Global audio specialist, Sennheiser, has been a Harvard client for over five years. Here, Vic Chernih, Sennheiser’s European PR Manager is put on the spot to tell us about everything from £40,000 headphones to Tornado chasing…
Starting with your career – how did you become the Public Relations Manager (North & East Europe) at Sennheiser?
With lots of hard work, determination and a little bit of luck! After finishing my bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, it took hundreds of CVs and a number of rather amusing interviews to finally break into the professional world of PR. Being prepared to work hard from the bottom of the ladder and showing lots of enthusiasm was an effective way to become familiar with the big dogs in the industry, which means I now know the role and sector both inside-out and upside-down.
Can you talk us through a typical work day?
It is an old cliché but there is no typical day for me; you tend to continually face new opportunities and challenges, which is both motivating and rewarding. However, a few bits I tend to always do include keeping up with news relevant to our industry, having regular update calls with our agency, catching up with internal stakeholders and answering media enquiries.
What is the best part of working in the technology industry?
The geekier side of me massively enjoys the fact that there is always something new to learn and experience in terms of latest gadgets and tech developments. I recently went to the IBC tradeshow in Amsterdam, which had a large area dedicated to tech innovations which they (somewhat proudly) named “Future Zone”. It was all about 8K televisions and Virtual Reality over there; now, I am eagerly looking forward to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this coming January where there will no doubt be tech innovations galore to explore.
What has been your most memorable working moment?
It has to be the recent launch of the new Orpheus aka the world’s best headphones, with a £40,000 price tag. The original Orpheus was launched back in 1991 and it has taken over a decade for Sennheiser’s engineers to develop its successor. This has been, by far, the most successful launch the company has enjoyed in years and it was all down to the utterly dedicated and hard-working internal stakeholders as well as extended Sennheiser teams like Harvard, who transformed this somewhat far-sighted vision into one of the most important announcements for the company since its foundation.
How about most memorable moment outside of work?
I have always been interested in all things weather-related, particularly all the vortex-type phenomena like whirlpools, black holes, dust devils and tornadoes. Last year I found out there are actual companies out in the US that do storm chasing tours across “Tornado Alley”, which is a wide swathe of tornado-prone areas between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains that frequently experience tornadoes. I joined one of the tours in June this year and, hand on heart, this was one of the best holidays I have ever had.
Finally, what are your plans, dreams and resolutions for the New Year?
January is going to be a very busy month with the CES tradeshow where we will introduce some exciting new audio solutions – so lots of hard work ahead. I am then planning to extend my trip by taking another week off and fly to Anchorage – another tick off my bucket list. Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on Earth so I am really looking forward to the trip.
Best of luck with everyone else’s dreams, plans and New Year’s resolutions for 2016!