About me | Tijen Onaran
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About me

Born and raised in the beautiful city of Karlsruhe I began my studies at the University of Heidelberg after finishing my A levels at St. Dominikus, a grammar school for girls (yes, they still exist). In Heidelberg I studied political science, history and public law, and already worked for members of the European Parliament and German Federal Parliament, the Bundestag.

Politics has always fascinated me. When discussing political events and topics at the dinner table at home were no longer enough for me, I started to become in involved with the Young Liberals and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Karlsruhe. At the young age of only 20 years I ran for office as a member of my home state parliament, the Landtag of Baden-Würtemberg. I received 8.75% and no, I was not elected to the Landtag – but I enjoyed the exciting time of campaigning. Only shortly after I was drawn to the political epicenter of Germany: Berlin. There I worked at the Bundestag and campaigned with Silvana Koch-Mehrin for the European parliamentary elections in 2009. It was such an exciting time that I subsequently also supported Guido Westerwelle during his federal election campaign in Germany.

I almost forgot, there was something else: my studies. Back in Heidelberg I finished my final exams and took on my master thesis. The thesis had, of course, a political focus: the office of the President of Germany. And again I was drawn to Berlin. The then incumbent present gave me the opportunity to work for one year in various directorates responsible for honors and distinctions, the citizens’ advice bureau or policy matters, while at the same time to finish my master thesis.

My thesis was finished and everything worked well for me despite, or maybe because of the great amount of work involved. After my studies, I began working at the Quadriga University of Applied Sciences where students have the opportunity to complete part-time MBA and MA courses. I coordinated a network of mentors from various companies, organizations, politics and the media industry, and was in charge of communications. Then, I accepted an interim position at the German Association of the Automotive Industry and supervised special events at the 2014 International Motor Show Germany in Hannover. Since then, I have been well versed in professional driver qualification, securing of cargo as well as legislation relating to dangerous loads.

In November 2014, I started working at the Händlerbund, an online trade association, where I was again in charge of communications and where I began to immerse myself in the world of e-commerce. Two years later, in 2016, I took the step towards self-employment that coincided with the founding of Women in Digital e.V. Then, in 2018 came the next step. Inspired by my journey through the USA I founded Global Digital Women. Digitalization and networking are not only my passion but they also know no bondaries. That is why we will be organizing international after-work events as well as a global summit in 2019 besides our national after-work events in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich.

Next to numerous public speeches, presentations, workshops and moderations, I love to write. Apart from my regular online column at WirtschaftsWoche Gründer, I regularly write as Handelsblatt expert for Futurezone and LEAD Digital. My motto is: “Making the world more digital and female.”