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Alumna portrait

Alumna portrait

Photo shows Emily Witt

Emily Witt
Graduated in March 1991






Career

  • 1992 – 1993
    Training programme to prepare for international tasks and subsequent 12-month secondment to the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission
  • 1993 – 1994
    Clerical officer in the Bundesbank's Payments Department
  • 1995 – 1997
    Payment systems expert at the European Monetary Institute (EMI) with a focus on supervision of the former ECU Banking Association, electronic money and retail payments
  • 1997 – 2006
    Initially an expert responsible for the IT committee's secretariat, then head of group and later head of division in charge of all IT projects for the Economics, Statistics, Research and Banking Supervision Departments
  • 2006 – 2009
    Head of the ECB's Administrative Services Division, responsible for organisational development and optimising internal processes as well as operational risk management and contingency planning at the ECB
  • Since 2009
    Head of the Information Management Services Division, responsible for 45 internal staff members.  In addition to looking after the archive, the library and the functional support and development of DARWIN, which is the document and record management system of the ECB and the ESCB, the division is also tasked with updating rules, monitoring and training in IT management.

Interview

What tasks are you currently working on?

On 1 May 2015, I was assigned the role of Principal Advisor to manage the coordination team of the Crescendo project for 11 months. The team supports and reports about the ECB-wide implementation of measures for improving organisational performance with regard to efficiency and effectiveness, reducing bureaucracy, promoting talent and cooperating both within the ECB and with the national central banks and the banking supervisory authorities.

How did your studies at the Bundesbank's University of Applied Sciences prepare you for the requirements of your career, especially your current position?

After graduating from high school, I was undecided as to which specialist area would suit me best, so the Bundesbank's University of Applied Sciences seemed like the perfect choice. With its broad spectrum ranging from business administration, law, accounting and statistics to economics, the Bundesbank's University of Applied Sciences provided me with a broad and sound knowledge base, which proved very useful for my career.

After an initial period in credit operations, the Düsseldorf Regional Office soon offered me the opportunity to help create trainee programmes for bank clerks and civil servants in the Intermediate, Upper Intermediate and Higher Service. My supervisors back then also encouraged me to apply for the training programme to prepare for international tasks, which was offered by the Bundesbank at the time. The language classes, the excellent lectures and placement in the Communications Department as well as the subsequent secondment to the European Commission (Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs), which were all part of the programme, provided me with the perfect basis and were very useful with the large array of tasks with an international dimension that I have performed, both at the Bundesbank and the ECB.

In what way has studying at the Bundesbank's University of Applied Sciences influenced you?

The main thing I learned at the Bundesbank's University of Applied Sciences was to quickly get hold of and analyse information and its sources.

I also learned how important it is to make a clear mental cut between work and leisure time as the two were not physically separated in Hachenburg. Furthermore, I also learned that time spent with friends and family provides so much energy, which, in turn, strengthens your professional career.

Discussions in working groups and with fellow students showed me that there are always different ways of looking at a problem and different ways of solving it, too. Living so closely with all kinds of different characters and the team work also made a lasting impression. Now, whenever I have the opportunity to put together a team, I do my best to pick people from as many different backgrounds as I possibly can and to put everyone's strengths to their best use.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while studying?

The greatest challenge was regularly having to transport a bunch of big folders to and from Hachenburg at the beginning and end of term (yes, at that time we did not have iPads or netbooks yet and wrote all our notes by hand) and my old Ford frequently breaking down in the middle of nowhere.

Do you still feel connected to "your" university?

Yes, I do. We received broad-based and profound know-how and were also introduced to analytical work and developed an understanding of the importance of team work. On the whole, working and living together so closely with my fellow students had more ups than downs. I fondly remember all the parties and nights spent in the castle's cellar bar, in our rooms or in the pub across the road. Some of the friendships I made during that time have lasted to this day. We recently had a 25-year alumni reunion, and I am already looking forward to the next get-together in Hachenburg.

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