My name is Schirin Dammjakob, I am 32 years old and live in a small city in southwest Germany, close to the border with Luxembourg.
I have been part of the Generali family for over 7 years now. Starting as a trainee in communications department at Generali in Germany, I am now an established team member in Employee Communication and Content Steering, where I mainly work on editorial topics & (digital) events.
I could tell you about countless aspects, experiences and moments why I am incredibly proud being part of our big international Generali community, but today I would like to tell you about a very special experience …
8:00 a.m. in the centre of Berlin on Sunday, 7 April 2019.
The blackbirds have just started singing their morning song, still cool air is blowing through the streets, while the first rays of sunshine slowly stretch out their feelers and herald a wonderful spring day. But: There is something unreal in the air, for it is quiet in the streets of Berlin – the usual bustle of the big German capital? Not at all!
Suddenly, on the empty streets, I encounter first two, then three and more and more people in a familiar red sports outfit. Together with them, I am on my way to the famous „Street of 17th June“, where today about 37,000 runners from 20 countries will start at the first Generali Berlin Half Marathon – cheered on by about 220,000 fans, friends and family. I already guess: As a reporter for the internal communications department, I will experience unforgettable moments. And even better: I will get to know many new Generali colleagues from all over Germany, Italy and Spain.
The euphoric mood and anticipation for the big running event ahead of us grows step by step. And then – WOW: Arriving at the starting area, I immerse in a sea of Generali red: The „Street of 17th June“, which today is exclusively reserved for runners as part of the 21-kilometre running course and therefore is closed to regular traffic, is surrounded with banners of our winged lion. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world meet here to be part of this great running event together. The power and the unique spirit of Generali are more tangible to me than ever.
And then BANG: Hundreds of red balloons rise up to the sky, the starting signal for the first Generali Berlin Half Marathon has been given. Past the famous Victory Column and Charlottenburg Palace, along the popular shopping-street „Kurfürstendamm“, over Potsdamer Square to the finish line at the Brandenburg Gate – the “sightseeing” running route also leaves nothing to be desired in terms of culture. Maybe we should think about audio guides for the runners next time 😉.
Cheered up by this great opening, I make my way to the exclusive Generali finish area, where the next goosebumps moment is already ahead: Unbelievably and almost faster than sound, top Kenyan runner William Wanjiku crosses the finish line after just one hour and one minute. By the way: In one hour I just manage half … Then, little by little, more and more Generali runners reach the finishing line, too. What a great job!
Surrounded by top sporting performances, euphoria, pride and tears of joy, together as one big cosmopolitan community, we complete this unforgettable event with the obligatory „After-wheat-beer“ (non-alcoholic, of course) and inspiring conversations.
The cherry on the cake of this touching day: around 8,500 athletes ran through the donation gate of The Human Safety Net and thus collected more than 17,000 euros for social projects of THSN – true to the motto „Doing good by running“.
Happy Birthday Generali! And here’s to 190 more years of success story!