Women’s power at BILSTER BERG: Apprentice Katharina Hofmann on her day-to-day professional life

Women in the automotive scene are no longer a rarity. Whether in marketing, as a mechanic, engineer or even as a racing driver – it’s hard to imagine motorsport without women!

Katharina Hofmann has also chosen a rather unusual and fast-paced profession. Even as a child, she was more interested in cars and horsepower than in dolls. It is therefore not surprising that she decided to complete an apprenticeship as an event manager at the BILSTER BERG.

After all, having petrol in her veins is a real family affair for Katharina. “My parents have a lot of contact with cars, both professionally and privately. That’s why I had a lot of contact with vehicles of all kinds even in my childhood,” she reveals. Her brother has also been infected with the car virus from an early age. “We were always allowed to come along to a lot of events, for example car presentations or trade fairs.”

At the age of 25, her parents bought their first “sweetheart”, as Katharina affectionately calls the classic cars, which they still cherish today. “Some cars are older than my brother and me,” she laughs. When the 19-year-old had to decide what career path she wanted to take, it was immediately clear: “I wanted to do something with cars and events.” And that’s when she spontaneously had the idea of BILSTER BERG, where Katharina applied for and got an apprenticeship a week later, which is quite unique in Germany.

Exceptional workplace at the BILSTER BERG

Since August 2017, she has been looking after customers who want to experience a very special driving experience at the BILSTER BERG. Katharina’s activities are very varied and no two days are the same. From issuing documents, handing out radios, transponders and flags for the marshals, to working at the desk – the trainee gets an insight into every department and even takes a lap around the 4.2-kilometre course herself. “During filming for our image film, I was allowed to do a few laps on the BILSTER BERG myself. That was cool!”

When she’s not busy running a hot lap, Katharina often doesn’t even notice that she’s working at a racetrack. “Especially in winter, you don’t notice it at all, and even in summer there are always weeks when you’re just sitting in the office,” says the trainee, who, like other young professionals, has to go to school during the week.

But anyone who thinks that only car enthusiasts like Katharina work at the BILSTER BERG is mistaken. “We are not a workshop. There are also quite normal jobs in administration, sales or marketing,” she explains.

What is special about working at the BILSTER BERG? “The race track is in the middle of nature and the landscape is awesome. The entire facility is very well maintained and the colleagues are very nice,” says Katharina and adds: “Plus, there are lots of beautiful cars here!”

Katharina’s future plans: “I will stay at the BILSTER BERG”

What the 19-year-old likes most – as befits a true car enthusiast – is to be in the paddock and in the pit lane, right by the cars and the clients. “And in summer in Race Control, because they have air conditioning,” she laughs.

As part of her training, Katharina has already passed through several departments. “The time in engineering was very exciting because I got to know the whole site. Knowing where everything is when you’re looking for something – that’s very important,” she explains. “Besides, the colleagues are in a good mood and we spent a lot of time outside.”

“But I also like working in customer service, which is very varied. And in marketing there are always exciting projects, for example making image films, looking after the website and social media channels and merchandising.”

At the end of the year, Katharina will complete her apprenticeship at the BILSTER BERG and she already has plans for the time after that. “I will stay at the BILSTER BERG and have already received a takeover contract starting in January 2020,” she says proudly and would like to further expand her own experience. In the medium run, she is thinking about studying marketing and management in Hamburg.

This much is certain: Katharina will continue to work with cars and be surrounded by the sound of engines every day – because she is a real power woman with gas running through her veins.

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