Kai R., Engineer 

Current Position: Quality Manager at Eppendorf Instrumente GmbH, Hamburg/ Germany. 
Joined Eppendorf in 2010

Tell us about how you started at Eppendorf.

I’ve been with Eppendorf since mid-2010, and I’m currently in Quality Management. One of my acquaintances did his thesis research here at Eppendorf, and he was so enthusiastic about the climate and the jobs that he was allowed to do so soon in his time with the company. He has taken back a lot for his thesis. When I came in as his successor, I was able to pick up where he left off: developing, programming, and validating a measurement process used to check the quality of biomedical micromanipulators. My supervisor was a great help from the very beginning. It did not take long and he was more or less only a source of back-up for me, to keep me on track. I was trusted to pursue my own ideas independently very soon into the process.

What makes Eppendorf special in your eyes?

The amount of autonomy we have is unique. I’ve been able to learn a lot on my own initiative, i.e. programming, or how to use measuring methods correctly. Variety has always been part of my work, and it still is. I was always able to learn about many new and exciting things, for instance, how to use a laser interferometer to validate an optical micrometer.

How do you see your development prospects?

Eppendorf has always supported me in my professional development. I’ve been in Quality Management since mid-2011. That’s unusual for somebody at such an early stage in his career. Graduates normally start in Development, but I knew the company and the department from my diploma research. Eppendorf has shown me that they believe in me, and they gave me the opportunity to grow. I have already completed an FMEA course, and I’m currently being trained as DGQ quality manager. My department manager has set up an individual development plan for me, with internal and external activities. For Eppendorf, it is important that development is not only seminars and certificates. There is always somebody there to tell you more about the many areas we are working in. I was always allowed to try out new tasks whenever possible. Nowadays, I am already in charge of my own projects and have lots of freedom and of responsibility, but I always know that there is somebody behind me.

How do you experience the Eppendorf culture?

Put simply: direct, open, and straightforward. We don’t wear rose-tinted glasses around here. But we are also a tightly knit community. Many of us are friends in private life as well, and we meet up after work and go karting or do other things together. I was immediately accepted as a full member of my team. It might have helped that I already knew many of my later colleagues from my time as a thesis student.

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