Our colleague Susanne Torpus has been part of our Hamburg ALVARA subsidiary IT Kompetenz since June 2005. However, it was hardly foreseeable at the beginning that IT would one day determine her professional life. Her studies in musicology initially suggested a completely different job direction. Once she set foot in the company, however, it was clear that her heart beats for practice-oriented software solutions. Susanne has devoted herself entirely to information and communication technology and now supports the ALVARA | Digital Solutions team as a project manager.
Dear Susanne, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you came to join the ALVARA team?
The story begins during my studies. When I was writing my master’s thesis in musicology, I came to IT Kompetenz GmbH in Hamburg through an acquaintance, as is so often the case. At that time, I still thought that my work here would only be for the transition. I was wrong about that. At the beginning, I was responsible for maintaining manuals and first-level support. My desire to keep learning new things led to different tasks being added, for example, I worked in marketing for a long time.
I have now been in project management for a good two years. This is a varied position that came about through the takeover of IT competence by the ALVARA Group. Under the umbrella of the ALVARA | Digital Solutions brand, IT Kompetenz strengthens the group of companies as a developer of secure and innovative software systems in the areas of cash processing and valuables logistics. The cooperation with the colleagues in Leipzig brought a breath of fresh air to the work and many new exciting tasks. What can I say: I have found my destiny here.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
As you can find out in my CV: I appreciate getting to know new things and filling diverse tasks. In project management at ALVARA, this is the case every day. Because diverse projects are on the agenda for me here. I especially appreciate the customer contact. A very special relationship develops with one or the other customer and in the best case we receive positive feedback for our work at the end of the day. That simply feels good. My motto is: nothing beats personal contact. That’s why I also like to go on business trips.
Of course, product development never sleeps. Currently, I am responsible for our latest solution, Pecunia 7, the further development of the web solution of the previous Pecunia Cash Centre Software. This opens up new paths internationally. On the one hand, this involves a lot of work. On the other hand, it is at least as much fun to familiarise oneself with the new possibilities. So it never gets boring.
Is there a favourite project or task?
Every customer is different. The processes differ, even if sometimes only minimally. That’s why every project is just as unique. Picking a favourite here is impossible for me. I would almost say it is the challenge itself, to find the one optimal solution for the integration and configuration in the software for the most diverse customer wishes, that gives me the most pleasure in my job.
As we all know, projects don’t always run smoothly. How do you deal with problems that arise?
Very simple: Talk! There is always a colleague who can support and help and who has an idea for a new approach to a solution. The fact that the two companies – IT Kompetenz and ALVARA – have become one big family helps a lot here. Whether colleagues in Hamburg or Leipzig, everyone is there for the other.
But of course it is also easy to talk to our customers. In most cases you meet with understanding when a path you have already taken leads you astray. After all, there is no one silver bullet for individual project implementation. It is therefore only understandable that teams have to readjust their timing or look for alternative solutions – and then find them together.
You have the last word!
Exciting products, interesting customers and a diverse range of tasks are only three aspects that count for me – and make my job so interesting. Team spirit, appreciation, a great working atmosphere and flexibility make the other side of the IT competence coin shine just as brightly.
Therefore, an appeal to everyone out there: If you are currently looking for a job, need an internship or would like to gain experience as a student, then check us out. At ALVARA | Digital Solutions we are always looking for new team members. Our solutions are complex at first sight and it takes some time to get used to them. But it is precisely this challenge that gives me pleasure every day.