologies and this includes offering user-friendly instruction and training. Everyone handles new tech differently, but clear instructions and a solid understanding make all the difference as it means the tech will actually be used and therefore boost efficiency. We want to offer our customer a holistic service. I also have a lot of other interesting tasks, such as organising VR events for our customers or other businesses, writing regular AR/VR updates for the Bechtle blog and LinkedIn as well as coordinating with the VR Business Club.
On the one hand, I really like the feeling of being in a Karlsruhe microcosm with a lot of creative freedom. On the other, you quickly gain a sense of the power of Bechtle if you, like me, are regularly on LinkedIn. Everyone supports each other. If you have a question, you don’t have to search for an answer within your own system house, but can contact other locations. And the same works in reverse—lots of colleagues from other Bechtle sites get in touch with their customer’s questions regarding AR and VR. I actually currently have more contact with colleagues from other locations because it’s such a new subject area—and that’s what makes it all the more exciting.
Zukunftsstark, personable and close-knit. 😊
My working day starts between 8 and 9 am. Before I settle down for the day, I go out for a jog, do functional training, CrossFit or spinning. I love starting off the day with some exercise because it puts me in a good mood. In the evening, my Rhodesian Ridgeback Django is waiting for me and I take him out for a nice walk. I tend to have my best ideas when walking or jogging. It’s been the case since I did my doctorate.
At Bechtle, there are always some great employee offers for discounts on sportswear and other sports equipment, and I think that’s fantastic. My colleagues have told me that Bechtle Karlsruhe has often put a team forward to take part in running events in the region and if any should take place this year, I’m definitely signing up. It’s much more motivating to do sport as a team than alone.
Thank you for sharing some insights into your working day, Mara. We wish you lots of luck in your future career at Bechtle!