Q What attracted you to GEA?
I joined GEA as a dual student, combining my higher education with working for the company. Although I had applied to several companies offering dual studies, after the interview with GEA I was sure this was the place where I wanted to work. The company did not only offer good career prospects, I also felt that my own values and those of GEA were in line.
During the three-and-a-half years of the dual study program I especially got a good overview of GEA’s Flow Component products, departments and business processes. It also gave me the opportunity to directly apply what I learnt at university in an actual business environment.
Q What was your first role with the company?
I started off as a Product Manager for Hygienic Pumps and Cleaning Technology in the Business Development Department. For example this involved ways of optimizing our existing portfolio, supporting the sales and service teams, analysing the relevant markets and deriving strategic initiatives. As part of this role, I travelled to the UK regularly to visit our subsidiary, which manufactures the components used to clean tanks of varying sizes up to 33 meters in diameter.
My next assignment would have been another Product Manager position. But, before I could sign the contract, GEA offered me the role of Project Manager to set up our new manufacturing site in Bangalore, India.
Q What is your greatest achievement?
GEA has always offered me challenging assignments that have enabled me to prove myself, develop my skills and make a contribution to the business. But, if I had to choose a specific role, it would be project managing the manufacturing site in Bangalore. It was a green-field project, which meant the complete infrastructure, all the machinery, production equipment, storage facilities, office systems and electrical back-up had to be implemented. Besides I was responsible for compliance with local laws, sourcing and developing suppliers as well as for hiring and training employees. I was also part of the SAP implementation project team, acting as the link between our teams in Germany and India.
Q What is your role now?
While India was a big step, my current job is equally exciting & challenging. I am Project Manager in the Global Corporate Center Strategy Team in Duesseldorf. In this role I contribute to the definition of the overall GEA strategy and support GEA’s businesses in their strategic development.