08.10.2018 10:10

“OSB AG has opened many important doors for me in my career”

Bernhard Wallis, Materials Technician at the Cologne location decided to opt for a career without studying – and is successfully pursuing his path. He reveals in this interview why OSB AG is an interesting door opener for him and why he made the spontaneous decision to move from Dresden to Cologne.

(Please note: For the purpose of good legibility, the masculine form has been used throughout this interview. However, both genders are expressly addressed.)

Mr. Wallis, you have been at OSB AG for around 18 months now and work as a Materials Technician for an OSB customer in Cologne. What does your working day involve?

Bernhard Wallis: Primarily, I am responsible for all-wheel drive and eDrive systems. In this area, I am specialized in powertrains, that is to say, everything that runs under the car, such as shafts and struts leading to the wheels. My job is to inspect the incoming goods. Besides this, we also evaluate field failures in my department. To do this, we first perform a problem analysis to see where the error lies. Then we provide appropriate advice on how the problem can be avoided and what needs to be considered. In the area of new developments, we also check whether work processes are running properly or if readjustments need to be made.

So, in other words, you have to scrutinize every product?

Bernhard Wallis: Yes, exactly. Each day, I prepare specimens from gear wheels and joints for this purpose. To do this, I first need to disassemble the parts to be tested. Since these are often highly filigree, they are embedded in epoxy resin using a warm embedding press before being ground, polished and then evaluated under the microscope. During this process, I carry out metallographic analyses and hardness measurements. 

What do you particularly like about your job?

Bernhard Wallis: I like the work of a materials tester in general. It is scientific to a certain degree, yet not too theoretical. I like the fact that a lot of practical work is involved, where I can use my brain and my hands. The tasks are varied, I deal with many different materials and I am always learning something new.

Is it your interest in practical work that made you decide not to study?

Bernhard Wallis: Yes, studying was too theoretical for me. I firstly gained my high school leaving certificate and then went on to do my vocational diploma. After that, I completed an apprenticeship to become a Materials Tester as well as one to become a Technician for Foundry Technology. Following this, I worked for company near Dresden. However, there were no opportunities for me to develop my career there.

You then applied on spec to OSB AG. Why did you do that? 

Bernhard Wallis: I took a look at various job portals on the Internet and OSB AG appeared several times. On the OSB website I couldn’t find a job vacancy that matched by profile, so I simply sent an on-spec application by email, stating my professional qualifications, work areas and when I would be available to start employment. After sending it, I immediately got an email confirming that my application had been received. About a week later, I then received a call from the OSB recruiters, who informed me that they had a job offer. 

When you applied, you originally had the OSB location in Leipzig in mind. How come you then moved to Cologne? 

Bernhard Wallis: I was impressed by the position in Cologne as well as the area of responsibility and the OSB customer whom I now working for. What also strongly influenced my decision was the positive, friendly atmosphere at OSB AG. I was given a warm welcome and was shown perspectives and professional development opportunities right from the start. OSB AG is an ideal door opener in terms of career development. The company has very good connections to its customers, a large network, and a great number of interesting opportunities come up within a brief space of time. 

You are the only OSB employee in the Material Laboratory department at the customer company. How well are integrated into the team? 

Bernhard Wallis: This worked out really well from the start. I have been accepted 100 percent and my work is appreciated. And besides, there are OSB employees in the other departments. Furthermore, the direct contact with OSB AG continues to be very good.  If I have something on my mind, the company immediately addresses the issue. In addition, exchange among OSB colleagues is encouraged. One way in which this is achieved is through regular events, such as the summer and Christmas parties, where we all come together. 

What are your plans for the future? 

Bernhard Wallis: Since I enjoy gaining new experiences every day, I can imagine instructing others and passing on my knowledge, for instance by becoming a trainer. OSB AG would support me fully in this. It could also be the case that the customer takes me on – OSB AG is open to this option as well. With OSB AG, you have many perspectives and the work always remains exciting.

Interested? Take a look here at our current job vacancies or send us an on-spec application!



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