As part of our series “atriga personalities”, we would like to introduce you to the people who, together with their colleagues, ensure that atriga’s innovative edge continues to develop every day.
In front of the webcam, a self-confident young woman is sitting opposite us, who pursues her goals consistently and very determinedly: Chiara Schöpp from Langen (26) completed her training as an office management assistant at atriga in 2018. And in February 2021 – after two years of in-service training – she graduated as an IHK business administrator. It is therefore hardly surprising that, in addition to her demanding and varied work as a clerk at atriga, she is also fire protection and safety officer and available to applicants as a contact person. But we wanted to find out a bit more, so we talked to Chiara Schöpp via video link, in conformity with Corona regulations.
From trainee to a clerk
“After graduating from high school, studying was out of the question for me. My interests are simply too wide-ranging,” says Chiara Schöpp, clearly rejecting the classic path. But why an apprenticeship at a debt collection company? “The recommendation and the impulse came in 2015 from an acquaintance of my parents who has been working at atriga for 17 years. At the time, I didn’t have a clear idea of what receivables management and debt collection was all about in detail, so I got involved in this industry with an open mind.” In 2018, Schöpp completed her training with a grade point average of 1.4 and 87 points at the IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) in Offenbach, which also enabled her to take home a further training scholarship. But it was much more important that she was taken on by atriga and was already permanently employed in February of the same year. Since then, Schöpp has been working as a clerk in the commercial department, taking care of everything that has to do with public transport and claims management. She is in charge of the pre-court dunning process for EBE cases (Erhöhtes Beförderungsentgelt) of the numerous atriga clients from the public transport sector: “I write and telephone with so-called fare evaders, but also with conciliation bodies. Since in most cases we are already the contact person for the passengers directly from the ticket office, I also check subsequently submitted tickets, other enquiries or objections and make payment agreements with customers. In addition, I consult with our clients, i.e., the contact persons at transport companies and associations, when it comes to the concrete procedure in more complex cases.”
But that is obviously not enough for Chiara Schöpp, which is why, in addition to her ‘normal’ job, she is also atriga’s fire protection and safety officer and is available as a contact person for applicants: “As a fire protection officer, I have learned in training courses how to behave in the event of a fire and how to look after colleagues, but also how to check escape routes and fire extinguishers and how to comply with general fire protection regulations. As a safety officer, I take care of the health of the employees, for example workplace ergonomics, but also first-aid kits that comply with standards.”
The next step: Vocational training to become a IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce)
Chiara wants to develop personally and professionally. Therefore, it is only logical that she actively looks for suitable advanced training courses and quickly becomes acquainted with business administration. Especially because her excellent grades in the course gave her access to a scholarship from the IHK in Offenbach. But the further training is a real challenge: on Fridays from 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. it’s back to the classroom. Subjects include human resources, logistics, law, economics and business administration. And all this for two years, with comprehensive final exams and in parallel to the demanding 40-hour week at atriga. But Chiara Schöpp has also mastered this self-imposed task, and since February 2021 she has been an IHK business administrator: “Without the support of my superiors, this would not have been possible,” says Schöpp, “we always found very fair arrangements so that I could be on time for class on Fridays.”
Corona forces a break, but success is not jeopardised
The Corona pandemic almost puts a spanner in Chiara Schöpp’s works, because the IHK has to interrupt her classes for ten weeks. After that, however, the lessons continue at a rapid pace, for the most part remotely, of course, but now they are also made up in the evenings during the week. Schöpp now benefits from the fact that atriga reacts very quickly and consistently to the pandemic: In March 2020, all but a temporary staff of atriga employees will be sent to their home offices, and IT will be on duty almost around the clock. Chiara Schöpp reports: “I moved my entire workplace to the home office within a very short time, and my bosses and the entire IT department were always there to help and advise me, so that I was immediately ready to work again. I was also equipped with a professional headset and a webcam so that I was ready for video telephony.”
The path continues
As a newly qualified business administrator, Chiara Schöpp is almost bored again, because for her, the journey is the goal. This becomes very clear when talking to the determined mid-twenties woman: “I am already planning the next steps, which is why I am aiming for an advanced training course to become a business administrator at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Since this will partly take place in English, I have currently enrolled in an English course (level B2) to prepare myself accordingly. I would also like to get my training certificate.”