“The work I’ve done at BUWOG has always presented challenges for me, and I’ve found that enriching.”
This time in our series “BUWOG, up close and personal”, we talks to Ilse Drauch, who recently celebrated her 40th anniversary at the company.
She talks about her personal career highlights and her greatest professional challenges. Why has she remained loyal to the company in every development phase, and what’s with her Uhudler plans in retirement?
Ms Drauch, you’ve been working at BUWOG for 40 years. Can you still remember your first day on the job?
Yes, very well, it was a beautiful early summer day, 1 June 1980. BUWOG’s office was still on Plankengasse in the first district. That’s where I launched my career at BUWOG and – we’ve come full circle – I’ll also end it here in the first district, on Rathausstraße, when I retire at the end of the year.
How did you come to choose BUWOG at the time?
It was through a good friend of mine who was working at BUWOG herself. She really raved to me about the working and family-like atmosphere here. I then applied at my own initiative and it worked out right away!
What position did you start out in?
I began at the time in rental accounting, but that was just the start…
So you wanted to make a career change and were able to?
Yes! In my 40 years of working life, I’ve been able to get to know many areas of BUWOG: after the first few years, I moved on in 1991 to the legal department, from 1992 to 1994 in “dunning and litigation”. After my maternity leave, I joined the audit department, i.e. construction accounting, in 1996 and was integrated into Mr Puckl’s team (note: Martin Puckl is now the head of Development at BUWOG) in the controlling group. My area of activity was then spun off to financial accounting. Then in 2017, I was successful at an internal application in the Development business area and was able to spend my last 3.5 BUWOG years there under the leadership of Mr Keusch (note: today head of construction management). I would also like to thank him very much for the marvellous time!
How has the company changed for you? After all, you’ve experienced a large part of BUWOG’s success story first hand…
A major change was certainly the privatisation. There was a real growth phase in the company, which of course meant that the family-like atmosphere was somewhat lost. The thing that was a constant was that I experienced BUWOG throughout as a secure and reliable employer, and that was a good feeling.
What were some formative experiences that you’ll long remember?
Apart from the privatisation, which I experienced firsthand and was very exciting, it was primarily the change of location. So I still recall very well the first move from the first to the 13th district (note: in 1984), and then the move this year back to the first district to today’s state-of-the-art customer and administrative centre on Rathausstraße.
On the subject of a modern working environment: there have been some major changes and challenges in the last four decades, haven’t there?
Yes, there have been numerous changes, digitisation, internet use, and always important in my day-to-day work: the large number of different accounting and IT programmes. It was always a challenge to familiarise myself with a new programme. Looking back, the biggest challenge was probably the change from NAVISION (note: an ERP or enterprise resource planning system, a business software) to BIM4YOU (note: a construction software for planning and developing construction projects) and SAP (also an ERP system).
Looking ahead: are there any plans and long-cherished projects you want to take time for in retirement?
When I retire, I’ll be able to thoroughly devote myself to my garden in southern Burgenland. There are numerous Uhudler vines, fruit trees and a small vegetable garden with plenty of work waiting for me. As soon as the pandemic allows, I would also like to spend two to three months on my favourite island, Mallorca.
What a sunny outlook! Even if your anticipation for the future predominates, what will you miss?
The work I’ve done at BUWOG has always presented challenges for me, and I’ve found that enriching. There was seldom a day I didn’t enjoy spending at BUWOG facing those challenges, fully dedicated and with a feeling of joy. But who knows, maybe my Uhudler vines will take up just as much energy, time and passion!
Where do you see BUWOG in ten years?
While it’s true that a very inspired and enthusiastic employee will be missing from BUWOG, when I look at my young colleagues, I’m certain BUWOG will continue to be as successful as it has been over the last 40 years.
Before we forget: it’s said your t-shirt has a special story to tell….
Yes, I associate the shirt with a personal success story in the company. When I decided to switch from financial accounting to development and had my first interview with Mr. Holler (note: managing director of BUWOG), it was like applying for a job, so there was a bit of nervousness involved. To give myself a boost, I chose a t-shirt with the word “Yes” on it to give me strength for the interview.
And did it work?
Yes! Though whether the t-shirt contributed is a matter for discussion (laughs).