Name, First Name: Ortiz Alfaro, Berencie Eréndira
Nationality: German/Mexican
City, Country: Hamburg, Germany
Study Program: International Production Management, MSc
Position, Employer: Airbus Hamburg

“We want to shape the Future!”

You first studied in Mexico, how did you come to decide on a master’s degree at the TU Hamburg?
I always wanted to do a master’s degree abroad. I compared the most interesting universities in Germany in the field of production management and the TU Hamburg program convinced me because of its quality and reputation.

What was your motivation for choosing this field of study and this profession?
I wanted to study both mechanical engineering and industrial engineering. I also planned to work in production management in an international environment afterwards. I had already gained experience in this because I had previously worked in production at FAURECIA Puebla Mexico.

What was your career like after you left the TU Hamburg?
I applied to various companies and was lucky enough to join Airbus in August 2006 as a Supply Chain Quality Manager in the purchasing department. That is the production management for suppliers.

What is the best thing about your current job?
I love my job because I work in a very international environment. I communicate in four different languages ​​because I deal with a wide variety of people from different cultures and countries. In addition to German and English, these are French and Spanish. This internationality enables us to achieve valuable results for our customers every day.

What does a typical working day look like for you and what skills do you need for it?
My days are always very different. They usually start with a meeting with my team or with other teams to coordinate the work. We act according to a clear performance management, we plan our projects and follow the milestones we have set. This requires the multilingualism already mentioned and a customer-oriented approach from me. Important skills that I have to bring with me are above all of a superordinate nature: to be resilient, to operate good conflict and feedback management and to treat everyone, the team, but also customers and suppliers, with respect.

What did you take away from the TUHH degree beyond your technical knowledge?
The ability to work in an international team. To solve problems that arise from overcoming language barriers and always wanting to improve.

Where did you prefer to spend your time in Hamburg – besides your studies?
On the Alster, where I learned to sail, and in Rotherbaum, where I played tennis.

Was there an unforgettable experience during your time at TU Hamburg?
I particularly remember the ‘Day of Cultures’, when all foreign students were able to present their country and culture. There was a wide variety of dishes, some were dressed according to their country of origin, we made music and danced, and I met many people from all over the world in one place: on the campus of the TU Hamburg!

You are committed as a mentor to get more women interested in IT professions, what motivates you to do so?
Including women and girls in MINT and IT professions is very important to me. We make up more than half of the world’s population, which means that we have to be much more represented in all of these areas. Only in this way can we be part of the decisions that our society makes and steer a development process that considers and reflects the opinions and needs of women. And only in this way can we be sure that we will actively shape the future and not be disadvantaged. According to the motto: “We want to shape the future”.

I would like to swap a day with …
… Grazia Vittadini, our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Airbus.

What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future?
Whether we women and girls will at some point have equal rights everywhere politically, economically and socially. Will this development be a reality at some point and if not, why not? Why does it fail?

If you were President of the TU Hamburg …
… I would work with schoolgirls to get the young girls excited about MINT subjects and information technology. I would set up collaborations with schools and promote international exchange and create networks between women, industry, research and society.