Sulzer Squad

Summerfest 2019

Last week, we celebrated the end of the summer with our annual Summerfest!
We had a great time with our colleagues, friends, and family as we grilled food and played volleyball, cornhole, giant Jenga, and more! We also had our first Sulzies, the awards inspired by the Dundies from the show “The Office.” Thank you to all those who helped make Summerfest 2019 a great success and for continuing to be *stars* of the Sulzer Squad!

 

 

Hans Sulzer Award

We are honored to accept a Sulzer GmbH Hans Sulzer Award!

 

Sulzer GmbH, our headquarters in Germany, presents awards each year in six categories to employees who exemplify qualities in the workplace that are reflective of the Sulzer company values. One of these categories is “We are Always Open to New Ideas.” On Thursday, August 8th, Sulzer GmbH announced that Sulzer US as an entire team was nominated for and won this category! We gathered in our common area to live stream the ceremony with our German colleagues.

 

 

“Dear Sulzer US,
You have embodied our common core value of being open to new things. You are setting great examples with your collaborative approach to delivering best-in-class solutions alongside your German colleagues. Aside from the fact that you have expanded the Sulzer services to a new continent, you have never stopped bringing innovations back to the organization, while communicating mobile app solutions in iOS and Android, as well as 3D configurators. You always have an open hand to the German colleagues, even if it is showing your expertise at 4:00 AM for meetings, presentations, or pitches. Despite the distance to the headquarters in Germany, you still manage to live with the Sulzer spirit every day. Thank you very much for the courage and the urge to explore new ideas and innovations.”

 

Previously named “Sommerfest Awards,” the ceremony this year was renamed and dedicated to the late President of Sulzer GmbH, Hans Sulzer. We accept this reward in his honor and will continue to live up to the highest standards that all of the Sulzer company represents.

 

Sulzer Squad

Christian Egglin, Software Developer 

Meet Christian Egglin, Software Developer. Christian started with Sulzer US as an intern and recently flipped to a full-time position! His favorite aspect of the role is seeing front-end development finally come together since it requires a lot of problem solving and hard work. Christian’s biggest accomplishments at Sulzer US so far have been building out the BMW Online Driver’s Guide and Daimler Digital Claim Management projects. His goal is to eventually become a project lead. When he’s not handling all things development, Christian enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and tennis.

“A Day in the Life” Series: Application Support Specialist

 

Meet: Anthony

Title: Application Support Specialist

Location: Montvale, NJ

Time with Sulzer: 2.5 years

Team Size: 7

 

 

Quick overview of role:

I have a hybrid role: Application Support for our clients as well as performing System Admin and support tasks for our Internal Sulzer US users.

 

On an average day …

8:00am – We have a rotating shift so depending on the week I can start my day at 8am or at 10 am. First thing I check is e-mails and ticket queue.

Rise and grind! Anthony making a fresh pot  of coffee for the team 🙂

9:00am – Check the database for one of our projects with BMW. We check to see if any of the data needs to be manually updated. If the data needs to be updated, I proceed with adding the values to the database. 

10:00am-11:00am – Around this time most of the users are in the office and issues arise. It can be Networking issues for example, reaching a host though our VPN to a client’s network. Some other issue can be that something isn’t working with their laptop or account password.

1:00pm – After lunch I check the ticket Queue and E-mails for any notifications for arising issues. Proceed with troubleshooting. 

2:00pm – Besides working on troubleshooting tickets, we perform reporting for some of our applications.This consists of a monthly meeting that we analyze our tickets and create a presentation. If there aren’t any tickets/internal issues and/or client reporting, I work on professional development to help increase my knowledge. Currently I am expanding my knowledge of Python.

3:00pm – Review database data check for one of the applications that we support. We get the result in a form of an e-mail that is delivered internally to the team members that support the application.

5:00pm – Work is completed for the day. If I am on the later shift which starts at 10:00am I would stay until 7:00pm.  

 

 

Favorite part about role: My favorite part of the role is the diversity of tasks, from troubleshooting client issues to internal support tasks. Prior to Sulzer US, I didn’t have much experience with Linux operating system and now I enjoy Linux a lot. I also enjoy the time we get for professional development, learning anything new is exciting.

Words of advice for someone starting their career: Always think about the knowledge you’re gaining. If your first role isn’t exactly what you were looking for – it is experience. Also finding the perfect work environment helps keep you excited about your tasks at work and not stressed. 

“A Day in the Life” Series: Junior AWS Administrator

 

Meet: Dan

Title: Junior AWS Administrator

Location: Montvale, NJ

Time with Sulzer US: 1 Month

Team Size: 4

 

 

Quick Overview of Role:  I take care of all AWS issues, including creation and set-up of servers, user permissions, network security, and automation of our environment. 

 

On an average day…

7:00am: Waking up looking at my clock, hoping I still have an hour to sleep!

8:00am: Arriving around 8:30 and having breakfast so I don’t get hangry in the morning.                                                                                                     

9:00am: Start my day looking through documentations and testing some of my fixes that I worked on the night before.

10:00am: Possibly having a meeting or creating more documentation for future projects so we are prepared for what’s to come.

11:00am: Working on diagrams to estimate our company cost of the architecture we are using and looking for ways to improve and where we can save money.

12:00pm: Going to lunch and losing to Frank in foosball. (Our current record is Frank-28 / Me-0.)

1:00pm: Testing new templates I made for automation and finishing any of my short-term tasks that I have on my agenda.

2:00pm: Looking at educational videos of AWS services and what we can do to implement these in our environment.

3:00pm: Either helping other teams with any resources that they need in AWS or working with Ben on implementing changes that will improve our security in the AWS network.

4:00pm Doing maintenance on any servers that are scheduled to be reset and tested.

5:00pm: Working on troubleshooting documentation so we have all issues that we ran into during the day documented and fixed. We can use these if the same issues turn up again in the future.

6:00pm: Wrapping up my work around 6:30pm and losing to Frank in foosball, again, before I leave the office.

7:00pm: Getting home and thinking what there is to work on for the next day and implementing some test environments at home to try any new ideas to apply in the morning.

 

 

Favorite Part About Role:

There is an endless amount of knowledge that you can take in. AWS has so many different services and is always changing, so you can’t ever get bored or worried about doing the same things over and over. I also put work in outside of the office to learn more, which is a good challenge.

 

 

Words of Advice for Someone Starting Their Career:

Don’t come into this career thinking you know everything. Be humble enough to know that you still have a lot to learn from others and be ready to document everything you do to make life easier. 

 

Sulzer Squad

Rachael Janz, HR Generalist

Meet Rachael, Sulzer’s Human Resources Generalist. Rachael has been a HR Generalist at Sulzer for about 8 months now – although she started as a summer intern last year! Her favorite part of the role is finding new ways to expand Sulzer’s recruiting efforts because trends are always changing, and it allows her to be creative while finding the best quality talent! Her biggest accomplishment so far has been overseeing and guiding the company’s first Social Media/PR intern and her goal is travel to Sulzer’s HQ in Munich to strengthen the relationships between Sulzer’s HR offices. When she’s not handling all things recruiting, Rachael enjoys working out, hiking, or any other outside activity that allows her to eat lots of food! Be on the lookout as our Sulzer team grows because Rachael is working hard behind it!

“A Day in the Life” Series: Financial Controller

Meet: Brian

Title: Financial Controller

Location: Montvale, NJ

Time with Sulzer: 1 year, 9 months

Team Size: 1.5 (Administrative Manager  spends half-time for Controlling Department) 

Quick overview of role: 

I manage the preparation and reporting on all financial areas at the corporate level, as well as the financials for all development projects (the core of our business).  I work closely with Sulzer’s President, Julian Offermann in aligning our financial goals with the organization’s strategic growth.

On an average day…

6:00am– Enjoy a cup of coffee, on my private back deck, weather permitting before starting my day. Occasionally, I have a friend or two who joins me

 Brian’s friend, Mr. Fox!

7:30am– Leave for work. I have a very enjoyable commute for practically the first time in my career. It is a 20-minute trip with a wide diversity of music available from Sirius XM.

8:00am– Arrive at office (generally the first or second one here).  I check the bank balances: I am mainly looking for fraudulent activity, or any other anomaly if the balance is quite different from what I expect it to be. I review my calendar for the day to ensure I am prepared for scheduled meetings or to determine what needs to be done in preparation, as I make the best effort to send out material in advance of the meeting.  I also review the calendar for next 3 business days and I prioritize tasks that require completion for upcoming meetings.

9:00am– Work on task lists priority items, usually based on the calendar for that day and other near-term meetings.

10-12:30pm– Meetings and priorities vary by day. Depending on the week of the month, I have different activities to do. During the beginning of the month I focus on completing and analyzing the prior month’s financial reports in addition to attending my regularly scheduled activities and meetings. Mid-month, I concentrate more on the strategic direction of the Company. I review how we are tracking actual financial performance to the budget. I also focus on how we are tracking to the financial metrics we have created based on our past performance and anticipated future projects and opportunities.

1:00-4:00pm– I am also in charge of financials for our development projects and try to commit some afternoon time in this area. In addition to my accounting background, I spent many years as a project manager. The combined experience allows me to understand the challenges that our Project Managers and teams are up against and enables me to better understand the difficulties in tracking and adhering to the projects’ financial metrics.

5:15pm– Wrap up, review next day’s calendar and update the task list.

6:00pm– Attend Spin class at my gym almost every day. It is very convenient as I pass it on the way home, so if I do not stop some days, the guilt factor kicks in.

An inside look at Brian’s spin class.

 

 

7:30pm– Arrive home, frequently with takeout food as my wife gets home at a similar time and we are not up to cooking.

8:00pm– Weather permitting, I usually complete the day back on my deck, with a beverage other than coffee. 😊

 

 

 

 

Favorite part about role:

I love the automation in today’s financial world. It allows me to focus on results, as opposed to creating the reports which took much more time earlier in my career. Being in an innovative technology organization allows me to have some custom reporting done by our management team when necessary. The above outcomes enable me to focus strategically in conjunction with the President.I am at the bottom of the totem pole in technology capabilities in this company of creative, youthful individuals, so I enjoy the opportunity to try and learn new things in that area to help make me more efficient in my role.

Words of advice for someone starting their career:

I started my career as a controller in a start-up technology company and earned my MBA in Finance part-time in the evenings.  I then moved to the healthcare industry as a controller.  During this time, I realized how far behind the healthcare industry was in the technology field. I gradually worked my way into a career change and was a technology project manager in both small companies and a Fortune 100 company, though I had no actual technology education, unless you go back “a few years” and count Basic Programming and COBOL college courses where there is a computer lab with 5 computers for a class of 30 students to complete your work.  

I’ve been back in the accounting/finance area now for the last 5 years, recently combining my financial and project management background in a growing innovative technology company.  It is exciting learning from many young and intelligent technology team members, while serving as the veteran and hopefully providing some useful guidance in life lessons to some team members who come to me for various topics.

The move to technology was risky and was full of many challenges, along with high rewards and some distressing results.  The roller coaster ride was well worth the effort and I encourage you to take chances and move outside your comfort zone when the opportunity arises, or better yet, when you proactively make it happen.

 

Sulzer Squad

Cristina Moreno, HR Coordinator

Meet Cristina Moreno, Sulzer’s HR Coordinator. Cristina has been a HR Coordinator at Sulzer since May 2018. Her favorite part of the role is coordinating and attending office events because she gets to interact with everyone in the company and see everyone having fun! Her biggest accomplishment so far has been receiving the aPHR certification and her goal is to attend graduate school in the near future so she can continue learning. When she’s not handling all things human, Cristina enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and her two Miniature Pinscher puppies. She is so excited to see Sulzer grow and is proud to be part of it!

“A Day in the Life” Series: Application Support Specialist

Meet: Lukas

Title: Application Support Specialist

Location: Montvale, NJ

Time with Sulzer: 5 years

Team Size: 8

 

Quick overview of role:

As an application support specialist I am responsible for managing the various software applications developed by us, Sulzer US, LLC or by a third party.

 

 

On an average day…

9:00am – Usually my day starts around 9 am. The first thing I do is check the status of the applications to see if they survived the night .

10:00am – Shortly after warming up for the day, I start the daily for my current project for Rolls Royce. I communicate with the people at Sulzer in Germany to coordinate the next steps. We talk about what was done the previous day, and what needs to be done within the upcoming 24 hours. Recently, we introduced the Scrum approach across a few projects so I am still trying to get used to it.  

11:00am – Here the work begins. I analyze the user stories that were submitted for one of my applications. The stories may vary from simple issues like login problems, to data analysis, and collections or debugging .

12:00pm – Around this time I have my lunch, which I mostly prepare myself. After a few years of practicing, it became a hobby of mine. My go-to is pasta with sauce, since doesn’t take too long to make.

1:00pm – Coming back after the break I continue with the stories.

4:00pm – Every other week, I connect with my colleagues from BMW in California to plan the next steps for the use cases. We’re helping the environment with this project by attempting to reduce the load on the grid, while the participants are charging their electric vehicles. The users who participate will be rewarded in the end. To read more about ChargeFoward, check out this article: http://www.sulzer-us.com/bmw-chargeforward/

6:00pm – At the end of the day, I like to reflect on what I’ve done by updating JIRA – our ticketing system.

 

 

Favorite part about role:

I enjoy the variety of projects that I get to work on. Each individual one has its own level of analysis: some may be easy and others may be complex, which takes longer to complete. I love how each story is unique.

Words of advice for someone starting their career:

Don’t be afraid to try new things – you hear it everywhere but I think it’s very important. Sometimes things don’t go right, so try a new technique and be creative. At first, I thought there was only one way to approach my work but I learned that’s not true; there will always be another way to “workaround” it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sulzer Squad

Aqib Abass, Software Developer

 Meet Aqib Abass, Software Developer. Aqib has been a Software Developer at Sulzer for 10 months. His favorite part of the role is to learn every day because every day you get a new challenge to solve! His biggest accomplishment so far has been to deliver the ChargeForward project for BMW’s electric cars, the goal of which is to optimize charging for electric vehicles. When he’s not handling all things development, Aqib enjoys working out, swimming, cooking, and travelling. Be on the lookout for more updates on Build Your Own project for BMW because Aqib is working hard behind it!