1. Sabrina, you joined the company in 2013. What makes Bechtle a good employer?

Sabrina Günther: First and foremost, the culture and community. No matter who I meet and where, everyone is very warm and welcoming so that I immediately feel at ease. Even though Bechtle has grown considerably over the last few years, I still feel this spirit of community. This togetherness inspires me, particularly when it comes to project support that goes beyond departments and national borders.

Bechtle is definitely very hands on and I really like how we tackle issues together and drive things forward. A good example of that is the one-month project in Arusha, Tanzania which I had the honour of helping with back in 2016. Back then, employees, students and trainees could apply and I was selected, together with a colleague from Bechtle Hamburg, to help set up a community centre there. That involved equipping the centre with IT, giving lessons in English and Office as well as helping out with community work. Through this project, adults, young people and children were able to gain access to the internet. This month in Africa was an extremely interesting time and taught me that only when we pull in the same direction can such a project be successful.

  1. You work as a project manager. What exactly does that involve?

I handle the planning, management and implementation of various projects. It’s very important for me to maintain close contact with my colleagues so I know how I can best support them and their processes. We are currently working on optimising the onboarding programme for new employees and how our workplace will have to change for the future to keep up with the challenges of the working world. In all my projects, it is important that I develop the foundations for smooth collaboration and a respectful working environment.

  1. Speaking of challenges, You ran your first 100 km ultra marathon in 2012. How did that come about?

That wasn’t really planned. I quite enjoy those kinds of off-the-wall events and challenges and I’ve always enjoyed running and then a friend of mine introduced me to the idea of a 100 km run. I thought to myself two and a half marathons should be doable!

  1. It’s difficult to imagine such a thing. What’s it like? 

The marathon takes place once a year in the Belgian town of Bornem with the flat route going through small villages, forests and through meadows. People from all around Europe take part. The race starts at 9pm and then you have 24 hours to run or walk the 100 km course. Running through the night was a new experience and it was difficult to fight the natural inclination to sleep. There are plenty of points along the way where you can stop for refreshments or medical treatment—some of them even offer massages, but that was not some thing I wanted to make too much use of because if you stop for too long, it’s very difficult to get up and running again. The more kilometres I put behind me, the more I thought, “You’ve got this far. You can’t give up now!”

  1. How many times have you managed the full distance and how do you prepare yourself for something like that?

I’ve done it three times. The first time was in 2012, then again 2013 and the last time was 2019. Each time, I’ve managed to complete the course in under 24 hours. I love to challenge myself, which is why I always wanted to beat the previous year’s time. To do so, I took a professional approach to preparation and training. That means going out for runs at unusual times of the day such as overnight and not forgetting to build up core, abdominal and leg muscles.

  1. Do you have a motto you live by—both at work at in sport? 

I do. The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new! I think it’s really important to develop strategies to achieve your personal goals and devote 100% of your attention on them. For a 100 km run or equivalent project at work, I always take a step-by-step approach and set my mind on achieving intermediate goals without losing sight of the big picture.

Sabrina, thank you very much for telling us a little about your working day and your unusual hobby.