Employee Interview – Project Management
Hello Jens. How did you come to ALTEN? Did you start in the position you are working in now?
I didn’t actively apply to ALTEN, but was contacted by a recruiter by phone. After that, I successfully went through the application process and started as an Engineering Consultant.
How was your start? How was your first project and the support from your supervisor?
When I started, the project was in a critical phase. So my start can definitely be described as “throwing myself in at the deep end”. At that time, I acquired a lot of know-how through learning by doing. This challenged me right from the start, but at the same time meant a fast development opportunity for me.
In which project are you currently working and what are your tasks?
I am currently working for our customer Volkswagen in Wolfsburg. I am the component manager and project manager for a project in the area of control units/systems/functions.
Can you tell us something about your career?
Right from the start, I noticed that things are very fast-paced and dynamic at ALTEN. But I was able to adjust well to that. Everything is moving very fast at the moment, but I like that. The only thing is that I don’t have the time to deepen my skills at the moment, because as a project manager I have to take care of many construction sites. But here I can rely on my colleagues from the Technical Direction, Business Management and of course the consultants I work with.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
My typical working days are definitely too long! 🙂 On the one hand, I am the first contact person at our customers. Of course, that’s an advantage for the client because he has a central contact person. On the other hand, I am also the contact person for the colleagues working on the project. The typical tasks of a project manager: coordinating, mediating, communicating. In addition, I am also responsible for financial aspects and for the creation or processing of new offers.
Which tasks do you like most about your job and why?
I have often described how dynamic my tasks are. But that’s what I like about it: the variety. You have the opportunity to develop very quickly and the tasks are very diverse.
What kind of support do you get from your supervisor at ALTEN? How does he accompany your projects? To what extent can you coordinate follow-up projects and your further development?
Basically, I am supported in my projects with everything that ALTEN has to offer in terms of know-how. My business manager always has an open ear – as long as I get the time to make use of it. 😉
But in my environment, I don’t only need the support of the supervisor, but also on a technical level. Since we are still at the beginning here, we still have to adapt our processes precisely. But what I can say is that ALTEN has made great progress in the areas of planning, tooling and training. And I would make more use of that, too, if I had more time for it.
You have been a part of ALTEN for a while. What is “typical ALTEN” for you, what is the ALTEN spirit in your opinion?
If you are assigned to client projects like I am, the spirit of course always depends on which client the project is with at the time. But I believe that an important part of the ALTEN spirit is the high level of trust and freedom that the employees are given. Those who feel comfortable in the service sector are encouraged and challenged.
What tips do you have for future colleagues regarding the application or what skills they should bring with them?
Besides the technical skills, which are of course a basic requirement, I think flexibility in accepting tasks is important. By working on different tasks, you also gain a broad knowledge. Because that is also always important when working for a service provider: on the one hand, the company has to provide a lot of expertise, but also you as a person. You definitely need the willingness to learn quickly. In addition, you are almost always in direct contact with the clients. Of course, that also requires a certain degree of social competence.
And to get to know you a bit better: What is characteristic for you in your private life? What are your hobbies & interests?
I prefer to spend my free time with my family and friends – especially when work doesn’t leave much time for leisure. I am a father and my child also wants to spend time with me. 😉
My hobby is usually playing water ball. But due to the stressful Corona situation in the project, I unfortunately can’t allow enough time for that right now either. But there will certainly be more relaxed times again soon.
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