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I am Philipp and i am a Product Owner at SMS digital

How was your career path progressing during your studies?

Halfway through my mechanical engineering course, I realized that I would not be reinventing the wheel. The traditional job advertisements for mechanical engineers, in particular, were not the match for me personally. However, because I was gaining exciting industry insights and was able to enhance my general problem-solving skills, I decided to continue my theoretical studies with a practical focus on digitalization. During my internship, for example, I developed a database application for an automotive supplier in the USA and focused on the subject during my Bachelor's thesis in manufacturing engineering. Finally, in my Master's thesis, I implemented an Android application that supports the employees of a semiconductor manufacturer during the production process. I joined SMS digital straight after my studies.

What did you start working as at SMS digital? Has your position changed over time?

I started in project management and sales at SMS digital. It was a short but brilliant start, as I was able to get to know a large number of products and experts within the company. Around six weeks later, I was given the opportunity to switch to product management and, as product owner, work on a new application with a scrum team and experienced specialists.

Describe your job at SMS digital in one sentence.

The mixture of digital expertise and colossal steel plants get my (mechanical engineer's) heart beating faster.

What fascinates you about this industry?

I am impressed by how effectively, efficiently and seamlessly so many different experts and nationalities can work together. In my team, five different countries are represented.

What aspects of international business travel do you find exciting?

We develop our applications in close collaboration with our customers. That meant I was able to travel to the USA several times in order to hold a two-week workshop with the customer and finally to commission the MVP over 6 weeks. The best way to get to know each other is over ribs, wings and beer.

How do you feel about your position at SMS digital and how do you rate your opportunities of actively contributing your own ideas?

My job is demanding, international, communicative, flexible, and exciting. I particularly appreciate the fact that my interests are always taken into consideration and that I was allowed to assume responsibility early on. From the very beginning, I was able to bring in my own ideas and actively contribute towards innovative solutions to problems.

How do you rate the team spirit among your colleagues? Do you also get together after work?

In challenging situations, in particular, my colleagues and supervisors have proved time and again that I can rely on them. If conflicts do arise, they are addressed openly, for example in reviews, and resolved in a professional manner. This openness creates trust and a feeling of being one team, even when you cannot always physically sit together. So it's good to see your colleagues in Düsseldorf city center after work now and again.

What advice would you give to future colleagues?

When looking for a job, focus on the tasks you will be doing in future – not on the company, the location, or other aspects (trainee etc.). Use the job application phase to take a really good look at the companies concerned!