People at Schober

Katrin Meier-Mwangai

Rational gut feeling in the interest of the customer

Menschen bei Schober

A milestone on the roadmap: self-service platform for marketers

Anyone who meets Katrin Meier-Mwangai is immediately in the middle of a conversation with her and always wants to know more – whether it’s about private or professional aspects. “Every phase of life and every job has shaped me, some more, some less. Whether it’s the ‘jet-set’ job for AMD, where I was more or less at home in the world’s airports, or life in developing countries, where many of the things we take for granted in everyday Western life are not,” Katrin replies when asked about formative experiences.

Katrin Meier-MwangaiSolving complex challenges and curiosity are two central motives in her life. And challenge is not the usual business phrase: Katrin gets to the bottom of things. She joined Schober in April 2020 as Head of Digital Strategy to drive the roadmap of the DataTech offering and provide strategic advice to customers on digital transformation.

From Bavarian Swabia …

It all started in Nördlingen in Bavarian Swabia. Katrin grew up here, and from here she went on to study IT at Siemens, with stops in Paderborn and Augsburg. A course of study exactly as she imagined it: lots of practice, lots of new things, lots of getting around. This was followed by years in development at Siemens, and later Fujitsu. Hardware, laptops, servers, but also software are Katrin’s fields there. She can still do the coding, although the need hardly arises anymore: udo and bearch development is more about development coordination and implementing customer requirements in the platform.

…to build bridges

“New is healthy,” she says after seven years at Fujitsu, she is leaving for AMD in the semiconductor industry. Katrin also oversees high-performance computing for EMEA for the Intel competitor. It involves computationally intensive operations, and Katrin often has to build bridges: between U.S. development and major EMEA customers such as Cern, the Jülich Research Center or ENI, between technologies, between people. It is the time when Katrin lives more in airports and flies from one meeting to the next. The job is exciting, very international and challenging – just “jet-set”.

Cosmopolitan and emphatic

Katrin privateShe is also fascinated by travel and contact with a wide variety of people in her private life. At a young age, she begins to explore the world on her own. As opportunities increase, so does the travel radius; to date, she has visited over 70 countries. And here, too, she likes to get to the bottom of things: on the occasion of her trip to Indonesia, for example, she organizes a two-week stay at an orphanage in advance to participate in local life. Among many other destinations, she repeatedly goes to sub-Saharan Africa, where she also meets her current husband Munene. But until the wedding in 2018, it should then take a moment.

Rational gut – is that possible?

Because before that, there are career changes to be made: At some point, she no longer recognizes any prospects at AMD. She is offered an attractive option in the U.S., but the path mapped out for her within the company is not enough. Her boss at the time says, “You build houses, but you don’t want to mow lawns in the front yard.” In fact, she is looking for challenges, not so much life in a row house. She herself says, “I’m a gut person, even though I’m otherwise extremely rational.” How does that come together? “I listen carefully to my emotions and then I’m consistent.”

To Schober, via Schober to Kenya …

In 2013 she starts at Schober, the change into the marketing world is again very deliberate. Industries on the verge of a technological push offer just the right challenges. But there is one thought that keeps her going: she has always wanted to make a contribution to economically driven development aid – personally and not just financially. “If not now, nothing else will”, Katrin decides at the beginning of 2016 and starts with a project for Managers without Borders in Uganda. Afterwards, her life together with Munene begins and she works for different social enterprises that support local startups with financing and consulting. “You have to think your way in and gain deep insights into the country and people’s lives,” Katrin explains.

In 2017, she is diagnosed with a chronic disease in Nairobi that remained undetected in Germany until then. Recovery takes a long time and brings with it many a change of plans. This also includes their joint move to Germany, which the two will embark on in 2018.

… back to Germany as Head of Digital Strategy

After their return, the couple settles in Augsburg and Katrin reconnects with her contacts at Schober. Digital transformation has remained as a hot topic, marketing and technology complement each other perfectly. In April 2020, she will take on a central function as Head of Digital Strategy at Schober, becoming Chief Digital Officer in 2023. In addition to strategic customer consulting, she is responsible for the technical development of the DataTech offering: If you want to know what will be needed in the coming years and what is state of the art, Katrin is the right person for you.

Marketing automation in self-service

udo logoShe dives into one topic after another, Katrin tells us. She is currently focusing in particular on udo: “The platform is already powerful because it automates many aspects for marketers. Where individual work and technical know-how were required in the past, marketers can now use udo. On the one hand, the platform links data silos with each other and only then creates the prerequisite for a comprehensive customer view,” explains the Head of Digital Strategy. Most importantly, udo democratizes access to analytics and AI. “We are continuously adding use cases to udo so that customers can use more and more functions at the push of a button. In the medium term, the roadmap envisions the expansion of udo into a self-service platform as a milestone in Schober’s DataTech offering.” It is not yet possible to give a time frame, but medium-sized customers in particular are likely to be eagerly awaiting the offer.

And after work?

When evening comes, Katrin likes to read thrillers and especially appreciates black humor. It can be a little macabre for them. Sudoku of the class extra difficult are also part of the relaxation. So if you have a special headache, Katrin is looking forward to receiving your letters. When time permits, she goes hiking in the mountains with her husband. The trips that had to be cancelled to Covid19 will hopefully be made up soon. Some destinations are still missing from her list: Mozambique, Costa Rica and India are next on the agenda.

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