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Jobs in Industry: Production leader

shutterstock_123525319If industry as such is the „real life“, then production is the beating heart of this real life. Which challenges await a production leader, how does her everyday life look like?

The main task is carrying responsibility. That primarily refers to the production process itself, which has to run smoothly and often even 24 hours a day. That in turn only works with a sufficiently large team of engineers and technicians. The work is thus marked by large staff responsibility, which comes along with a range of interpersonal and bureaucratic tasks. The pace of the work is set by the production process itself, undisturbed working time is thus a rare good. There is another side to this coin, though, as described by this production leader:

“Academia was not making me happy, flat and simple.  I am the kind of person that needs goals and the feeling of achieving reasonably quickly. Academia requires a certain patience, and more devotion. I needed to work in a field where I could see the results from my work in a quicker fashion, and in manufacturing you see this batch after batch!”

And then there is the responsibility for lowering the cost for the production process as well as the staff while at the same time increasing productivity. That like a Gordian Knot, but let´s first of all take a look at how these tasks can be performed successfully. Planning, delegating, trusting and controlling are probably the most important instruments along this path. In order not to be crushed by the conflicting interests of management, staff and safety requirements, you need a very clear and open communication style.…

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FH Professor

Professorships at Universities of Applied Sciences

FH Professor

The following text refers to professorships at Fachhochschulen (FH, now often called “University of Applies Sciences”) in Germany. These have certain peculiarities, which differ to those in other countries.

When thinking about academic careers, we tend to only think of universities, while forgetting about the FHs. The differences between these two types of “university” go deeper than just the name: lectures, in-house research as well as permanent academic support staff are almost non-existent at FHs, so that the term college teacher describes these professors quite well. Teaching is the main part of the workload and due to the missing support staff, you´ll need to do more things by yourself. Bachelor and Master degrees can be obtained at an FH, the latter makes you eligible to do a PhD as a Master degree from a university does. Handing out PhDs, however, remains reserved to universities. Research internships and Master theses are typically done in partnership with industry, so that the FH professors need to bring along experiences and a broad network from outside of the academic world. To account for this, the central job requirement is five years of professional experience, of which at least three have to come from outside of the universities. The quality of the seminars has to be showcased during the interview in front of a mixed panel of students and professors.

Professorships are usually compensated at W2 level. A typical week consists of three days working at the FH, then one day for corrections and preparations. The fifth day of the week should be kept for your own contacts outside of the FH, e. …

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graduating students

Jobs in industry: quality management, regulatory affairs & health and safety

shutterstock_200748086Documentation and regulation

The term kafkaesque describes situations in which a helpless subject has to navigate an endless bureaucratic machinery, without ever getting to a meaningful outcome. What would the writer say to the group of jobs in this section? Would he be shocked that despite all the computers in use nowadays, we´re still printing out mountains of paper, file them, watch them get dusty and finally bin them? That we multiply the fire load in the company building with yet another mountain of documents, Health and safety, all signed in triplicates by every Tom, Dick and Harry? Or would he be amazed that all the complex procedures, which are happening in today´s enterprises, are documented and regulated in such a pragmatic and focused manner? Let´s first of all take a closer look at the individual groups of jobs.

As depicted in the SOP (Standard operating procedure) “17_04_14_Description of occupational groups”, we´ll first deal with the quality manager (QM). Once you have read this section, it officially counts as training of this SOP. Please sign this certificate, so that I can enter this training procedure into our overview matrix.

Do we exaggerate, even make fun, or is this the reality in a typical industrial context?

Let´s do a fact check. In order to get certifications (e. g. GxP or ISO), certain guidelines have to be followed. These primarily deal with whether or not the documentation and processes are traceable and well-structured. These are pretty formal, bureaucratic guidelines. However, when taking a closer look, one realises that they are formulated in a rather general sense.…

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