Freethinker Rosa talks about working from home, the colour rose and her enthusiasm for humans
As HR manager, Rosa is the approachable contact person for the whole Getsafe team. Actually, she had turned her back on the insurance industry. In this interview, she tells us how her path led her to Getsafe and why she can’t think of a better job right now.
The photos of you are really beautiful! And very rose. Do you actually like the colour rose, Rosa?
Oh yes. Friedo and I had a lot of fun during the photo shoot and we were playing with how we could take it to a whole new level of kitsch: like throwing petals in the air or something. Actually I’m not that kind of girly girl, but in fact I do really like the colour rose – I'm even wearing a pink vest right now. And the petal shirt I'm wearing at the shoot is one of my favourite pieces – a bit chic, but still casual.
At the moment, everyone has to work from home because of coronavirus. How do you cope with that?
Of course, working without direct contact to colleagues is a little monotonous and I miss the team. It’s much nicer to be together. But I can still work efficiently. A few years ago when I was working at an insurance company, I already worked from home. And I also had to organise myself during my online psychology bachelor's course. I feel like I've just been transported back to that time. And if I get cabin fever, I go jogging or walking.
You didn't only study psychology, did you?
No, I first did a dual-study program of business administration with a focus on insurance at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). I stayed with the insurance company where I had been trained for seven years. That was a good start to gain professional experience. But all in all, I have to say that I would not do dual studies again. It was all very school-like and very early I was strongly steered towards economic thinking. It is very important for me to form my own opinion and to be able to develop personally and creatively. The psychology studies served this demand much better, where I could work out a more general theoretical basis.
Why did you decide to study psychology?
I am really interested in what makes people tick and I like to look below the surface to see what different personalities are there. I generally like people, otherwise I would be wrong for the job as HR manager. And I like talking to them. That broadens your own horizon enormously when you realise what amazing characters are out there. All along the way you get to know so many different attitudes and opinions. That's what I love about my job.
When did you start working at Getsafe? And how did you come to Getsafe?
I have been working at Getsafe since July 2019. After my second degree, I first travelled and then looked for a job. Because I see myself as a free spirit and had the vision to develop creatively and proactively, I searched the internet for "Startup Heidelberg" – and found Getsafe. Actually, I had already turned my back on the insurance industry because I found it all super stuffy and conservative. Even though I consider insurance to be incredibly important, I just didn't fit into this environment long term. But when I got closer to Getsafe, I found the concept really cool. And the advertised position fitted perfectly: I had experience in the industry and wanted to start in HR. Now I'm back in the insurance business, but I'm still able to stand up to the old industry and push a whole new concept with Getsafe.
What makes the big difference between Getsafe and the traditional insurance companies for you?
I had problems with the control mechanisms and the old-established structures in the industry. There was rarely room for innovative ideas. I simply have different views on values and dynamics. During my job interview I noticed that Getsafe is very different. The most important thing I learnt was that I can do things really easily here. I don't have to ask anyone for permission or consult three decision-making committees. This startup characteristic is well known: you are responsible for your own work. But it was still a process in my head to really understand this and then to implement it. If I see potential for improvement, I just do it without having to ask anybody. And that is something that I want and welcome.
Do you find it hard to reject applicants?
It depends on how far someone has already gone in the process. If I am still in the screening process and see in the application documents that the necessary qualifications or relevant experience is missing, I can say that this candidate simply does not fit the position in question. To decide for one candidate simply means to decide against others, that is also part of the job. But we do get to know many candidates better, we talk to them on the phone as well as in person and I often think to myself: "Hey, such a cool personality". When you have to decide on another candidate after all, I find it hard. But then we try to give people the appropriate explanation. We talk to everyone who came to us for an interview in person and explain why we have to turn them down. Via our talent pool we can also keep in touch with these candidates. As we are currently growing quickly, new options may arise.
Do you have a favourite task or is there something you don't like doing in your job at all?
I love conceptual work; everything to do with personnel and career development, such as the question “How can we empower and nurture our employees and create an environment here at Getsafe where they can grow and are motivated to work?” This is where my university knowledge comes into play: I enjoy analysing and optimising. It’s the admin tasks that I don’t like as much. Of course these are things that have to be done. But if I had the choice, I would build concepts all the time and check off fewer to-do lists.
Are you more the dreamer type or the hardcore realist?
A mixture of the two, I guess. As far as work is concerned, I'm very fact-based and realistic – not least because of my business background. In my leisure time I am more the (day-)dreamer. There I follow the motto "Never stop dreaming". Only if you have big dreams you can really think ahead and be creative. And this is my way to find out where I want to go and what my goals are. I am currently doing a lot of sports again and have started trail running. This is a wonderful method to develop the wildest ideas: like doing a transalpine run, for example. That would probably be too much for me physically right now, but I can at least dream about it.
What do you do to completely switch off after work? Do you manage that well?
I've never really had any problem with that. I am super resistant towards stress, even in times of particularly demanding projects. When work is over, I switch off my laptop – and to switch off mentally, I go out, walk or jog. The deeper in the woods the better. I also listen to music. And lately I have been sitting in the vineyards almost every evening and watching the sunset. When I let my eyes wander over the Rhine Valley, even the last thoughts stop rattling in my head.
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