My name is Markus Schrader. I’m 45 years old and I live in Krefeld, a town in the north-west of Germany. After graduating from University almost 17 years ago with a diploma in Business Economics, I was trying to find my first job. This was not an easy task as we were in the middle of a recession.
Having sent out a lot of applications unsuccessfully I applied for an Operations Manager Trainee Position in a medium-sized call center. The customer service industry was nothing I had even considered before I came across the job advertisement.
I had been successful in the selection process and was offered the position back in 2002. Over time I realized how demanding and interesting the work in this industry is. After six years I decided that it was time for a change, especially as I felt that there were no further opportunities for me to grow in the company. I wanted to work for a larger more international company but stay in the industry. That is why I applied for the position as an Operations Manager at Foundever in Krefeld. As part of the interview process, the recruiter, however, felt that I would fit better in Project Management and after some additional interviews, I was offered a role as Project Manager. Again, this was not something that I had a lot of experience in or had considered as a career opportunity.
Today I am grateful that the recruiter directed me to Project Management because I have been part of the Project Management Team for more than twelve years now – and I do not regret a single day of it. Over the years I have grown within the team and in 2018 I took over the role as Director of the EMEA PMO Team. This has been a very long way and looking back I am still surprised about how much I have learned over the years. I had always been fortunate to have very talented people as my direct line managers who always provided me with guidance and support but also allowed me to fail – encouraging me afterward to learn from my failures. I made a lot of mistakes but because of it, I have developed myself significantly over time. Nowadays I try to support the members of my team like I was supported in the past.
The second source of learning has been all the colleagues I had the pleasure to work with over the years. I have come across many talented and inspiring members of the Foundever family that come from various different countries and cultures. It always felt like we were one family and we are supporting each other all the time. Being in contact with staff from different countries also helped me to develop my cultural awareness and approach my colleagues in different ways.
I have also learned that you cannot completely get out of your shoes and that I am very “German” sometimes. I have also learned how to deal with a fast-changing environment. I have seen technology, client demands, customer perception, our organization, our way of working my role and my colleagues changing over time. Change can sometimes be threatening but I have learned that within every change there is something positive. You just need to stay open-minded and look out for the opportunities. I also believe that MAX will lead to a lot of positive changes and that is why I have volunteered to become a MAXpert. I hope that I will be part of the Foundever family for many years to come as this is a great place to be.