We love getting inside scoop. But what we love even more is shining the spotlight on the unsung heroes that work the magic behind the scenes. In this weekly series, we profile Office Managers and Executive Assistants who have a passion for rocking events the same way we do. What can I say, we like hanging with our kind.
Our hope is that over time, we will have honoured countless women, maybe even the odd man, and created a space that encourages thought provoking conversation and maybe a few laughs too.
We proudly mark today with our first introduction. Everyone, please meet Dorte Kargut.
Position: Office Manager
Tell us a little about yourself?
I moved to Vancouver from Berlin after I completed college in 1999. I’ve been in the Admin field for a decade and decided to take the Office Admin with Technology program at BCIT a few years ago to develop my skills further. I’m also a Certified Travel Agent.
Shortly after BCIT, I joined QlikTech as their Office Manager. It’s a fast growing global tech company and I love it. I love travel, experiencing different cultures and the interaction that comes with that. The other day, my boss said to me, “You just wouldn’t do well if you weren’t in a global company.” Guess he knows me pretty well.
What’s one modern day convenience you can’t live without?
This summer, my kids are staying with family back home in Berlin and I couldn’t live without Skype. There’s nothing more important to me than family and being able to see their faces and hear their voices. It lights me up.
Once in the office, what’s a positive thing you do each morning to get your day started off right?
My day starts off very early, often making me one of the first to enter the office. As I sit at the only entrance into the office, I greet each person arriving to work. I fully disengage from what I’m doing, look them in the eye, say “good morning” with their name and give them a big (and genuine) smile. It’s the best way I can welcome them to work and it sets a good tone for the day.
What’s going on in your company right now that’s cool?
What’s most cool right now is our newly launched Qlik Sense, a self-service analytical tool. We’re really excited about this product. It’s created an energy and buzz in the office and most importantly, in the business intelligence industry.
Let’s talk about events and get your sage advice. How many events, and what kind, are you asked to plan each year?
I plan well over 20 events a year including Quarterly Business Reviews, quarterly lunches and training sessions, a Board of Trade function, a holiday party, a baseball game, and an office anniversary plus whatever else may come up.
If you could hire any famous band for your gala, who would it be?
Well, if it were a true gala with gowns and tuxes, then without a doubt my selection would be Andre Rieu with a full orchestra. However if it were a different kind of party where we’re letting our hair down, INXS would be top of my list.
If you could hire any speaker for your training session, who would it be?
I attended an event once where Nido Qubein was the guest speaker and I’ll never forget it. He is the President of High Point University and a motivational speaker. I like listening to presenters that move me and he certainly did!
Here is one of his most recent tips on Twitter today:
No mistake you could ever make would strip you of your value as a human being. Most mistakes detour you only slightly on your road to fulfilling your purpose.
What is your biggest challenge when planning an event? And why?
I like to please everyone and as the company continues to grow that number gets higher and higher! So innovation is key. But the truest challenge is finding the right location. The needs of every event or meeting through the year are different and it seems a venue that is perfect for one meeting is never right for the next meeting.
How have you overcome that?
In the past, I’ve relied on caterers for some direction or feedback from others in the office and my professional network.
What has been the coolest highlight in an event that you’ve planned or attended?
Many years ago not too long after I moved to Vancouver from Berlin, I attended a holiday party at a restaurant. For entertainment, they’d hired carollers who were dressed in 19th Century clothing. Top hats and everything. And they sang the true Christmas classics like Silent Night. It was beautiful but made me a little sad and homesick too. Then they turned everything on its head and started doing a spoof on the songs. They worked off the audiences and each other’s energy and the room was erupting with laughter. The tears streaming down my cheeks were no longer from sadness but from laughing so hard. It was a great, great night.
What’s the most important thing you’d share with others about planning an event?
Comfortable shoes and clothes you can easily (and safely) bend over in! And for during the planning process, it is without a doubt to enlist help. Shared tasks with a colleague lighten the load and is a great way to help track details better so everyone wins.
Are you interested in joining our list of unsung heroes? Reach out to us and we’ll get in touch inside of 24 hours. Join the conversation. Join our community.