Career Development in Down Under
thyssenkrupp worldwide | thyssenkrupp offers many opportunities! The story of Laura and Tom highlights it. After their studies both started their career as consultants at thyssenkrupp Management Consulting (TKMC). In the past 2 years they experienced the breadth of our Group through varied projects. To learn even more about the operational business and in order to gain international working experience they decided to emigrate – with and for thyssenkrupp. Everything went really fast and since October Laura and Tom are working for thyssenkrupp in Sydney. I talked to them about their previous work as consultants at TKMC, their way to Australia and about their experiences so far in their new home.
Anne: Laura and Tom. Please shortly introduce yourselves to the engineered-readers. Why did you join TKMC after your studies?
After finishing my master’s degree in Industrial Engineering & Management at the Technical University Dresden I started working at TKMC in October 2013. During my studies I was already a member of the thyssenkrupp scholarship program and made an internship at thyssenkrupp Resource Technologies in Atlanta (US). As an industrial engineer I am fascinated by the combination of technology and business topics. Thus the decision for the internal management consultancy seemed natural to me.
I finished my master’s degree in Finance at the University of Cologne in February 2014 and then started at TKMC. I was attracted by the prospect to be part of a huge and diverse industrial conglomerate that offers so many opportunities. But in the end the decisive factor for me were the people I got to know during the recruiting process at TKMC.
Anne: Can you explain how the work of a consultant is like? What did you experience?
A whole lot! Basically I was a „consultant from the very first day“ and so I directly joined my new project team. Therefore a steep learning curve is guaranteed. And you also get to know the various facets of the Group. Overall, each of worked on four projects in different Business Areas as well as on Corporate level. We worked on topics like benchmarking, market analyses, business segment strategies and supported the management of commercial projects.
Anne: That sounds very positive and you have also worked internally, but still you wanted to go abroad?
Of course, as a consultant you travel a lot, but Germany always remains your home base.
The wish for international work experience – not only for a few months – had been slumbering in the both of us for quite some time. It is a completely new experience to relocate your whole life in a foreign country and to settle down.
Anne: What were the next steps? How did you realize your plans?
A company like thyssenkrupp is perfect for such a wish as international development and of course we were supported.
We received the offer to relocate to Sydney for thyssenkrupp and we should take time think about our decision.
Tom (laughs and adds quickly):
Sydney! You don’t think twice about this opportunity 🙂
And in spite of the pain of separation we also received a lot of support from our families, especially with the preparation and all the little things you have to manage in order to move abroad.
Anne: I imagine it to be very stressful to emigrate. What did you have to organize before your relocation?
Yes, of course it was a little bit stressful. Within only a few weeks we dissolved our households, cancelled contracts, shifted insurances, sold furniture and so on. Doing all that besides our fulltime job as consultant was very demanding but it was also a good and exciting feeling. In the end there were only 6 huge suitcases with clothes and some boxes left, that’s it.
Anne: For which thyssenkrupp businesses do you work now in Sydney and what exactly are your topics?
I work at thyssenkrupp Mannex in the north of Sydney. From here I work on strategy topics for the Regional Headquarter Asia Pacific. These topics apply to Australia but also to the whole region. Furthermore I support the communication team at various topics. These subjects are very similar to my former tasks at TKMC, but I am closer to the daily business now. Aside from that there are many interesting topics for thyssenkrupp in Australia and Asia Pacific at the moment and my new colleagues here are very open. The managers of Mannex – both also Germans, who have been already working and living here for some time – predict that we won’t want to leave Sydney anymore.
I work at thyssenkrupp Elevator. My tasks are very different from what I’ve done at TKMC but I benefit from the things I’ve learned there. My target is to identify synergy potential for all Australian units in the indirect purchasing. So it’s mainly about topics as for example IT and travel – in fact, everything that’s not relevant for production. My first project was a tender for office supplies for the whole country. By now we’re in the middle of the implementation and in the next few weeks we will give the official “green light” for our new suppliers. It is very interesting to experience the daily business over here. The atmosphere is great and the welcome by the new colleagues was very warm.
Anne: By now you have already experienced some months of “everyday life” in Sydney and surely you have learned lots of new things. Can you share 3 differences compared to living in Germany with us?
Tom (answers directly):
Well, we spend our weekends at the beach 🙂 In Australia you spend most of your free time outside – no wonder considering the great weather over here.
The prices for groceries, internet, apartment – almost everything – is a lot more expensive compared to Germany. It’s no’ without reason that Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
A very positive surprise for us was that the Australians are crazy about coffee. Therefore you get really great coffee at every corner.
At first we thought that we would probably miss many things but over time you know your way around and you find a good German bakery for example. And when it comes to cooking you become more creative.
Anne: Exciting, new tasks at work and weekends at the beach. That sounds very good. And what comes next for you?
We want to use every free minute to get to know the city and the country even better. Especially during the first weeks we visited every attraction and sights like tourists as for example Habour Bridge, the Opera or Bondi Beach. Soon we want to learn diving and then visit the best diving spots in Australia. There is so much for us to discover – and of course our nice colleagues also show us the city and its best places.
Laura and Tom, thanks a lot for your time and the insights. I wish you much success further on and all the best for your upcoming time in Sydney!