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Interview with Katharina (32), Head of Quality Management in Austria, in the HSEQ corporate unit

Katharina is an industrial engineer. Based on several internships she completed in the field of quality management during her degree program, she discovered her interest in this field, which convinced her based on its diversity and the cross-functional work. . After graduation, she found her first job with EQOS. Finally, she wanted put the knowledge she had acquired to good use in a new domain. After four years of absence, she has returned to us in a position with even more responsibility.

Katharina, what does quality mean to you?

For me, quality means doing the right things at the right time in exactly the right manner. This is the only way for a company to act effectively and efficiently and to continuously evolve. In this context, there is a quote by Tiger Woods that I like very much: “Winning is not always the barometer of getting better.” The same concept is also behind quality and what I do in my job: Every year, new objectives are set and measures are derived on the basis of audits, reviews and external requirements. They are regularly reviewed as to whether we are on the right path – in terms of continuous improvements.

How should we imagine your daily tasks?

Basically, quality management is concerned with a lot of topics, since I have to deal with all units of EQOS. This makes my job very diverse. Currently, for example, process management takes centre stage. We deal with the visualisation of processes and provide specifications such as forms and checklists. Furthermore, we keep preparing for the annual audits. Every year, we have to answer the questions of an external auditor who wants to know about our organisational structure. This then results in a large number of new requirements that must be met, such as measures for environmental protection or energy efficiency. But I also conduct my own audits internally during which I visit all locations and have people show me how the existing structures work and whether there is still potential for optimisation. At the same time, I get to know many of my colleagues better and can see up close and personal how much good work they perform on a daily basis. These audits are tremendously important, because we also present the certifications to our customers. Without the corresponding quality features, we would not be awarded projects.

I can make a difference in quality management.

How did it happen that you initially left EQOS and came back?

This was my first job after I graduated. After four-and-a-half years with the company, I felt like I had to get some different impressions in the workforce. I needed to see things from a different angle. Nonetheless, I never fell out of touch with EQOS, since I feel very close to the company and my colleagues. Furthermore, there is always something to do and I know that in quality management I can make a difference. In addition, what was very motivating for me was the fact that the company is interested in driving processes. Upon my return, I moved up the ranks to become Head of Quality Management in Austria. Now I bear even more responsibility than I used to.

What do you particularly like about your job?

My work creates value for my colleagues. By going over the processes, they are screened for their purposefulness and restructured. This optimises the daily work of everybody involved and simplifies the training of new colleagues on these topics. This is a very challenging yet incredibly meaningful task. In addition, I am always very happy if someone asks questions, because that means that the system is working, and my colleagues are sensitized to the issues and in turn they make a personal contribution. And if they recognise proactively that there is a problem within the process or they submit suggestions for improvements, the best-case scenario has materialised and I know that I am doing a good job.