Anna has always been fascinated by cars and fast engines, a passion she seems to have inherited: "Even as a child, I would always watch DTM races with my father on Sundays," and her grandfather and uncle were also actively involved in motorsports. To this day, the underlying engineering is something Anna can get really excited about. So it is not surprising that she opted for a career in this direction, and that she today works as a production planner for the automotive industry, especially in the battery environment. Only to begin with, planning was not really her thing.
What she actually wanted to study was mechanical engineering, of that she was quite sure, but then a careers advisor gave her the idea of switching to industrial engineering. A good idea: "I quickly realized that I definitely wanted to be the interface between business and technology, and take on a communicative role there. I just really enjoy coordinating and planning," says Anna, and you can hear the enthusiasm in her voice.
It was also clear at this point that she wanted to do a dual study course. As Anna grew up in Bad Brückenau, which is close to Fulda, she was already familiar with EDAG PS (Production Solutions). When she then learned that you can study industrial engineering with the focus on international technical project management at EDAG PS, this is what tipped the scales. "Bachelor degree courses do not often offer this focus." And it was exactly the right decision; she liked the course from the very beginning. There followed six semesters in the dual system. It was when, in the second year of her course, she was working as a project management assistant and planner during the long practical phase, that she really felt that she had found her place: "I was able to get involved straight away, and gain valuable practical experience in a large project."
Looking back, what she benefited from most of all was the semester she spent abroad in Ireland: "For me, the language was an added bonus. The English you speak is completely different once you've been abroad at university for a while. In addition, you also learn to look after yourself, an experience which really helped me to grow. It also pays to think outside the box once in a while."
This helped her to cope when she started her new job in Ingolstadt after completing her Bachelor's degree. For six months now, Anna has now been working as a planner in the Engineering Assembly Technology team, and feels very much at home: "I had a very, very warm welcome here, and was immediately accepted. It feels good when, as a young woman coordinating projects, I can give people something new to think about: 'What do you think about us doing this differently?', and this idea receives a positive response: we work well together here."
Anna's team is responsible for the planning of production facilities in which the components for vehicles are produced. She supervises and coordinates processes that can be lengthy, sometimes taking one or two years. "We do the planning, design and simulation here at the site, and supervise the development of the equipment, focusing particularly on eMobility, i.e. battery assembly for passenger cars."
The fact that, as a young woman, she is well received in what is still a male-dominated industry is probably also due to the way she communicates. She recommends being clear, objective and direct: "I have a pretty straightforward personality, and also give direct feedback. If I have something on my mind, I don't keep quiet about it, but prefer to confront it and say, `This and this is the problem and this and this might be solutions'."
Anna has a talent for communication; she speaks calmly and clearly if there is a hitch and things get difficult in her day-to-day work: "It's important to me that people talk to each other when they notice that something isn't working 100%, and then work together constructively to find solutions.
A great plus, because things do not, of course, always run smoothly. Perhaps it's to her advantage that she's always enjoyed solving puzzles; she's also keen on exit games. She frankly admits that staying calm is something you have to practice: "They say the trick is not to overestimate new information. I have learned that the most important thing is to keep calm, first talk to colleagues in-house, look for a solution, then communicate with the customer, and it's also OK to admit to having made a mistake. Of course, I get nervous if things are not going well, and I start to wonder how on earth it can possibly work out well, but in the end you always find a solution." Anna has found her place.