When you started working at SMS, what was your initial job role?
In 2012, I began working at SMS group (formerly SMS Siemag) in Hilchenbach, Germany. My position was Contract Manager in the CoE (Center of Excellence) Flat Rolling to support project teams. I also had the opportunity to work on-site in Germany for a longer period and on a short-term support mission in Saudi Arabia.
Has your position changed over time?
In the summer of 2014, I changed to the SMS location in Mönchengladbach, Germany (formerly SMS Meer) by taking the position of Commercial Project Manager at CoE Long Products. I had commercial responsibility for project handling but also spent plenty of time helping with technical matters. It was tough at times, but it earned me quite some respect from my technical colleagues and customers - and of course, allowed me to learn more about the technology behind the equipment we were delivering. After spending five years in Mönchengladbach, I switched to SMS digital in Düsseldorf, Germany - my third SMS location.
What are your responsibilities at SMS digital?
Since July 2019, I have been working as a Commercial Manager focusing on the commercial execution of projects. Especially at the beginning, I additionally faced a multitude of organizational and strategic tasks that were related to the further development of the organization. Many commercial areas were undeveloped and required more attention. This was the challenge I had anticipated when I changed jobs and joined a small, relatively new company. It provided me with the opportunity to broaden my knowledge in various areas and collaborate with different people across the entire SMS group.
What is your favorite SMS moment?
The story dates to 2009 when I was a student at the University of Siegen, Germany. In 2008, I was part of a group of 30 students who shared a passion for motorsports and decided to form our own racing team. The goal was to participate in Formula Student Germany, an international design competition, which was going to be held at the Hockenheimring, a motorsport racetrack in Germany. SMS was one of the main supporters that enabled us to compete against over 70 universities worldwide.
How did SMS come into play?
Shortly after founding "Speeding Scientists Siegen" (s3racing), we contacted SMS through a few working students. Then, we were invited to present our project. However, the difficulty we faced was that we could only present our concepts and strategies on paper. We had to find supporters to help turn our idea into a reality. We were responsible for financing the engineering and manufacturing processes, as well as participating in the racing events.
How did SMS support you with the project?
Obtaining SMS as our early main sponsor and holding the signed contract in our hands felt like winning the lottery. We had successfully convinced a big enterprise of our plan. For me, it was the acid test to see if the sponsorship contract I had drafted and the corresponding financing idea of the project would be accepted - which, fortunately, was the case. In addition to financial contributions, we were also supported in terms of fabrication and welding by our colleagues in the Hilchenbach workshop. This, along with the SMS deal we had, helped us secure further sponsors and bring our first car, the “S3-09”, to life.
How did you perform in the competition?
We finished the event by winning the “Best Newcomer Award” in 2009. This achievement laid the foundation for 15 years of Formula Student in Siegen till date.