Fritz Müller | Senior Manager Technical Specialist
“Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get!” This quote from the film Forrest Gump best describes my feelings when I look back on my career. I started as a structural engineer at Ford in 1996. Within the so-called Durability Team, we developed tests for verifying the durability of our gear wheels. Handling such a complex issue in an experienced team, together with my new job title “Technical Specialist”: that was my first chocolate!
In 2001, Transmission Systems (formerly Getrag) and Ford established a joint venture and suddenly, we grew twice as big: employees of Cologne became “half–Untergruppenbachers”. As the Durability Team, we were given the task of transferring the new methods to components other than gear wheels. At that time me and some of my team members were offered the opportunity to broaden our perspective and to continue to develop within the company. My boss allowed me to familiarise myself with the fine art of project management. I was able to witness first-hand how our sales department, along with the project teams, handled the management of the automobile industry so adeptly that we were able to snatch the most lucrative jobs right from under our competitors’ noses. My second chocolate!
And I did not have to wait long for my third chocolate: as the main contact for transmission testing in the new team, I was responsible for negotiating the test programmes for future gears with the respective OEMs.
After about three years, I had reached a qualification level that allowed me to apply for a position at our group headquarters in Untergruppenbach. Then I became a “full- Untergruppenbacher”. The fact that I have been in this position since March 1st 2012 is once again a strategic decision: the rapid development of our company into the biggest independent vehicle transmission manufacturer in the world means we need to plug the gaps that form within our internal structure during this fast expansion. Within the new team, my task is now to assess the wide range of requirements of our many customers. In addition, I develop a testing strategy to evaluate future gears at any of our corporation’s development centres in advance so thoroughly that we meet the requirements for the greatest possible number of vehicle manufacturers. That way, we only have to test once, which saves us a lot of time and money. Due to the magnitude of the task, I appointed new employees to strengthen our team at key points with their expert knowledge.
Allow me to make a final point: my current job was my fourth and last chocolate to date. Because of my figure, my doctor has suggested I stay away from chocolates for a while. Nevertheless, I am excited to see what the future will bring. So far, I have only worked at two locations and our group has over twenty to offer across several continents.
Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. But when you are in the right company, chances are that during your working life, you will sample more chocolates than you had originally imagined. Just allow us to tempt you – if you meet the qualifications, we happily offer you your personal “box of chocolates” at Transmission Systems.
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