2018-03-01

"As an employer, STILL has more than met my expectations"

A successful career and a satisfying personal life are not necessarily mutually exclusive. When Ann-Kathrin Wolpert joined STILL in Hamburg, she found an employer that makes both possible as well as colleagues who gave her a warm welcome.

Hamburg-based STILL has been often recognized for its long-term commitment to staff development and Ann-Kathrin Wolpert can tell you exactly why. She is a product manager for used trucks and is she confident that she has found her dream employer at the KION brand.

Ann-Kathrin Wolpert is positively beaming. The gloomy Hamburg weather appears to have no effect on her mood. “I love the city with its port, its history and its culture,” says the 30-year-old. “But most of all, I love my job, which is what brought me here to northern Germany from Baden-Württemberg in the south. My work is so much fun!” Whether discussing the diversity in her daily workload, the excitement she finds in her contact with customers or how well she gets along with her colleagues, you only need to look in her eyes to see how passionate and enthusiastic she is about her job.

Wolpert took an indirect route to STILL. In 2010, she was looking for a company where she could complete her dissertation and found BlackForxx, a wholly owned subsidiary of STILL. “Since there were a lot of connections with STILL there, I got to know and respect the company in the months that followed,” she explains. After completing her degree, Wolpert initially stayed on at BlackForxx, but in 2014, she finally moved over to STILL’s headquarters after she was offered the product manager position in Used Trucks. “I was ultimately won over by the friendly vibe among the staff and a strong sense of collaboration. Despite the company's size, you still feel like you’re working in a small team.”

"I'm responsible for the used truck business at STILL and I enjoy my work tremendously."

Ann-Kathrin Wolpert

Interesting work and exciting prospects

Indeed, the friendly atmosphere in the open-plan office is tangible. One of Wolpert’s colleagues briefly talks about his newborn daughter while another discusses his weekend. And together, they talk about the work that needs to be done in the week ahead. Wolpert’s job is to grow the used truck business. “I oversee the entire product life cycle. When trucks return to us after their ‘first life’ is over, they are, much like used cars, still in good condition. They can then be reconditioned and sold as pre-owned trucks in the secondary market,” she says, adding, “I particularly like the fact that hardly any two days are the same. I also think it’s great that I have a lot to do with different teams whose members come from various countries and cultures as well as from other departments at STILL.”

“STILL is a great employer because it has not only met my expectations, which were high in the first place, but exceeded them.” It all began with ‘onboarding’, a fancy new word for the orientation phase at a new workplace. “Two months before I began working here, I participated in an international product manager meeting in Poland so that I could get to know the people in my network. There are also all sorts of development programs, including everything from courses on product and project management to management training program that I am currently enrolled in.”

"At STILL, I can strike a good balance between my professional life and my life after work."

Ann-Kathrin Wolpert

An excellent employer

In 2018, the independent Top Employers Institute named STILL in Hamburg as one of its top employers for the seventh straight year. It is one of the most internationally recognized accolades for outstanding HR strategy and employee orientation. It is based on an analysis of nine areas, including training & development, management training, career & succession planning, compensation & benefits and corporate culture. STILL did well in all categories because it continually works both on optimizing its work environment and on developing employees. In 2017, the company was also named one of Germany’s best employers in an annual employer rating conducted by FOCUS magazine together with the online XING business network and the kununu employer ratings portal to determine the top 1,000 employers in Germany. The rankings are based both on perception by other employees within the industry and on recommendations from a company’s own employees.

Ann-Kathrin Wolpert has no hesitation in recommending STILL. “I have a tremendous amount of fun working here,” she says. “That’s really important to me, too because work takes up a huge part of my life, after all. At STILL, I can strike a good balance between my professional work and my time after work, which I like to make as varied as my job. I like spending time meeting with friends, cooking with them or going out for drinks.”

A moment ago, she was still in her business clothing, but now she has changed into exercise clothing and is out by Hamburg’s Alster Lake, her long brown hair tied up in a ponytail. “I also like getting exercise. STILL offers lots of company activities such as volleyball and sailing. I also love jogging, or during the cold winter months I’ll go to the gym,” she says with her winning smile as she runs off into the evening. Afterwards, she’s due to meet with some girlfriends in a restaurant.

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STILL exceeds expectations

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