Sofia König - Project Manager

Sofia König has been working for EPC Engineering & Technologies GmbH in Rudolstadt since the beginning of 2007. As a lateral entrant, she started as a clerk in the export department. Her responsibilities range from drafting and translating foreign trade contracts and supplements, translating of engineering documents, export and import processing, project coordination between client and suppliers, as well as communication and correspondence with customers. Due to her "universal" fields of activities, she has gained a wide range of experience in various areas and has developed skills in the export business. In the future, her focus will be on projects in Russian-speaking countries.

What do you like most about your job?

My job is very diversified and challenging, it requires extensive knowledge in various areas, such as contract management or in the technical area. The management of complex and demanding project keeps challenging me anew. It also offers the opportunity to learn new things, to exchange experiences and to maintain contacts with business partners.

Why did you chosse this career?

Due to my Russian background and language skills I was offered a position in the export department of EPC as a lateral entrant. In recent years I have worked successfully and have gained wide experience in foreign trade, especially for Eastern Europe. I have had the privilege to attend several seminars, e.g. in customs and foreign trade law, to broaden my know-how in export business. My on-the-job training as a specialist in purchasing and logistics enables me to take on new challenging tasks as a project manager in the future.

Have you ever been confronted with prejudices in your job? How did you deal with them?

In my opinion you meet prejudices in work environment as well as in private life. For me this kind of behavior shows that a person may have had negative experience in accordance with your subconscious beliefs in certain situations. "Stereotyped thinking" affects personal attitudes towards other people and makes you insist on your point of view and ignore opinions of other people. When I meet prejudices, I talk about it openly and honestly.

Which skills are required to succeed in a male-dominated business?

For me the ability to work in a team is the most important thing in my job. You're only as good as your team. Due to the fact that you are mainly working with male colleagues, a woman should be assertive in any situation.

What has been your most challenging experience so far and how have you managed it?

Every project is a challenge. For me the last one with a customer from Russia was the most difficult and ambitious project. It required not only good knowledge of German export business, but also excellent knowledge of Russian import customs in order to be able to carry out the project without any problems. Thanks to the support of my colleagues and our business partners, we have successfully managed these challenges and gained a great deal of new expertise.