Career Story: Karolina Lachi-Kolarova

There are multiple avenues for employees to explore at Bureau Veritas with roles tailored to reflect individual employee skill sets. We have spoken with Karolina Lachi-Kolarova, our key account manager for the power and utilities sector, and she shares with us a very inspiring insight into her transition within the business.

Originally from the Czech Republic, Karolina studied for a diploma in finance and management in Australia, before moving to the UK aged 21.

Name: Karolina Lachi-Kolarova

Job Title: Key Account Manager, Power and Utilities sector

Location: London

Describe your journey at Bureau Veritas

I joined Bureau Veritas over ten years ago in August 2007, initially as an account assistant under the electrical division. Since then, I have held various roles across many divisions within the company and have gained an exhaustive and broad knowledge of the business.

Although not having stemmed from a technical background, with determination and hard work, I was able to work my way up to a management role. This highlights the support and flexibility available within the company to help you transition in roles.

The opening for my current role as key account manager for power and utilities arose when the business identified a number of key sectors.

What does your current role entail?

On a day to day basis, my responsibilities include being a key interface between the client and Bureau Veritas and I’m also a project manager, providing a holistic viewpoint to my clients business. My network is not limited to the United Kingdom; I get the chance to speak to a number of contacts in a range of different countries thanks to the global contracts and projects Bureau Veritas are involved with.

Outside of work, I am studying for an MBA in international leadership. I must admit I’m a workaholic; I thrive off reaching my absolute potential and pushing my boundaries.

Name an aspect of your current role which is important to you

Customer care is always at my fore front. If a client is faced with an issue, they are able to come to me directly and I will liaise with internal stakeholders to get matters resolved. This gives the customer peace of mind knowing they have one point of contact and someone familiar at the end of the phone, with an in-depth knowledge of the service and the company.

What have your experiences taught you?

During my progression from account assistant to manager, I needed to provide leadership to the people I worked with, by supporting and coordinating the team with keeping focus on effective operations. I believe a manager’s role is to enable your team to work together and collaborate effectively whilst supporting sole work. Quite some time ago, somebody said to me that ‘a manager’s role is the shield on the bike’. Since then, those words have stuck with me and are part of my day to day ethical approach.

Although I do not manage people in my current role, my ability to influence others to achieve targets, ensure customer satisfaction, and to represent and manage key accounts within the sector, is more important than ever.

How have the changes within work processes advanced over time?

20 years ago, we used to attend site, inspect and that was our job done. At present times, health and safety is more important than ever, we are faced with bigger aims and challenges to reach targets set by the company, therefore being agile and innovative is fundamental to how we work.

To enhance our customer experience with reporting, we communicate with our clients in the most simple and effective way whilst being able to pinpoint key highlights, raise key issues and demonstrates collaborations with third parties to ensure any actions raised are completed. To achieve this, we have a range of products we can offer to our customers; BiOne and Swift – instant reporting software with compliance and risk management tools at the clients’ fingertips.

Describe the prospect for career development at Bureau Veritas

The opportunity for career progression within Bureau Veritas is fantastic and available if you are willing to work for it. For me, the availability to build up my skill set has been supported with the open avenues I have been fortunate to explore which I may have never otherwise considered. The company definitely offers colleagues the support for internal career progression.

Over the years I’ve learned so much from my colleagues. Every role I’ve had the pleasure to experience at Bureau Veritas has taught me something new and it is always refreshing to learn whilst working.