Head of Luminaire Sales, United States and Canada; LEDVANCE
In 2012, Maren Bochinger was working in a research department in Germany when a colleague mentioned a job opening with OSRAM in Munich.
“Someone I knew through a scholarship program mentioned a job opportunity to me that sounded just amazing,” she explained. “I responded and that became my first job with OSRAM.”
The work, challenges, and people all fit perfectly for her.
“I’ve just fallen in love with the industry and everything in it and I have never left,” Maren said.
What appealed to her about the electrical industry and lighting specifically?
“It was a role in a strategic team but also working very closely with the CEO at the time,” she explained. “I knew that we would work very well together and it sounded like an exciting opportunity in that sense.”
Maren is currently the head of LEDVANCE’s luminaire sales in the United States and Canada. (LEDVANCE formally separated from OSRAM in 2016.)
“I interface both outside and inside the company so I talk to customers about our products. Internally, I make sure we develop the correct products based on customer feedback,” she explained. “So I provide voice-of-the-customer to our internal people and at the same time help our own salespeople drive business with our customers.”
There can be a great deal of travel in her position. Maren estimates that, initially, she traveled about 80% of the time. But it’s gotten better lately, she explained.
“I got to know the United States very, very well. Or at least the airports,” she laughed.
Maren was born in Germany. She grew up in Sweden and, for a time in high school, lived in the United States. She had been working in Munich but was glad for the chance to return to living in America in 2015 for her role at LEDVANCE.
“I loved living here as a teenager and was actually advocating for a move to the United States again. I always wanted to come back here,” she said.
Nonetheless, she finds that there are differences in how business and industry is conducted in Europe and the United Stattes.
“The industry is very relationship driven,” she said. “That can be tough for anyone who comes in here as an outsider.”
While being young, female, and from Europe had some disadvantages, she explained, Maren didn’t find them to be a major negative.
“Initially, it is a little bit harder to break into those relationships or to be accepted into those relationships here than in Europe,” Maren said. “But once you are in there, it is actually a fantastic industry to be in.”
Maren is single. In her spare time, she sings with a Swedish choir which as this interview was being conducted was about to hold its annual Christmas performance. Other hobbies, time permitting, include yoga and running.
“I just ran the Boston half marathon. That was my fifth half marathon overall. The key for me has been to run before work,” she said. “I run in the morning. It gives me a lot of energy and is just a perfect time of day. I love watching the sunrise. I can always make time in the morning.”
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. Be curious and ask questions. You can learn something interesting from any person you meet. This is a fantastic industry so if you are just open and are curious and ask questions – and don’t take no for an answer – there is a lot of opportunity within this industry.
But the question to me is either why do you get “no” or what does “no” mean? Is there another way around it? If I ask, “Can I do this?” And I get “no,” then my next question is going to be, “Well, then, what can I do?” Or “Why can’t I do that?” It is not just about taking that initial “no” but being persistent and finding out a little bit more because there is always more. There are always additional circumstances or maybe you simply didn’t raise the question exactly the way the person was expecting it. If you change one little thing in your question, you might still be able to get it done. It is just thinking about things different ways.
Q. Why are you so passionate about the electrical industry?
A. It is all about the people for me. I have met fantastic people in this industry. However it is that you end up in lighting or the overall electrical industry, you never leave because it is such a great place to be. It is such a dynamic environment with just fantastic people to work with. At the same time, it is changing so much. There are so many opportunities and it is just constantly evolving. For me, it has been a great journey. I have been given so many opportunities. It is fun. Honestly, I have fun at least once every day here at work.Tagged with 2017, 30 under 35