Professional Women Power: For Bettina Herzog, that means being Professionally Unshakeable!


published on 7. February 2023

In the context of our career blog “professional women power”, female colleagues introduce themselves,
talk about their career paths and day to day work at Rödl & Partner.
In this way, we would like to raise awareness of women as well as motivate female applicants and colleagues
to bravely pursue their individual career paths at Rödl & Partner.

My private and professional life is a kaleidoscope - and that's a good thing!


Bettina Herzog has been working at Rödl & Partner in Cologne since 2017. She has two daughters (18, 20), and works full-time for and with our 8 Southeast Asian offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (x2).

How did your professional career start more than 30 years ago and how did you get to where you are currently?

I knew very early that foreign languages were simply "my thing". They open doors to other nations and cultures, create space for encounters and understanding, and thus also countless opportunities to learn new things and broaden  my personal horizon. Since I am a true Capricorn, I chose a degree programme that was as practice-oriented as possible, with an exciting mix of foreign languages, social sciences, business administration and a touch of law - a very early signpost to Rödl & Partner, so to speak. 
The passion for intercultural communication is the famous thread running through my professional life. Moves and family changes have occasionally led to adjustments in the professional environment, but it has always remained colourful, international and communicative - whether as an executive assistant in a global corporation, as office (and chaos) manager in an international youth education institution, as a freelance copywriter and translator during the toddler years of my two daughters or as event manager in an international business association. So when Markus Schlüter and Carla Everhardt offered me the position as team assistant for the ASEAN and Middle East foreign teams in 2017, I didn't have to think twice to know: This is it! Over the years, my area of responsibility has changed a bit geographically - I am now exclusively  in charge of the Southeast Asia team - and has become more and more diverse.


Take us into your everyday work: What are your tasks? What are the main topics you deal with and what particularly appeals to you?

My day-to-day work is just as colourful, varied and lively as the countries in which our Asian offices are located.
In addition to coordinating the regional offices in the areas of administration and back office and my role as a cross-cultural interface between the Asian branches and our Franconian parent company, I am particularly responsible for our regional business development. I design PPT presentations, image ads and roll-ups, manage our LinkedIn account, social media job ads, edit and coordinate regional publications for our website and the corresponding country newsletters, and am responsible for compiling and publishing our quarterly ASEAN Newsflash. Event management is also part of my job - both virtually through the coordination, moderation and realization of webinars, as well as "in real life" for our annual ASEAN Forum in Singapore, which I was able to attend live on site for the first time in 2022.
On the side, I also support my colleagues in their mandate work through research or translations when needed. Almost by accident, I have become an expert in Asian-German notarization procedures, so that we have been able to include this service in our portfolio. A special creative highlight last year was the design of a mural for our new office in Jakarta. Our interdisciplinary and international LinkedIn Advent calendar and the Rödl Asia Running Challenge, which is still running until mid-February, were and are further very special treats into which a lot of heart and soul flows.
No two days in my working life are the same - and I think that's great! I love working together with my German and international colleagues in the most diverse teams and working groups, the constructive exchange, the forging of ideas and finding solutions together, and the familiarity with each other in the best sense of the word.
Working with other cultures may sometimes be an organizational challenge, but it is always an enormous enrichment.

To what extent does your role as a mum and the resulting highs, lows and daily challenges shape you as a person and in your everyday work?

My daughters mean the world to me. Our close bond has survived puberty intact and is my greatest personal treasure. I was a single parent for several years, and for the past three years we have been living as a foursome in a patchwork household that has been shaped and battered not least by puberty and the pandemic. This very personal and rather unplanned way of life has given me some qualities that I can use wonderfully in my everyday professional life.
As a single mother, I could not afford to lose my head in difficult times. Instead, with my eyes firmly fixed on the future, I had to look for solutions, limit damage, set priorities even in the greatest crisis. And, as far as possible, offer my children a reliable, calming rock in the surf. The ambitious undertaking of setting up a patchwork structure in the midst of a pandemic with two teenagers in homeschooling and a childless partner has also taught me to always look at a situation from the most diverse angles and to focus on unifying elements even in conflicts.
Both are also usesful properties in cross-border cooperation. Different cultures sometimes have very different ways of working, there are often culturally induced misunderstandings, and like white on rice, something unexpected will come along. Many things happen very spontaneously, comfortable lead times are the exception rather than the rule. A properly trained, professional imperturbability makes a lot of things easier. Instead of getting lost in contemplating the problem or feeling angry about the inevitable, I rather start looking for the solution. And when things start to grate in the interplay between the structures of the German parent company and the different Asian mentalities, I gently blow the sand out of the gears - just like in my patchwork home.  


Thank you Bettina for the diverse insights from your really colourful everyday life. It's nice to read how your skills as a "family manager" are finding their way into your professional life.
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