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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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)
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.
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
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.
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. 😊
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Meet Holger, our Delivery Manager. Holger joined Sulzer US as a Service Manager in August 2017 and was recently promoted to Delivery Manager. His favorite part of the role is also the most rewarding – to see people grow into their roles and reach their full potential, even sometimes above their own expectations. Holger’s biggest accomplishment so far has been adjusting to the company culture, which is very different compared to his former jobs, and of course settle down in the US which is very different from all the places he lived in Europe. His goals for the near future are to continue supporting the team and the company to reach set goals and planned growth. Outside of work, Holger enjoys sports, reading a catching sci-fi novel or hitting the cinema for a nice movie. Be on the lookout for more updates on our new projects as 2019 will be big for us at Sulzer US!
Meet Heribert, Account manager. Heribert has been an Account Manager and Project Manager at Sulzer for 8 months now. His favorite part of the role is being able to interact with his team members and guide them because it’s great to watch them grow and become better in what they are doing! His biggest accomplishment so far was moving to the US and becoming used to the work culture and his goal is to help the company grow while ensuring client satisfaction. When he’s not handling all things management, Heribert enjoys spending time with his twin boys and reading. Be on the lookout for more updates on our DSD project for BMW because Heribert’s team is working hard behind it!
Quick overview of role:
As an Application Developer, I work mostly in the Back End on our Build Your Own configurator team, and recently started working on some projects in the Front End, too. I am always striving to create modern and efficient software, and I love learning new technologies and tools.
9:00am – Arrive at work
After clocking in, I attend our daily stand-up meeting, in which our team of four goes over work completed the day before, work we are going to do today, and if there are any challenges we are facing. In the case of any, we discuss the issues and try to come up with solutions.
10:00am – Start my work
After the meeting I get to my desk, switch on my laptop, and respond to any urgent emails. Then I look at my task list, which I have created the day before. Keeping a list gives me an idea of where to resume my work and what needs prioritization. Now I’m able to get working.
Depending on the stage of the project I am working on, I define my course of action:
Initial stage: Start discussing requirements with our Team Lead to get clear understanding of the project before starting implementation. Then, begin planning and creating a system design. Once the planning phase is finalized, the features are divided into smaller tasks and assigned to the developers in the team. Usually, each project life cycle can span from 3 to 4 weeks.
Implementation phase: I consider the priorities of the tasks assigned to me and start working on them accordingly. Along with coding on each task, I may even write the unit tests to simultaneously test and code.
12:00pm – Lunch time
There are lots of options around the office – all of which are within a 5 minute walk. I sometimes go to Chipotle, but when I can’t decide what to have, I’ll go to Wegman’s because they have all varieties of food. In the summer, our company provides free lunches on Fridays – something different every week! It’s always fun to hang out with my coworkers and enjoy lunch together.
1:00pm – Back to work
After lunch I resume my work tasks and put on my headphones. I like to listen to music while I work – my favorites are Selena Gomez or Charlie Puth! I’ve realized that time goes by quickly when writing software, so the music helps me concentrate and get my work done.
3:00pm – Meetings and Testing
I also work closely with the other developers. After brainstorming myself, I like to discuss my ideas with them, since there are always so many ways to accomplish the same thing! It’s good to work with your peers to get a different perspective.
Once I’ve finished coding the feature, I test it thoroughly before deploying. Once everything is checked and ready to go, the team either deploys the application (success!) or regroups and deploys again.
5:00pm-5:30pm– End of day wrap-up
Depending on the project, we may follow different methodologies.
Recently we have been following a SCRUM methodology and work in one-week sprints. This essentially means that features are broken down into multiple small tasks for us to all reach our goals.
If this is a sprint planning day, we may get together with the product owner, and do retrospective before planning the next sprint. In retrospective, each team member can discuss what they felt went well or what didn’t go as planned, and then we go through the list of tasks that are to be completed in the next sprint.
We define the goal for that sprint and determine the tasks necessary to achieve the goal. We do this by estimating the complexity of each task and assigning points: 1 represents no complexity while 4 represents very complex. Generally speaking, the higher the point value, the longer the task will take. We have a certain amount of points available for each sprint so, the Product Manager can prioritize the tasks in order of importance.
Referring back to our daily stand-up, we can make sure we are heading in the right direction!
6:30-7:00pm – Time to head home
At the end of the day, I commit most of my code and create a task list for tomorrow. My day has come to an end and I can head home sweet home!
Favorite part about role:
There is a never-ending supply of fun things to learn and satisfying projects to work on. My work allows me to help so many people!
Words of advice for someone starting their career:
Be open and ready to learn and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
As an HR Generalist, I get to dip my toes into many areas of HR, including recruiting, professional development, employee engagement, and employee satisfaction. Some of my responsibilities include maintaining our social media presence, actively sourcing and recruiting candidates through multiple platforms and events, creating and implementing new internal programs to increase employee experience satisfaction, participating in weekly status meetings, and collaborating with my team to support employee engagement. Last summer I was the HR intern here at Sulzer so, I’m excited to take ownership of my full-time role and watch it take shape!
6:45am I wake up and start my day: I usually have some coffee with my Mom before hectically running out the door.
7:45am Leave for work: I like to take the scenic route to work (to avoid rush-hour traffic) so it’s about a 45-minute drive. I typically listen to my favorite radio station 94.7 New York’s country station or Z100-they have a very entertaining talk show in the morning!
8:30am Arrive at the office: clock in and get organized at my desk. I check my emails and respond to any that require urgent replies, pour myself some coffee, and write out my to-do list in my notebook (I love to check off tasks throughout the day).
9:00am Recruiting: I like to jump right into a search when I’m awake and alert! Currently I’m working on a Senior Java Developer search and a Cyber Security Consultant search – along with some other side searches – for our Montvale, NJ office! I stay organized with the help of Greenhouse, our Applicant Tracking System, and LinkedIn Recruiter.
11:00am LinkedIn: I jump on LinkedIn to brush up on the daily events; I like to stay up to date on industry trends and read articles about legal changes, recruiting tips, or just getting inspired by content. This time of day is the most popular time for members to be active on LinkedIn so I will post our weekly posts around this time, too! I have an amazing team behind me who analyzes all the activity of my posts, including the best time of day to post, which content gets the most action, and tracking our followers!
12:30pm Lunch: I like to bring my own lunch most days which usually consists of leftovers from last night’s dinner, or a nice sandwich. But sometimes I treat myself to a walk across the street to one of the food stops such as Wegmans, Habit Burger, Chipotle, or Panera.
1:00pm Webinars: Webinars are a great way to maintain my HR knowledge when I don’t have the time to do research. They usually last an hour and cover topics such as How to Make Sure your Employees Feel Valued, Strategies for Finding Talent in an Ultra-Low Unemployment Environment, and Diversity by Design. Some of my favorites are hosted by SHRM, Bamboo, and Payscale!
2:30pm Interviews: Our interview process consists of 3 steps: a phone screen (conducted by myself), a technical, shared screen Skype interview, and then a face to face interview in which we bring the candidate on site for more questions with HR and developers!
3:30pm Meetings: I’m currently working on some other cool projects with my team, so we meet up to touch base and brainstorm. The HR Coordinator, Cristina, and I are teaming up to create a new and improved Internship Program for our summer interns (to be launched summer 2019), our Management Assistant, Shannon, and Internal IT Specialist, Anthony, and I are implementing a second social media account for Sulzer, and I’m also researching a Sponsorship/ Partnership program!
5:00pm Prepare to head out: I reply to emails, complete my time tracking, and wash out my coffee mug, then leave the office about 15 minutes later.
5:30pm Workout: I just joined a gym down the road so, it’s super easy to get there either before or after work. I love participating in group fitness classes as I am an instructor myself! I usually attend a super intense, 60-minute full body weight lifting class, BODYPUMP by Les Mills – it’s my favorite.
I love creating projects from scratch. I’m a super visual person, so there’s something really satisfying about drawing out that first sketch of the program workflow and hanging it on my desk and taking it through the whole process until it’s a final product. That’s why I love keeping notebooks – so I can flip back the pages and watch the project grow and develop.
Always be looking forward. When you are continuously looking forward, your motivation stays strong because you can envision the end product. This makes it so much easier to draw out specific step by step actions that result in achievable, realistic, and timely goals.