Between strategy and game designers A project coordinator at the transmissions unit

Fabian Bach completed a work-study program at Daimler. Since graduating, he has worked as a project coordinator for the production of new products at the Transmissions unit. In parallel to his job, he is working on his master’s degree and is also participating in the Leadership 2020 program. Today we’re taking a look at his daily work.

Could you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, my name is Fabian Bach and I’m 25 years old. I studied mechanical engineering in my dual study, and I did my practical assignments at Daimler. Since 2015 I’ve been working as a project coordinator for the production of a new transmission product at the Group.

Why did you choose Daimler as your employer?

In 2011, when I was close to graduating from high school, I spent my vacation working in the mechanical engineering department at the Technical University of Dortmund. That experience convinced me very quickly that I wanted to go on working in this area in the future. Daimler’s dual study program offered me the best package. The theoretical part is taught at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University of Stuttgart, and during the six practical assignments you get insights into the wide range of working fields at the Group. It’s a great mix.

In parallel to your job, you’re working on a master’s degree. The subject of your thesis is eMobility. How does the part time master’s program work?

Daimler offers a supporting program to those of its employees who are doing a part time master’s degree. You receive financial support, and during this time the Daimler Academic Programs also offer interesting training courses. I decided to go for a master’s degree in industrial engineering, because the study model is very flexible and you can combine various courses to create your ideal course of study. A three-day block of lectures takes place about once a month. I’m now working on my master’s thesis, which is called “Spare part strategy for vehicle batteries.” It’s a very future-oriented theme in the area of production strategy.

You’re also an active participant in the Leadership 2020 program. What are you doing in that program?

At Leadership 2020 we’re launching a cultural transformation at Daimler and working to create a new leadership culture. It’s important to make sure that this new culture is lived in the company. I’m a member of the “squad” for the powertrain field — that is, the production plants for engines, transmissions, and axles. This is a small team of people from the areas of production and planning. We’re working together to find ways to embed the cultural transformation in the hearts and minds of all of employees. We’ve defined extremely varied work packages that range from creative work spaces to concrete training courses, and we are now implementing them.

How do you manage to smoothly combine your work and your studies? Do you still have enough time for your private life?

I admit that it can only work with a bit of time management. Fortunately, my bosses grant me the freedom to organize my schedule flexibly. That way, I can focus on the important tasks at hand when it’s necessary. But I’ve still got time to have a private life too.

You are responsible for the topic “Project coordination for the production of new products in the transmissions unit” at Daimler. What does that mean, in general?

As project coordinator, I’m responsible for tasks that are critical to success, which differ according to the project and project progress. My permanent tasks include project controlling and the supply of components for machine trials. I also work on various special topics, depending on the project phase. For example, I organized a kickoff workshop for 100 participants in Romania. Right now we are in the middle of a production launch, so most of my tasks are in the area of launch management. That is why I often go to Romania, where we are starting to scale up this product to the industrial level and preparing it for series production.

What do you like most about your work?

The thing I like most is the team spirit. I get great support from my colleagues, even if they’re not working on the same project. We work together on eye level, across hierarchies, and we’ve got a great leadership culture in our department.

Please tell us a bit more about your team and your work. What is the composition of the team? What does your daily work look like?

The average age of our team is quite young, and all of the people who are older than the average are definitely young at heart. That means it’s always fun to work together. I actually don’t have a typical workday, and I think that’s great! In general, I have lots of meetings, where I work together with my colleagues to find solutions for our project. For example, I might present a strategy for the upcoming production trials, and after that I might meet with game designers of an “escape room” for Leadership 2020.

What kind of applicant profiles are you looking for in your field of employment?

Everyone who’s interested in working in an agile environment and likes to get actively involved is welcome to apply. I think that everyone who has read this interview and thought, “That sounds interesting, and it could be right for me” would fit in perfectly at our department.

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