Ich bin kein Ingenieur… and that’s okay
“Experts with outstanding know-how and commitment work at GEA,” says Alexander. “Honestly, sometimes I don’t understand all the details when the engineers are talking about what they’re working on and the technologically advanced solutions they create and develop to help our customers and exceed their expectations. I’m not an engineer, but I’m passionate about sustainable engineering that has a positive impact on the lives of people and animals. I fully support the idea of ‘engineering for a better world’ and strive to help GEA achieve its goals. That’s why it’s so important to really understand the key objectives. I regularly work with GEA leadership team members on different exciting projects to anticipate and meet our customers’ needs. They share and discuss some fascinating insights. It can be very hard work, but what keeps me on track is focusing on what I really feel is right for the company and our customers. Sometimes they’ve recommended books to me and reading them is another way of enriching my knowledge. I always strive to incorporate and apply the key learnings to improve our performance.
I think that it’s very beneficial to be open-minded, listen carefully, and ask the right questions while believing in a bright future. By demonstrating reliability in my work, communicating effectively, and focusing on improving together, I want to convince and empower other people to join in on the journey to success.
Working in a global environment
“When I joined GEA, I quickly realized how diversified the company is, operating globally to best serve our customers. This may result in a high degree of complexity, and it does bring many opportunities and challenges. I enjoy working on different projects in the areas of organizational and business development, transformation management, service excellence, process optimization, and financial management. I work with different people from around the world and everybody contributes their own expertise to the success of the projects. A few years ago, after graduating, I got the opportunity to spend six months in the UK and really loved working with inspiring people in a new environment. We managed to organize logistics operations efficiently, thanks to just-in-time deliveries from a central hub. What I found most exciting was helping a recently acquired medium-sized company integrate into GEA. I didn’t have much experience then, but I was given the chance – and people trusted and helped me – to guide the change process in the right direction. We worked hard and often long hours, but it was satisfying to drive the project forward and see the progress made. Optimism, positivity, belief, and consistent communication are key to delivering sustainable results and ensuring that we keep moving forward. If colleagues see that you’re someone who wants to learn, new opportunities will open up for you at GEA.”
Find your strengths and develop them
“In the past few years I’ve found out that I’m good at developing ideas, analyzing, understanding, structuring, and motivating people, as well as supporting them in achieving their goals. I also like facilitating, finding solutions, and driving the implementation of initiatives to improve the organization. I am a communicator and an optimist:
I love to understand and align complex information with the company’s goals and take people with me on a shared journey.
In addition, to further my personal and career development, GEA supported me in completing a postgraduate MBA program while I continued to work full-time. It was a challenging time, for both me and my family, but it was absolutely worth the effort. I learned a lot about strategy implementation, performance management, and people from different cultures and professional backgrounds working in teams. I incorporated many insights and learnings directly into my daily work and projects. For example, GEA recently set up a forward-thinking partnership with an innovative digital start-up, where we work to improve our digital solutions to increase customer benefit. Also, I very much appreciate the fact that there are several inspiring leaders at GEA with whom I can have a personal conversation that provides me with food for thought. In every situation, it’s important to focus on your strengths and talents. Find them and keep developing them. Be authentic, believe in yourself, and enjoy the work you do – and always do it with a smile on your face!”