I throughly enjoy my role as it is varied, has an international scope and has the perfect balance between operational tasks and strategic ones.


Corporate Human Resources Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East

This picture shows Isabel who works at BMW.


Hey! My name is Isabel Ashdown but I like to be called Izzy. My journey with BMW Group started with the Global Leader Development Programme. This is an 18 months programme consisting of 4 assignments, 2 nationally and 2 internationally. My whole programme was focus around the different facets of HR and as part of my development in this area, I was lucky enough to spend one placement in the Headquarters in Munich and the second in Beijing China.

Once I finaliqsed the programme, I worked as a Compensation & Benefit Specialist for the European HR Region. After 3.5 years, I decided to continue my development and moved to Beijing, China to take on the role of HR Marketing and Recruiting Manager for the Asia Pacific HR Region. Despite both roles being within a regional team, the topics, culture and the diversity of the regions could not be more different. My time is China taught me a lot about myself not just as an associate of the BMW Group but also me as a person. After 3.5 fantastic year in the hustle and bustle of Beijing, I got the opportunity to move to the Headquarters in Munich to take on the Business Partner role for the Asia Pacific Region which is where I am now based.

My journey with the BMW Group so far is a testament to the opportunities BMW offers to associates who are keen to work abroad and have an internal career.

Outside of work I enjoy working out, I am a qualified Jindafit Instructor which is an afrobeats dance workout. I started to take part in this fitness class when I moved to China and have continued it ever since. I am also very passionate about giving back to the community, it has been a strong part of my life since a teenager. Just before joining BMW, I worked in an orphanage in South Africa for 8 months and I continue to try and support the home as much as I can. I also recently joined my friend in the founding of his own charity for which I am the Operations Manager.

The reason for joining BMW initially was their graduate programme. It is very unique for me in that it offered a number of rotations both nationally and internationally, allowing participants to get a full 360-degree understanding of the organisation before starting a permanent role. I also liked the idea of working for an international company where I could put my intercultural and linguistic skills to good use.

Today I work as a regional business partner focusing on Africa, Asia Pacific and Middle East. Together with my colleague, we steer some of the core HR processes, we support the development of talent and I also lead the Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion topic for the Region. I throughly enjoy my role as it is varied, has an international scope and has the perfect balance between operational tasks and strategic ones.