What were you doing before you started working as an editor for kothes?
Before I started with kothes I followed various other paths. After my A-levels I completed a commercial apprenticeship, during which I was offered a permanent position working in corporate communications. I accepted the offer and worked there for one-and-a-half years.
After that I studied sociology, linguistics, and communication studies (Bachelor) and digital media communications (Master) at RWTH Aachen. During my studies I got to know numerous interdisciplinary fields of work where humans, innovation, technology and communication interacted as factors. While I was studying I worked for the Marketing staff unit at RWTH Aachen and for a research institute that concerned itself with the interaction between humans and machines. That work awakened my interest in the fields of digitalisation, technology and communication. Offers from the student council developed from earlier practise excursions finally drew my attention to kothes as an employer who combines all these areas.
How was it to start working for kothes?
My introductory training at kothes had been planned in detail in advance by the people responsible, and was thus very structured. That made it much easier for me to get into this field of work, which was still new to me. The “open-door policy” embraced by all the departments also creates a friendly, open and above all helpful working atmosphere. That also helped me find my way around new topics and structures very quickly.
10 other employees started at the same time as I did, and they attended the same introductory training courses with me. We quickly developed a dynamic sense of community.
The introductory phase at kothes also allows for regular feedback meetings with the relevant supervisor and departmental management. These meetings allow the new employees and their superiors to exchange information and convey their impressions. As a result, any open questions can be resolved at the start of the introductory phase, initial impressions can be communicated, and the overall introduction can be discussed. If necessary, the introduction is altered, according to findings from the feedback meetings.
Have you worked on any projects yet?
The great thing about kothes is that you get involved in projects from the very beginning. In your first few days, once you have been introduced to the main programs and tools during your training courses, you are given your first exercise project where you can apply what you have learned. Traditionally we work on projects related to consumer goods, because it is easy to identify with the users of these products, which in turn makes it easier to work on the project. I worked on this exercise project independently; designing it, preparing the information, and having it examined by quality management.
After that I was quickly given the opportunity to work on real projects. Mostly these projects were in the automotive, mechanical engineering and energy industries. A little later I was given my first major project for a customer, which gave me the opportunity to learn a lot – an aspect that makes working for kothes very exciting.
Then of course you can call on a huge pool of knowledge, shared by all the other employees. Taskforces prepare new topics in teams, which means that the range of services provided by kothes is expanding rapidly. Any colleague can apply to take part in one of these taskforces, and that includes us new employees.
Of course you also have to face a few challenges. One challenge, for example, is that you have to learn about new topics fairly quickly; another is that you often work on entire projects, which includes the preparation of graphics. The last part is the biggest hurdle for me, as I have done very little work in the field of graphics. But it also shows how varied this field of activity is.
How do you see your future at kothes?
I work in an editorial team at the head office in Kempen. First I am going to work on traditional technical documentation. In future, as digitalisation progresses, I would like to get involved in the fields of smart information, interface design and augmented reality as well. In addition, kothes offers plenty of training opportunities, which means that people can design their own individual career paths – as a seminar lecturer, project manager or consultant, for example. I am excited to see what path I will pursue, and I look forward to an exciting and challenging future with kothes.