When we begin our career journeys, many of us hope to find a job we are good at, or a job we enjoy, or colleagues we enjoy working with – ideally, all of the above. One of our colleagues who feels like he hit the jackpot on all three fronts is Michael Vodraschka, Production Area Manager at IDE.
After Michael finished high school, he did an apprenticeship at Deutsche Bahn, then spent a year volunteering at a hospital in his hometown of Mainz, Germany. His first normal job was at a glass company, but after three months he wasn’t satisfied. “That’s when I heard that IDE was hiring,” Michael says. “The company was quite small at that time, but the products and production facilities looked very nice, so I figured it was my best option.”
taking on tasks beyond one’s job description
Michael started out working as a Mechanical Engineer in the production department in 1999. He was just 21 then, but his work quickly caught the eye of the Production Manager, who started challenging Michael with tasks that went far beyond his job description. “I was doing logistics, production, and quality assurance all at the same time,” he says. “Over time I got better at this work and in 2007 I was promoted to group leader in production.”
the making of a dynamic duo
Another pivotal event in Michael’s career was the hiring of Andreas Lustenberger. He joined IDE just one month after Michael, and over the years the two have become a sort of dynamic duo. “We both started when we were quite young,” Michael says. “It’s like we were raised in this company.”
Their careers have also evolved in parallel, from group leader to senior group leader and most recently, to production area manager. Michael manages the cleanroom, while Andreas manages the so-called “grey room”; together they are responsible for the full production. “It’s a big opportunity for us and we are really proud that we are allowed to do it,” Michael says.
Their partnership has proven to be extremely valuable. “Andreas and I help each other all the time,” Michael explains. “If I don’t know how to solve something I go to him and vice versa. We are a team, looking over the production with four eyes instead of just two, and of course that makes a big difference.”
our biggest strength
That appreciation extends to Michael’s team and beyond. “My favorite part of IDE is working with my colleagues,” Michael explains. “We get along and can be serious when we need to be, but still in a friendly manner. We are also very flexible in our company. We get things done because we really work as a team and are understanding with one another and all want the best for IDE. I think that’s our biggest strength.”
a company that feels like family
The company’s flexibility, and Michael’s dedication, should come in handy going forward. “The biggest challenge we face is sustainability,” Michael says. “Mine and Andreas’ vision is to spend the next years fighting to make our production efficient and effective and to be sustainable in all areas, until we get our pensions. Leaving IDE is not an option. We love this company, it feels like family.”