On an Espresso with… Dr. Bettina Kaemena, Kaemena & Köpke GmbH
Let’s rather say, this conversation took place over an ‘Alster’ at the Spree. While in Berlin with the Alumni of the University of Bremen, Dr. Kaemena spontaneously agreed to share some of her memories with us.
It all began with her time as a student at the University of Bremen – in which department and why Bremen?
Well, actually her time as a student started in Kiel. Yet, she then took a break to start a family. When they moved to Bremen, she voiced the desire to take up her studies here, continuing what she had begun in Kiel despite the small children at her side: studying literature. This included philology and literary studies as well as art history and history – a demanding course that required a lot of energy. Already then, lectures were overcrowded and books often unavailable because they were used by senior students, Dr. Kaemena says shaking her head.
When asked for her most important memory, she immediately answered: the doctoral defense! A moment signifying the successful completion of a long stretch of work, an aim in life accomplished with pride. It was not about being there for everyone else – but creating something for herself. About more than bringing up two small children, caring for the sick parents, and managing the large household. Independence and freedom have always meant a lot to Bettina Kaemena.
The impact by Professor Hans-Wolf Jäger is especially precious to her. He was very critical, she said, but that was exactly what drove her. “Ms Kaemena,” he said, “write beautiful, perfected sentences!”
Her answer to the question what advice she would like to give to today’s students came promptly: be diligent. Do not be negligent and get up early! Stay independent and earn your money for your degree yourself. It is great practice early on and will help you be self-sufficient! – definitely not a harmonized expression but an honest piece of advice for your university and work careers derived from her experience.
Dr. Kaemena connects with the University of Bremen the difference she noticed right away: Having experienced a very traditional, structured university with a straightforward path in Kiel, she was astounded by the University of Bremen. Here, it was all about organization and taking care of everything for oneself. It was time-consuming and exhausting but very sustainable once you understood your own time management. If you didn’t keep up, it became difficult quickly. A challenge – but also a beneficial time. The bank apprenticeship she had done beforehand worked out in her benefit, as is often the case when combining an apprenticeship and studying, said Dr. Kaemena.
What does the work of Alumni der Universität Bremen e. V. mean to you?
“A cool network and interesting events. Such as this one,” she says laughing – and is talking about the excursion to the Bundestag in Berlin. “Great conversations are important to me, the exchange with one another.” That all means a lot to her, so she makes it possible to leave the office for a day mid-week.
Some personal questions lead to the following statements by her, the executive director of the trust and property management company in Schwanewede, which give a little more insight into the human being behind the degree.
Among her aims are keeping in good health and lots of traveling! Preferably again with her two daughters and their children. Those are precious moments, which are very memorable to her. In her career, Dr. Kaemena would like to wish the next generation apprenticeships, social experiences, and other influences. She cannot easily name role models as she has always been independent and self-confident. On additional thought, however, particularly courageous and admirably independent women from various eras come to her mind, such as the painter Angelika Kauffman (a contemporary of Goethe) and the German merchant Glückel von Hameln – strong women, like Ricarda Huch, around whose time in Bremen revolved Dr. Kaemena’s Master’s thesis.
Being a superior, it is extremely important to her to show the necessary appreciation to talented and special people. Regardless of origin, education, and grades, Dr. Kaemena puts much more value on commitment and overall appearance.
She herself sets a perfect example by exuding just that.
Many thanks for this interview!
Author: Manuela Brocksieper