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We especially like to work with people who appreciate dynamics and change, who see new tasks as an opportunity, and who do not develop vertigo on the career ladder.
Dresden, Saxony. Determination has never been Mandy’s problem. After graduating from high school, Mandy first completed an apprenticeship. After only a short time she realized that the core topics of this profession didn’t seem nearly as interesting to her as the introduction of the new operating software. Fortunately, her trainer recognized the dilemma and used her talents for this project. Good for both, because Mandy stayed, discovered her interest in IT and graduated as planned.
With the aim of developing her education in IT, she began her studies in 1999 to become a graduate in Business Informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, while at the same time gaining practical experience in a pharmaceutical company, which later enabled her to start her working career.
She earned her diploma with a thesis on “Development of a data warehouse for the university sector” as one of four young women in a course of studies with a total of 74 graduates, before taking part in the design of IT processes in the pharmaceutical company as part of her first employment.
When her employer announced that it was moving to Ulm, Mandy decided not to move for family reasons. IT experts were rare, and Mandy was looking for a new challenge in her professional career. Through personal contacts she learned of a group leader position in the IT function of AB Elektronik.
As a company, AB Elektronik offered Mandy exactly what she had prepared for during her years of training: a professional structure, an operational business, a high level of flexibility and above all an experienced four person strong team, for which she took over the team management at the beginning of 2011.
Mandy: “From the start, I had great respect for the task that awaited me. There were only a few female managers in IT, and each team member had deep expertise. On top of that, my start was accompanied by many unpredictable disturbances. These ranged from power and Internet failures to server problems. But this was also an opportunity: we were put to the test very quickly as a team. Today I have to smile about the early days with all the firefighting missions. But luckily we worked through these critical situations very effectively and grew together.
In parallel to the successful local efforts, the then parent company established a new IT structure in 2012. The focus was on consolidating structures and overarching processes, and standardizing hardware and software. Functionally assigned IT teams around the globe were to be able to solve acute problems in a uniform system environment, and to make productive use of the time difference between plants. Future strategies would also be implemented uniformly going forward.
Mandy: “I was curious. We had already done a lot in this direction in Klingenberg and I was convinced that this new structure and objectives were right and necessary. But should I apply for a newly available position? In the end it was my team members who encouraged me, and a few weeks and a few selection procedures later, I was Head of the IT Service Teams, EU Mainland”, Mandy remembers.
The next step: Responsibility for the IT Team EU Mainland
“My new team comprised 20 people,” Mandy remembers, “and along with regional managers for the USA and Asia, we started profiling our teams. We formed global virtual support teams, and coached the group leaders according to their professional expertise and individual preferences. It was a time that demanded a lot from all of us, as local teams that had grown together over the years were reorganized. At the same time, our division had to set up a new plant in Romania, and required a high level of real IT services. This career move was demanding but at the same time a welcome challenge. Group structures offer the opportunity to combine a local job with further career opportunities. The support in our team structure gave me the courage to take this step, and today I am glad that I took the European position. It has given me the opportunity for personal development that helps me in my current role”.
The next challenge came in 2017 with the sale of the Sensing and Control business unit to AVX, one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers, based in the USA. System handovers and the integration into the new parent company demanded the technical expertise of the IT teams, and once again the well-practised cooperation and centralised management structure proved its worth.
In 2019, the project finally became global and the changes were even more extensive. After a demanding and successful migration over several months, AVX decided to divide the group with over 10,000 employees worldwide into IT areas with process-relevant focal points. Mandy Günzel was nominated as Global IT Operations Manager and a significantly larger team was brought together under her leadership. After completion of this phase, central hardware and software specifications as well as IT service processes will be developed and controlled in order to optimize the effectiveness of the operations areas in AVX’s worldwide companies.
Mandy: “Afraid? No. The term ‘respect‘ would be more appropriate! The new team is more than three times the size, and AVX’s global locations are a much wider field than before. But in the past few years I have been able to gain experience, make mistakes and use my creative freedom. During this time I have got to know many people and other cultures, and have been able to go my own way. I shall now be travelling much more often than before, but this step comes at a time when my daughter is almost grown up and she supports my plans. I am very happy about this, and hope young people in their career find the necessary courage, sufficient ambition and above all an employer who makes all this possible!”