IT Manager Interview with Markus Aldenhövel

What jobs for IT experts does Daimler offer? What kind of experiences and skills should IT specialists who want to work in the automotive industry have? Markus Aldenhövel is doing his trainee program within the IT department and answered these and other questions in the interview below.

Markus, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Markus and I started my trainee program at Daimler in November 2014. My entry position after the program was at Information Technology Management for the Mercedes-Benz Cars Assembly in Sindelfingen. Before I started to work for Daimler, I studied Business Information Systems at the University in Koblenz and also worked for two software vendors.

Why did you choose Daimler as an employer after your studies and why did you opt for the trainee program?

After I graduated, I wanted to leave my familiar surroundings in Koblenz and find a job with an interesting market, which also gives me the chance to work abroad. A visit at the plant in Sindelfingen left quite an impression on me, so I finally got convinced by the idea of working for Daimler. I checked the different job opportunities and the trainee program was exactly what I was looking for. When I found a suitable job vacancy as trainee in the IT department, I just trusted my gut feeling and applied for the job. I’m really happy about my decision.

Please describe your career at Daimler – from the first day in the company until today.

I started my first assignment in the IT department in Sindelfingen, where I’ve been working for 5 months . After that, I began with my second assignment at Global Network Powertrain in Esslingen. The first month was really exciting, because we also had our first two-week trainee training module composed of different workshops, trainings and also an enjoyable hands-on driving experience. After the training module, I was integrated very quickly in my team and had different diversified topics I was responsible for. It’s great to have the opportunity to be in different departments during the trainee program, but also nice knowing that you’re “coming home” again after the last project assignment..

Please tell us more about your current position in IT Management. In your opinion, what qualifications are beneficial for jobs within IT Management?

The IT infrastructure can be seen as the nerve system of an organization and the main job of IT Management is to coordinate these complex structures. Our department is in charge for the IT systems which support the processes of the production engineering at all domestic and international locations of the Mercedes Car Group. My job during the first project assignment was to be the project coordinator for the redesign of a specific software module of one of our IT systems. Graduates should bring a good knowledge about general software design, IT infrastructures and how data can be exchanged between different IT systems. It is also important that graduates have good communication and presentation skills to be able to moderate meetings with other teams effectively and explain complex topics in an understandable way.

You have already helped to organize a trainee forum*. Why did you join the organisation team of this event?

During our first training module we already learned that it is crucial to get familiar with “leaving your comfort zone”. This means to be open for things or situations and overcome your own insecurities. Organizing a trainee forum was a perfect chance for me to leave my personal comfort zone in different ways (for example approaching leaders and motivate them for participation at the forum). I really enjoyed organizing this event with two other trainees on our own responsibility. It’s a perfect chance for every trainee to step up, grow personally and show commitment.

What is your personal advice for students/graduates interested in joining Daimler?

My personal advice: Trust your gut feeling, apply for the job and just be yourself.

Editor’s note: The trainee forums are events that trainees organize for their fellow trainees. The agenda includes topics like expert talks and plant visits.

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