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Ulf Günzel works in Quality Management at the Industrial Tires Business Unit in Korbach. Mr. Günzel started his apprenticeship as a process mechanic at Continental in Korbach on 09/01/1982. We sat down with him to talk about the impressions and experiences he gained during his long-term employment at Continental.
Let’s talk about your career. What did you do after having finished your apprenticeship?
After my apprenticeship as a process mechanic, I worked in the production of Industrial Tires. After a while, I became shift foreman and in 1991 I did my Master of Plastic and Rubber Technique. Having successfully passed the exam, I was then appointed shift master. Since 2006 I’ve been working in Industrial Tires quality management. Two years ago I was also chosen to be a part of the employee organization.
Could you briefly describe your typical workday?
My regular workday starts at 5.15 a.m. and ends at around 1.45 p.m.. However, I have to be quite flexible. Depending on the workload, my day sometimes starts earlier or ends later. What I like about my job, though, is that it is very variable. I get surprised me every day.
Have you ever worked abroad for Continental? If so, how was that experience for you?
I have never worked abroad for Continental for a longer period of time. However, I have been in Las Vegas for 5 days to work on an ad campaign for bicycles tires. In this context, I attended the Interbike Fair. Although my stay was not very extensive, I enjoyed this work experience a lot.
How do you find the balance between work and free time? What are your hobbies?
A hobby of mine is to ride a Trike. But I also enjoy walking my dog, traveling and going camping – I own my own camper.
What has been your biggest challenge ?
The biggest challenge of my career has been my education as a foreman and the following master’s examination in Hanover. I was very relieved when I had passed it!
What is your personal highlight you experienced at Continental?
My greatest highlight at Continental goes back about 9 years. It involves the “digga” tire and a picture. 9 years ago I became the face of many advertising campaigns for two-wheeled tires. However, I did not apply for this job. Instead, I was discovered and personally approached by the head of marketing of that time. Who would have thought you get discovered on your way to the canteen? Anyways, this is how I became a promotional face for Continental. Today, people around the world recognize me. They come up to me to talk and they often want to take pictures. As you can see, this highlight still accompanies me not only on my job but also in my private life.
What was your coolest experience at Continental?
Some time ago, I went to Hanover where I met Dr. Reinhardt. As you surely know, she has been a member of the Executive Board of Continental AG since 2014. Above all, she is a personnel expert with international experience in the automotive sector. Together we created the cover picture for an internal questioning of employees. Besides working with her, I also got the chance to exchange a few words with Dr. Reinhart.
Continental & Family – What comes to your mind spontaneously? What have your experiences with Continental been, regarding having time for your family?
I have never had any problems to find a balance between my work at Continental and having time for my family. I also have the great advantage of working in the early shift. This means that my working hours are stable. The colleagues who regularly switch between shifts have my greatest respect!
What does Continental mean for you as an employer?
For me, Continental is a qualitative and social company.
What advice can you give to young people?
Nowadays, it is important to choose a safe company that also offers a good education for young people.
Continental (Korbach) in one word.