20 April 2021 08:00

Teamwork as a Foundation for a Successful Career – from the Motorsport Academy to Schaeffler

Category: Partners

"Schaeffler is a really cool employer, and I can definitely imagine working here." That was the statement given by Laura Vosseler in spring 2019 as one of the participants of the Motorsport Academy in Herzogenaurach. Two years later, Laura works as a specialist in the "Operations Digitalization" department at Schaeffler and looks back on her time in the Formula Student. She explains how this experience has helped her to develop a career. 


How did you become a participant of Formula Student Germany?

I was a member of the "KA-RaceIng" Formula Student team at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Actually, I had already heard of the Formula Student during my first semester at university, but thought that only excellent mechanical engineering students could participate. During my master studies, my teammates in the university sports team introduced me to the KA-RaceIng association and the various possibilities for students with non-technical skills to engage in the association's activities.

What tasks did you take on in the team?

First, I was responsible for the association's marketing activities and coordinated all tasks with regards to public presentation, event organization, design, photos, videos, and sponsor relations. Later on, I was also allowed to present the business plan for our electric vehicle at all events. With my presentation, we even took third place in the final of our home competition, the FSG in Hockenheim.

What were the most memorable moments you experienced with the team during that time?

It is incredible what a team can accomplish in a very short period of time when all members focus on the common goal. I learned a great deal about teamwork and leadership. During that time, I also learned a lot about myself and what I can achieve if I have a plan and know how to follow it through. The most impressive moments were the presentation on the large stage during the Formula Student Germany Business Plan Presentation Final that I mentioned earlier and the opportunity to cover the night acceleration event live on social media from the race track in Barcelona. Watching the illuminated cars race through the night was incredibly inspiring.

Do you view Formula Student as a "springboard" for starting a career?

I definitely do. I joined the team shortly before completing my master studies, and was therefore able to optimally prepare for my future career. I was given the opportunity to coordinate a team and had to make not only strategic but also critical decisions. This way, I learned how to deal with the consequences of my decisions. In this regard, Formula Student was an excellent preparation for my future day-to-day work at Schaeffler.

How did you first become aware of Schaeffler?

I was lucky to work with Schaeffler as a sponsor of KA-RaceIng and receive an invitation to the annual Motorsport Academy at Schaeffler's headquarters in Herzogenaurach in May 2019. It was an exciting event with many different Formula Student teams from all over Europe. In addition to networking sessions with the other teams, the event provided me with the opportunity to attend various workshops with Schaeffler experts and receive valuable tips for the team's further work. I was able to make initial contact with the Schaeffler network thanks to this event.

How did you finally come to Schaeffler?

During my time in the Formula Student team, I was looking for a topic for my master's thesis. Since I had positive memories of Schaeffler and the Motorsport Academy, I inquired about a master's thesis and found a suitable topic in Schaeffler's Digitalization department. After completing my studies, I was offered a job as a specialist in the same department.

What makes Schaeffler an exciting employer for you?

I find the wide variety of possible work packages, the continuously development of organizational structures, and the associated flexible working methods particularly exciting. Especially in the field of digitalization, topics such as agility, innovation, and efficiency play an important role. I also like that I was given responsibility for many tasks shortly after joining the company.

What are your tasks at Schaeffler?

I am currently responsible for the traceability technology sector in the "Operations Digitalization" department. My tasks include all technologies and projects that facilitate the tracing of goods, for example. This means that I monitor and combine the individual projects in order to create synergy effects with other projects. This ensures proactive communication between the individual Schaeffler projects, prevents duplicate work, and facilitates efficient work on new technologies.

Have you been able to put the experience gained in the Formula Student into practice?

Absolutely. My teamwork experience is an ideal basis I can draw on in my day-to-day work. A team should not always focus on the problems that occur but also celebrate when partial success has been achieved. Even when our team did not reach a stage in a competition, we always managed to optimize our race car within an extremely short period of time and performed better in the next Formula Student event thanks to our team spirit. That's what teamwork is all about - because success is best when it's shared.

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