‘Why Qualtrics’ – Kerstin B., Research Services – Account Executive
Qualtrics is 5 years old in Europe this year! To celebrate, we’ll be showcasing some of the Qualtrics people who have made Qualtrics EMEA what it is today with stories from those who’ve experienced #QualtricsLife at different stages of our growth in EMEA.
What is your 'why'? Why do you do what you do...
I wanted to work in a company with a vivid and international environment where I can use all my language skills, not only find colleagues but also friends, and develop myself further.
Qualtrics as a company with all the opportunity there met these criteria. In Dublin I already got the opportunity to be part of a startup within a start up, starting our Research Services Team with 2 others from scratch. Now, I got the opportunity to move to Munich and we already have a small team there and it is growing quickly. It is impressive to see this growing and be part of creating the culture there.
What attracted you to Qualtrics in the first place?
After doing my Bachelor and Master studies abroad (Bachelor in The Netherlands with overseas experience (study in Chili, internship in the USA), and a Master in Denmark (+additionally Erasmus in Spain), I was writing my Master thesis and was looking for an international company, where I could use my language and cultural skills I have learnt during my studies. Since I was still busy with writing my Master thesis and working as a language tutor, I signed up on LinkedIn to start looking into international fast-growing companies where I got headhunted.
I then started to look at the website and the Qualtrics story (as well as the company dog Barnaby!) drew my attention to reading up more about this company, the environment, and of course the dog. The whole family story fascinated me.
Having done an internship in an old-fashioned, hierarchical German company, I was keen to find a job in an international, enthusiastic team and company, where I could bring in my own ideas and way of working. At that time, we only had 35 employees and I wanted to be part of a fast growing company, helping to shape processes and the company culture.
What was the turning point where you 'had to have the job?
After I got invited and went to visit Dublin and the office there, I wanted to get started straight away. Especially the interview with Dermot Costello and understanding his view and ideas on growing the business and especially the German branch convinced me to make the move to Dublin and finish my Master thesis there while already working. The interview and the whole atmosphere was very inspiring so I could not wait to get started. The city Dublin and the Irish are very loveable and friendly, so that sealed the deal.
What does your day look like?
Selling research services, on a daily basis, my role includes lots of meetings and conversations. It is very interesting to talk to Qualtrics clients who are using our XM Platform and understand how our Research Services Team can help them to bring the platform from a DIY tool to a full service offering. We help clients to conduct their research in a more flexible way and enable them to run projects by themselves without relying on outsourced full-service agencies.
We offer services like programming, translations, online sample, reporting and analysis, etc. Therefore, I get the chance to be part of a research project from start to finish and to understand the impact of this research for the customer.
What is your favorite part of your role?
Working with so many different people in different departments, different companies of different industries. Since I help them facilitate their market research, especially in the product and brand experience, I could have a conversation about brand tracking with a renowned company in the fashion industry, where I can get an insight into what other brands are out there, how companies differ in service and customer centricity, see how the brand is perceived and how this changes over time. An hour later, we could discuss positioning and pricing strategy with a startup who is keen to test and understand the value of their services. The type of research companies do is so diverse, and it is great to be a part of that and see the impact research has on a company.
In addition, due to the nature of my role, I closely work with our project managers during the execution of research as well as with our Subject Matter Experts and Account Managers to make sure the client's research runs smoothly. This mix of working with people internally and externally makes the daily work exciting. This also helps me to develop my own knowledge about other roles as well as research in general.
I was able to move back to Germany after 3 great years in Dublin, to help open up our Munich office and locally support the DACH region grow.
You are not originally from Dublin, can you tell us your story of moving here?
My move was quite hectic due to my immediate start date. Finding an apartment was a challenge but I found a great one near the sea and with a nice flatmate. Being part of Qualtrics helped me to get involved in social activities as well. Since a lot of colleagues became friends, we organised trips to visit other Irish cities, hikes, evening activities, etc. Therefore, I felt very welcome and got to know the culture and people. I was lucky to live with a lovely Irish family before I found my own place. We kept close contact, so I often enjoyed a homemade stew, Guinness cake and other delicious treats. It is easy to find Irish as well as international friends due to lots of internal Qualtrics activities but also since Dublin is such a vivid city.
|Kerstin Brüning is a Research Services Executive in Qualtrics's Munich, Germany office. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business & Management Marketing from Hanzehogeschool Groningen, as well as a Masters in Business, Culture & Languages - Marketing & Communication from the University of Southern Denmark.|