Christopher Kutzner – “It's the variety of projects and tasks that make the work interesting and give me new insights every day.”

Joined in 2011 as a trainee (Information Technology Management Assistant)

Current Position: Team Leader in IT Application Management

How did you hear about Weber?<br/> I still didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in during my later high-school years after I’d passed my final exams. But I knew that going straight to university was out of the question. I wanted something else than just more “school”. So I decided to go for vocational training and concentrate on IT jobs, which is something I’d been interested in for a long time. I applied to various companies that offered IT apprenticeships, including Weber, and when the "yes" finally came and I barely hesitated before accepting.

What made you choose Weber?<br/> To be honest, I didn’t have any real preference for a particular company at the time, but Weber seemed to be the perfect size for a really good apprenticeship. It was large enough to give me an insight into a wide range of departments, but not so large there wouldn't be a friendly environment or interpersonal work. And I’ve never regretted my decision.

How were your first few weeks at Weber, and which areas of the company did you get to know during your settling-in period?<br/> I began my apprenticeship getting to know the purchasing process of the IT department. I took on a lot of work over the year I was there, but it wasn't enough. At my own request, my colleagues introduced me to more technical work, and soon I found that I enjoyed maintaining and developing a range of uses. I worked on a number of very different projects during my apprenticeship, and quickly took on a high level of responsibility in individual areas. This not only allowed me to develop professionally, but especially personally, in a way that wouldn’t have been possible while pursuing a university degree.

Describe your career at Weber and your current position.<br/> After two and a half years of apprenticeship, I was seamlessly integrated into the day-to-day affairs and project work of the IT department, and was regularly being given new tasks and responsibilities. Applications that I have been responsible for or helped with over the years include our group-wide document management system and other collaboration systems, as well as mobile device management and software for encrypting CAD data. In each of these areas, we are constantly evolving and faced with new challenges.

About one year after my apprenticeship I decided to continue my IT education, and after thinking it over with with my boss, I finally opted for a correspondence course in computer science. Although this form of training was new territory for the department, they supported me from the very beginning. In the end I got a Bachelor of Science degree parallel to my professional career, which meant I was able to continue working full time. Although it was a stressful period, I would do it again given the same situation.

After completing my studies I took on the role of team leader for IT application management - a subdivision of IT - in a company restructuring. I’ve been making my first foray into management for almost a year now.

Who trained you for your work, and how?<br/> The colleagues in whichever department you happened to be working in at the time took the time to introduce the trainees and supervise them. IT is very diverse and complex, but you can always rely on questions being taken seriously and answered.

However, learning by doing is also very important in the day-to-day and project work of our IT department. There are a few things that are served in bite-size chunks, so to speak, but with most things you have to learn to walk on your own two feet after a very short time. At the same time, this means a steep learning curve, which teaches you how to deal better with unknown situations.

What is special about Weber for you?<br/> The special thing about Weber for me is the respectful and collegial working environment. I have developed strong friendships in my time at Weber, and working together is just really enjoyable. Weber has also supported me in all my projects throughout my entire time, and never put any obstacles in my way. From changing the focus of my apprenticeship to setting up a distance-learning degree while continuing to work full-time, all my needs were taken seriously and we always found the right solution, even if there was no established procedure.

What are you doing today? What areas are you responsible for?<br/> My work is so varied these days that I couldn’t go into every single little detail. In general though, I can say that in addition to team management and associated management work, I am primarily responsible for managing and carrying out roll out for IT application or development projects, so that we can further optimise or advance certain processes within the company. I'm also responsible for maintaining applications, and have various planning responsibilities.

What should young workers pay attention to?<br/> In my opinion, the most important thing is to show a willingness to always learn something new, and to occasionally question what we take for granted. In particular, this involves the ability to get involved in new things without being shy, to develop and experiment with things on your own. In today’s working world, it is less and less about mastering recurring processes, and rather about the ability to master challenges for which there is still no master plan.

What are your future plans?<br/> I am still growing into my position as a group leader and developing my confidence there. This presents a particular challenge for me, as I have hardly any prior experience in this area and I still have to take care of my other responsibilities. But it's exactly the sort of challenge that motivates me and ensures good personal development.