Andreas Hermanns, division manager, at IVU in Aachen since 2007  

Can you please briefly introduce yourself and your work?

I'm Andreas Hermanns, project manager and division manager at IVU in Aachen. As a division manager, I'm responsible for the internal organisation. That means that I deal with structures within IVU, as well as my division and my team. However, I also have lots of external tasks. I'm involved in projects and sales. This relates mainly to projects in the rail sector. My day-to-day work is therefore full of wide-ranging and exciting tasks.

What is your most exciting project to date?

In international projects, I always find the cultural differences really exciting. The technology is far from the biggest challenge. Rather, it's understanding how we can work together effectively with people from other cultures. In a project in Vietnam, it was surprising that working together there was much more bureaucratic. I don't think we've ever put together as many folders full of papers as we did for Vietnam. I then had a totally different experience in Latin America. Things are often much less bureaucratic there. Instead, it's more interpersonal – trust and long-term relationships are very important there. I think it's great to have the opportunity to be involved in these projects.

What motivates you in your work?

I'm motivated by the fact that IVU enables me to do a great deal, gives me lots of freedom and puts lots of trust in me. That way, I can learn a lot more. I can try things out in various roles – as a project engineer, project manager, customer consultant, support employee, sales employee, product manager and division manager. I find that hugely enjoyable. And the trust that I'm given makes me feel appreciated and recognised.

What do applicants need to be successful in your job?

There's no particular course or specific training that an applicant needs to have. However, basic technical knowledge and understanding are important, as we have a lot to do with software and hardware. In addition: not being afraid of difficult tasks, target orientation, and strong communication skills. My job involves talking to people a lot, persuading people, understanding needs and reconciling them all. We do a lot of customer management in my division, but we're also the interface between the customer and development or product management. Interpersonal relationships are very important here. And finally: self-motivation and personal interest.

Please describe IVU in one word.

Curious. We are always interested in people, problems and connections. That's what typifies us.