Starting my career with an apprenticeship in Germany, it took me to many parts of the world and more are yet to come. Although back in Germany, I still feel connected to all parts of the globe working with an international team as a Manufacturing Engineer at digital factory Siemens Electronics Works Amberg (EWA).
An early start at Siemens
When I was young, I wasn’t 100% clear on the career path I wanted to take until I came across an apprenticeship opportunity as an Associate Engineer in data processing, focusing on industrial automation at Siemens. This was the starting point for my career. Now 12 years later, I am a Manufacturing Engineer, having worked in various functions and locations. After the two-year apprenticeship, I decided to pursue my education in Industrial Engineering at the university level. During my studies, I was able to continue working at Siemens as a working student. At first, during my bachelor’s, I worked in Product Management for customized Siemens Factory Automation products. Additionally, I received the opportunity to do a six-month internship abroad in Greenville, South Carolina, USA. Here I was working in the automotive project management department focusing on the BMW factory in Spartanburg.
This was a nice change of pace as it allowed me to experience another culture before finishing my bachelor’s degree. These insights into automotive project management led me to join the project management for Siemens Intralogistics as I was starting with my masters. This group designs and builds logistics and warehouse systems for big automotive companies. Having successfully completed my studies, I applied for the Siemens global graduate training program – and got accepted! As part of the trainee program I have worked in the Industry 4.0 factory in Amberg, lived in Singapore for eight months and worked on a really exciting R&D project that wants to revolutionize how an autonomous factory is producing products.
Digital factory of the future
Now I am working at the Siemens Electronics Factory Amberg (EWA), located in Germany. The Siemens EWA is widely recognized as a world-leading digital factory, pioneering digitalization initiatives to drive efficiencies and shorten time to market. In this context, the factory attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world.
Each year there are over 400 tours with prospective customers to showcase pioneering digital factory operations. And now the digital factory becomes even more digital: We are building a new visitor center, called “The Impulse” and due to COVID-19, started doing virtual tours to meet the customer’s needs in the meantime. I enjoy my work there as it exciting to be part of such a future driven showcase. Additionally, my work at EWA evokes unforgettable memories: I had my first contact with the EWA when I wrote my master thesis with the topic of “Design and evaluation of a flexible, cyber-physical manufacturing system in multi-step electronics production”. At the same time the Siemens supervisory board and Siemens management held a board meeting, which included a factory tour with several stops on the shop floor. I had the privilege to present my master thesis results to the Siemens top management, including the CEO. This opportunity is one of my highlights at Siemens and will be quite hard to top!
Creating the future through teamwork
A significant aspect of my job is working together with several expert teams worldwide (Germany, France, Italy, India, USA). Of course, this is not always easy, but we make it work through great teamwork. A crucial part of this successful teamwork is the trust, we were give. We are empowered to make decisions on how to tackle challenges ourself and organize the work to fit the needs of the different groups. This approach enables us to be lean and agile. Being self-organized in a project team with participants from various organizations and cultures also means we must invest time and effort in establishing joint trust and understanding. We found that using the agile framework helped us progress as a team, with regular sprints and retrospectives at the end to address personal issues that may arise in a complex environment like this. Adaptability and flexibility are key!
Optimistic through times of change
Flexibility is also a significant aspect in other contexts: The most recent change affecting me is mobile working. In the past, before COVID-19, I commuted to Amberg at least four times a week with the occasional work-from-home day or working at a location closer to my current home. With COVID-19, I shifted to 100% working from home, which works surprisingly well. I can’t even imagine going back to the old way now. When Siemens announced that the “New Normal” would be working remotely 2-3 days a week for every Siemens employee, I was delighted with a new baby. This gives me more flexibility and less time on the road equals more time with my family. So, I always try to see the best in challenging times, even with COVID-19. I now enjoy more leisure time to pursue my hobbies, including my home renovation project, which gives me a lot of satisfaction.
The future is bright!
But also, with my professional life, I am delighted. I’m proud to be the internal project manager and factory representative in a Digital Industries wide project. Several Siemens Digital Industries businesses collaborate to develop next-generation software, based on real-life factory requirements. In the end, we will have developed a new Siemens product, which will be piloted in the Siemens Electronic Works Amberg. To be part of something bigger and work with exciting and fun colleagues from around the world never gets old. Some have become close friends by now, and I’m sure I would have never met them if it wasn’t for Siemens – this is what motivates me to work every day. And even though I already share a long history and have had unique experiences with Siemens, my potential to grow here is not yet exhausted. I know there are lots of opportunities waiting for me to continue and further develop. The future looks promising, working at the forefront of the digital world.
Do you also want to work at the forefront of the digital world at Siemens? Review our digital vacancies and join our Digital Minds here: www.siemens.com/careers/digitalminds