interview | sarah hahn | product manager @ bmw motorrad

For BMW Motorrad, it’s always about uncovering new ways to pursue their electric mobility strategy. With the environment in mind, BMW Motorrad is unveiling a new e-vehicle to both bring together both trendsetting designs and innovative capabilities — as seen in their latest eParkourer BMW CE 02. The electric eParkourer was created with the city and urban sphere in mind, providing both nimble and practical designs to ensure every drive is fun and safe. 

One of the inspiring minds involved in the new eParkourer is Sarah Hahn, BMW CE02 Product Manager at BMW Motorrad. Hahn chats with Schön! Magazine to discuss how she joined the BMW Motorrad team, thriving in a male-dominated field, and more.

Could you please provide a short overview of your career path up until now? 

Let’s call it life path, career path sounds like there is way too much ambition involved! I have always followed my gut feeling to reach my goals in my personal as well as professional development. Growing up with two older brothers, I became interested in all the latest technological advancements at an early age and, being curious by nature, I decided to study mechanical engineering. I thought aiming for such a profession would enable me to earn a good living, be independent as well as live out my passions. 

I began my career as a concept engineer at BMW Motorrad when I was 27 years old. I was responsible for the vehicle architecture, which involved the development of technical concepts and geometrical integration. The BMW CE 02 was my first project and now, after my internal job rotation to product management, I am glad to be working back on the CE 02 getting it prepared for its market entry.

How and why did you get involved with BMW Motorrad initially?

I never expected I would work in the automotive industry, but as I love motorcycles, BMW Motorrad was the obvious choice for me! Between my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I applied successfully for an internship at the development department. After I had completed my master’s degree, I was then very lucky to join the BMW Motorrad team.

What is your current job and what are your favourite and least favourite tasks?

This spring I started my new job at the BMW Motorrad Marketing and Sales department as a Product Manager. In this role, my core focus is electromobility and the market entry of the BMW CE 02. Additionally, our electric team continuously determines customer needs in relation to electric two-wheelers. 

My favourite part of the job is the creative elements, rather than the fulfillment of standards or updating documents. As I am very new to the role, I am looking forward to enjoying many new experiences as well as overcoming any challenges headed my way!

What tips would you give to young people starting out or looking to climb the career ladder?

I always recommend exploring your passions and interests before you decide on your profession. If you can get excited about your job then you are already halfway there. After that, and maybe with some additional training, only a few personal and communication skills may be missing to succeed. Choosing the right career, therefore, in the first place is the hardest part. I believe climbing the career ladder takes place almost organically, mainly based on the decisions you make within your role. 

In my opinion, young people should develop their personality according to their interests and strengths and the rest will happen automatically. Being authentic is the best joker you have!

You are a young woman in a mainly male-dominated world. Did you face any challenges? And if so, how did you overcome them?

I believe there are always challenges in a job, independent of your gender. Hence, for me, the most important issue is how to deal with those. My approach is to concentrate and understand the situation or problem and maintain all communications at a professional level. 

I think knowledge of human nature is nevertheless also very important and, in particular, understanding empathy. I think this is one of my main strengths and has helped me in a variety of professional situations. Furthermore, I think the importance of good communication should never be underestimated.

Could you please provide a short description of your hobbies / what you like doing in your free time?

A large part of my spare time is spent on horseback and getting prepared for endurance races. Besides sports and motorcycles, there are lots of other adventures which I would like to explore one day. But, right now, in my daily life, I enjoy spending time with my loved ones under the sun eating delicious food and drinking some good wine!

What are your personal inspirations? 

Being surrounded by nature with my horses, which are the most powerful and honest animals I know, inspires me hugely and simultaneously enables me to deal with any stress I may be experiencing. 

What does the BMW CE 02 mean to you? And what makes it so unique?

I think every first project means a lot, but especially such a groundbreaking product as the CE02. Although there were many ups and downs, intense discussions as well as a steep learning curve for me during the development process, seeing the result today nearly in our customer’s hands makes me very proud and thankful. 

The completely new design and proportions as well as the simplicity in many ways make the CE 02 so unique.

Which type of person would / could ride the CE 02?

The question is rather: Who doesn’t want to ride the CE 02? Our goal was to create a want-to-explore impression at the very first view. Even with a focus on the younger generations and an easy entry to ride electric, the fun factor is offered to everyone!

Learn more about the new BMW CE O2 now.

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