Why did you apply to Zühlke?
Before I applied, I had no idea what Zühlke did. But I did have an idea of how I wanted my next employer to be. I wanted to work for a services company rather than a product company – because that would give me the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. It would mean I could try different things and learn much more. I also wanted it to be an international company, preferably based in Europe. And this might sound like a cliché, but the values described on the website sounded true to me.
Which values in particular appealed to you?
One of those values was transparency. This is one of Zühlke’s very strong suits as a company. For example, management tells us exactly what we want as a firm and the kind of steps we’re going to take to achieve it. Our supervisors trust us and they also do a lot to win our trust. Another thing that really appealed to me was the company’s willingness to do a lot for their employees’ individual development. Zühlke invests significant sums in ongoing training and career development opportunities. That’s exactly what I’d been looking for in my next job.
Does this willingness to invest in employees also influence your work?
Let me give you an example: I’m involved in onboarding new employees at our office in Sofia. Now, we’re not hiring people just to fill up office space. We really try to find the right people. People who can grow with us and who we can grow with. We want them to be a good fit for this environment so they can flourish. I’ve experienced that myself. Both my line manager and my mentor have given me a lot of support as regards my professional development and they continue to do so to this day.
What makes the mentoring at Zühlke so special?
A mentor can be anyone from the company as long as they’re someone you feel comfortable talking to. Their role is to help you achieve the career goals that you set for yourself. Those might be milestones you need to reach to achieve a given level of excellence in a technical field, but they can also include business-related goals. For instance, I want to improve my decision-making and leadership skills.
What’s so special about the project work at Zühlke, in your opinion?
My very first project here at Zühlke was with a telecommunications company, building a new user-management console. It was fascinating work – but the best part of the project was the team. We were working from different locations, with one part of the team here in Sofia and another in Zurich. We managed to build a good working relationship. Every once in a while, the whole group met up at a location halfway between – just to make us feel more like one team. Those meetings were great fun, and it really showed in our results.
What else do you do at Zühlke – apart from project work?
Over time I’ve taken on extra responsibilities, which include being aware of how we are staffed for special skills and abilities and whether we need to add to our front-end engineering expertise – to keep ahead of the market. I monitor tech trends and new developments that could be of benefit to our team and keep an eye on everything else going on outside the company that might impact us. For example, how the talent pool in Sofia is developing.