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Eight Questions for the Junior Manager at the DeutschAkademie in Frankfurt

Meet a Member: Alicia Giesen

Alicia Giesens works as a language school manager out of an Office Club office. We spoke with her about the kinds of encounters here she particularly…
by Lea Albring |

[Translate to English:]

[Translate to English:] Alicia Giesen

Alicia Giesens works as a language school manager out of an Office Club office. We spoke with her about the kinds of encounters here she particularly values and how she keeps her calm even in challenging situations. 

 

1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us what you do professionally? 

 

I’d love to! I have been working as a junior manager at DeutschAkademie in Frankfurt since August 2022. We’re a private language school operating throughout Germany, with locations in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. We also have a branch in Vienna, Austria. Frankfurt is one of our newest locations in Germany, and it is very exciting to see things growing here.

I’m responsible for general organizational and management-related activities – both in the front and back office – at the Frankfurt location. I help out our students as well as our teachers, organizing everything that has to do with the courses. As part of my back-office work, I plan which courses start when and assign instructors to teach them. I am also responsible for conducting placement tests for our students before they begin their courses. In short, my job is full of variety.

 

2. What were the most important cornerstones of your professional career on the path to your current position? 

 

I originally worked in the tourism sector. I earned a bachelor's degree in international tourism and event management in Düsseldorf and then a master’s degree in sports tourism and health management at the German Sports University in Cologne.

During my master’s studies, I had the opportunity to work as a student trainee at a tourism company. I was able to prove myself during my time there, and I was hired as a project manager after completing my studies. Another formative and enriching professional stint was certainly the year I spent on board a large cruise ship. As part of that job, I supervised and organized shore excursions, which provided me with valuable insights into the practical tourism sector. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, I changed careers and wound up in the education sector, which was a great decision. My move to Frankfurt, which I made for private reasons, ultimately led me to the DeutschAkademie.

 

3. Which Office Club services do you utilize in your work for DeutschAkademie in Frankfurt?

 

As I mentioned, Frankfurt is a fairly new location. We’ve only had a presence here since June 2021. Right now, we have three fixed rooms at Office Club. A colleague and I sit in one office, and since the beginning of the month, we have had a third colleague who works out of a second one. We also use the room for courses in the evening. The third room is exclusively for our language courses. If we need more space, we can book additional rooms as required. The flexibility that Office Club offers here is a great advantage for us.

 

4. Since you started working in an Office Club office, has there been a particular situation or encounter that has stuck in your mind? 

 

It’s more the human and professional dependability than a single moment. Indeed, I would like to highlight the very friendly and professional people working at reception. These Office Club employees are incredibly amicable and accommodating to our teachers and students. They are also the first point of contact for walk-in customers with potential interest. The reception is happy to welcome any visitor, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The people working here are always approachable and provide us with support where they can. This consistent feeling of cohesion and support is really impressive. It’s this kind of lasting encounter that makes the day-to-day work here at the Office Club so special.

 

5. Let’s talk about professional challenges: What mistakes have you learned the most from in your professional career? 

 

I wouldn’t say I’ve made any major mistake or have any regrets. That’s because I realized early on that I wanted to do something I enjoyed – and that’s how I’ve always kept it, even with part-time jobs as a student. Because I think it’s more important to be passionate about work that enhances my personal and professional development than to just earn a lot of money. In my current position, for example, the contact with students excites me. It is enriching for me to accompany people in the learning process. When a person learns German with us from scratch, we often communicate at first in English or using gestures. But as the learning progresses, at some point there is this switch – and suddenly we speak to each other in German. That’s always a great moment and a real highlight.

 

6. What ambitions and wishes do you have for a professional future? 

 

I would like to have continuous development and new challenges in my career. My long-term goal is to continue to move up within DeutschAkademie. It would be great if our location develops such that we’re able to move into our own offices. A position in site management would be a coveted goal for me. And until that point, I want to actively be a part of this and constantly continue to develop.

 

7. You have to organize a lot in your job and you have numerous tasks to keep track of at the same time. How do you manage to unwind after work?

 

Exercising after work helps me switch off. I like to go running or enjoy nature. I’m still exploring the Taunus together with my partner – it’s a great place for hiking and discovering new things. Apart from sports, friends and family also play a big role in my life, of course. We come together frequently, and these moments are extremely valuable for recharging. Generally speaking, my work-life balance varies depending on our weeks of class. There are calmer phases, and those that are more stressful. Typically, the first and last weeks of a four-week cycle are the most intense. During those periods, I sometimes have to work overtime because there’s just a lot to organize and I am often tied up on site.

 

8. Which of your qualities do you think are critical to your professional success? 

 

Mein organisatorisches Talent ist sicherlich die wichtigste Fähigkeit für meinen Beruf. Gleichzeitig halte ich es für wichtig, flexibel zu bleiben: Ich arbeite planungsorientiert, aber bin gleichzeitig in der Lage, spontan zu My organizational talent is certainly the most important skill for my job. At the same time, I think it’s important to remain flexible. I work in a planning-oriented way, but I am also able to act spontaneously, especially when things don’t go as expected. I am an open, empathetic person with strong communications skills, which helps me connect effectively with others. As my experience has increased, I have developed a good tolerance for stress. In complex situations, I manage to stay calm and see the big picture. A brief respite and a conscious distance from the situation help me to put things in perspective. And when it’s needed, I don’t hesitate to ask for help. I think seeing that as a weakness is wrong. It is often the best and fastest way to resolve a situation.




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