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Job portraits

Get to know us better

Which paths lead to the DURAG GROUP? What makes us special? We asked these and other questions to some employees from different positions and areas. In our job portraits you can learn more about the people behind the DURAG GROUP.

Stefan Kägi

Human Resources Administrator, DURAG Holding AG, Hamburg location

DURAG milestones:

  • 2005: Start of apprenticeship as industrial clerk 
  • 2008: Completion of apprenticeship, work in financial accounting department
  • 2009: Trainer for industrial clerks at the Hamburg location
  • 2020: Move from financial accounting to human resources management
  • Since 2021: Trainer for student trainees

Stefan’s career at DURAG GROUP started in 2005 with an apprenticeship as industrial clerk, which he completed successfully in 2008. After several years in financial accounting, he moved to the human resources department in 2020. He took most of his previous responsibilities with him, but was able to devote more attention to the next generation of professionals than before. You can read here why the topic of training is particularly close to his heart and what makes DURAG GROUP so appealing to him.

Stefan Kägi im Treppenhaus der DURAG GROUP in Hamburg

How did it come about that you applied to DURAG GROUP?

"I had already completed a first apprenticeship as an energy electronics technician at Beiersdorf, but found that it wasn’t the right fit for me there. While looking for a second apprenticeship, I came across a job ad for DURAG GROUP. The medium-sized company size and the short distances between departments immediately appealed to me, based on my impressions at Beiersdorf."

What are your main activities and which of them do you particularly enjoy?

"I look after our trainees, the interns, and the topics of time management and vehicle fleet. I’m also a trainer for our industrial clerks, including those who are also studying. I particularly enjoy the role of trainer. I get to work with mostly young people and give them the opportunity to learn their occupation of choice, to make the most of themselves later in their career and to continuously develop themselves on the basis of their training."

You have been training the next generation of DURAG GROUP employees since 2009. What exactly appeals to you about your job as a trainer?

“Working with young trainees, providing assistance, discussing worries and needs in some cases and coming to a good result in the process – that’s the beauty of my job. I’m also involved in organizing inter-year and inter-training gatherings such as the induction week, team-building activities, project weeks and Girls & Boys Day. These are exciting and important events for our apprentice industrial clerks, electronics technicians and machining mechanics, but it’s also an important and intensive time for us trainers.” 

Were there any experiences or projects during your time at DURAG GROUP that particularly impressed you?

“Two examples come to mind. I think the early recognition of potential in trainees is tremendous. In my time as a trainer, there were many such cases. With one of our trainees, we already knew in her first year of training what position she could fill after her training. After consulting with her, the open position was taken care of internally for a year and a half and kept open for her. The apprentice naturally moved into this challenging position after her apprenticeship and also progressed from there step by step. 

Another example is how the employees deal with new developments. DURAG GROUP has evolved continuously. On the way to becoming a modern company, it was often necessary to introduce new software and ERP systems. These new systems were supported by the open and broad-minded nature of my colleagues and implemented quickly with a lot of work, diligence and commitment. This attitude – of being open to new things – has always surprised me in a positive way.” 

What distinguishes DURAG GROUP from other employers you have known?

“I find the pleasant size of the company positive, and also the nice sense of togetherness and the shared events. The chances of promotion – with the right qualifications – are significantly higher than at other companies. And of course the training is of a very high standard. We see ourselves as being on an equal footing with our trainees even during their training.”

Birte Everts

Project Manager, Development department, DURAG GmbH, Hamburg location

DURAG milestones:

  • 2016 until today: Development engineer with project management

Birte has been working as a development engineer with project management in the Development department since 2016. We asked her about the fascinating work that keeps her busy and the challenges she can sometimes face. Read here about what exactly field tests are and why a typical working day for Birte sometimes means “standing there in neon yellow overalls and a blue hard hat beside a dirty stack in Scotland”.

What brought you to the DURAG GROUP?

The DURAG GROUP first came to Birte’s attention through the recommendation of a former work colleague, who now also works for the DURAG GROUP, and a job ad on a big online job search engine. “I didn’t get the job I originally applied for, but then I received another offer – namely for my current position as a project manager in the Development department.”

What are your current responsibilities?

One of Birte’s jobs is project planning. Project planning is started on the basis of objectives set by product management, which contain technical specifications, commercial requirements and a time schedule.

The first things to be clarified are what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and who does it. A project team is then put together and the individual responsibilities are defined. “My job is a combination of task planning, scheduling and team management.”

In addition to project planning, Birte’s responsibilities also include technical development. “My specialist field is thermodynamics.” The work ranges from flow analysis to prototype construction. “To begin with, we think about the theory, and then we build.” Because not everything can be tested in the laboratory, field tests are also carried out. “In field tests, we set up the product directly at the customer’s location and observe it to see if everything works as expected.”

Another of Birte’s responsibilities is stakeholder management. There are many interfaces with other departments of the company, such as product management, manufacturing or sales. “That’s another thing that makes the job so varied. It never gets boring!”

What does a typical day look like for you?

One constant is the weekly team meeting, where there’s lots of interaction. “It means you’re always up to date and you know what everyone’s up to. It’s where we share news, divide up tasks and discuss things, such as feedback we’ve received from test locations, all of which ultimately leads to implementation. An example of this is the exchange of views with colleagues who are currently working on a component.”

An example of a traditional responsibility is the conduct of tests and analysis of their results. “I have to understand what’s being done in engineering and why.” But for Birte, there’s no such thing as a typical daily routine.

What are your personal highlights and challenges?

“When you can understand and solve a technical problem together with the team, there’s obviously a clear sense of achievement!”

From time to time, on the other hand, the pressure to meet deadlines can also be stressful. For example, when things depend on external providers and you find yourself in the position of having to wait.

According to Birte, you always have to keep an eye out for the technical possibilities and innovations that are out there. “The reason I solve technical challenges is to improve things!”

Why do you particularly like working at the DURAG GROUP and what do you find positive about your work?

From Birte’s point of view, the size of the company and the working atmosphere are ideal. The company is not too big, but big enough so that there’s a structure in place. “If you realize that a process is not ideal, you’ll find people willing to listen to suggestions for improvement. I have the ability to actively shape my job. What with technical progress, looking into new technologies and the relevant training on offer, you’re constantly improving yourself – because it’s not as if the requirements for the technical devices developed by the DURAG GROUP are getting any smaller. The job is very varied, and the range is extreme – anything from meetings with CEOs to a scenario where you’re standing there in neon yellow overalls and a blue hard hat beside a dirty stack in Scotland, trying to make sure the screws don’t fall through the grating. That’s the exciting thing, the breadth of the range.”

Andreas Bauer

Head of the Electronic Series Production and Repairs department, DURAG GmbH, Hamburg location

DURAG milestones:

  • 1979: Start of training as an electronics technician for precision engineering
  • 1983: Taken on as technician after apprenticeship 
  • 1987: Head of Flame department (electronic single part production, combustion technology)
  • 2015: Head of Electronic Series Production department
  • 2019: 40th company anniversary
  • 2020: Head of Repairs department

Andreas started his apprenticeship as an electronics technician for precision engineering at the DURAG GROUP in 1979 and has now been with the company for over 40 years. After completing his apprenticeship, he was taken on as a technician and subsequently rose to the position of department manager for electronic series production and repairs. Read here about the milestones in his career and the challenges and highlights of his daily working life.

What were the most important milestones in your career?

“Back then, today’s apprenticeship as an electronics technician for devices and systems was offered in two steps, with your apprenticeship as a mechanic followed by training as an electronics technician.” And this is indeed the way Andreas chose to do it at the DURAG GROUP. After completing his training, he was taken on as a technician and just four years later, Andreas was made head of the Combustion Technology department. “As a young man of 25, that was a lot of responsibility to assume – but it was also formative for the future.”

2019, Andreas celebrated his 40th anniversary with the company: “If I hadn’t felt so comfortable here, well I wouldn’t have stayed on.”

What does your work consist of?

Andreas currently heads up both the Electronic Series Production department, which produces flame monitors and instrumentation for environmental metrology, and the Repairs department, where he is responsible for a team of 40: “When I see potential, I try to nurture it.”

His work includes ensuring that deadlines are met, administrative tasks and the monitoring of material stocks: “My job is to keep production running.” Andreas is also responsible for the continuous improvement and ongoing development of procedures and processes.

What developments have you seen during your time with the DURAG GROUP?

At the beginning, the DURAG GROUP was a medium-sized company with a focus on the German market. Thanks to technological progress, it is now possible to manufacture larger quantities and serve an international market. Compared to today’s possibilities, Andreas says the production of that time was like a “craft shop”.

“Even though change can create resistance, it’s good for a company as long as it becomes part of the culture.”

What are the challenges and highlights for you?

“Alongside training and taking on the running of the department, one of today’s highlights is that we can achieve unit quantities we didn’t even think were possible in the past.”

What makes the DURAG GROUP special for you?

“Every possible effort is made to respond to the needs of employees. I like the fact that the atmosphere has remained so friendly and informal despite the growth we have seen. The technology that goes into DURAG GROUP products is very interesting and innovative.

And last but not least, we build products for environmental protection – products you can stand behind!”