For nearly half of EPOS' existence, I was part of the team

By Irmela Riedlberger

In early 1995 I moved from the former DED to EPOS and from Berlin to Bad Homburg. I was expecting a challenge, something exciting and also new to me. As constant workload is not guaranteed I have to start as a part time employee the managing director said. Great, I said to myself: A new task and still the possibility to finally tackle my long-cherished project of my PhD thesis.

In 1995 there were three of us in the operating business at EPOS HQ. Shortly it became clear that EPOS was developing very dynamically under the leadership of Mr. Gaertner: The responsibilities were getting more and more and I learned to master the unknown. Full employment would have been the consequence now but what should happen to my PHD thesis? My argument no one would begin her dissertation in her forties and then cancel it again found support: EPOS Management (Mr. Otto and Mr. Gaertner) kept their word since they were also interested in the still exotic topic of the dissertation. "Man is Man" was the subtitle and dealt with manhood, family planning and AIDS prevention in the Dominican Republic. The topic could represent the company’s interests towards World Bank, the BMZ and other organizations.

After the successful completion I was supposed to work in a team of project coordinators at headquarters. But things turned out differently again: EPOS with the support of my thesis won a project in the Dominican Republic. It should actually start before the date of completion of the dissertation. And again it turned out differently in the end: one and a half years passed until the project started because the country agreement was not signed on time. Several interim solutions had to be found. This led to gaining more experience in some more countries and not remaining specialized in only one region.

After three years of stay in the Caribbean a familial move took place. However, I remained a freelance consultant for EPOS until the end of my work as EZ-consultant and expert.

Today I am an intercultural trainer and personal coach and I am looking forward to work with EPOS and GOPA as a coach and consultant.

Dominican Republic
Irmela Riedlberger