People at the heart of our business
Leon Rau, Intern Innovation
Leon has been working at GF Casting Solutions in Schaffhausen since September 2021 and is writing his master's thesis in the Innovation Management Department. However, the origin of his connection to GF goes back further: As a bachelor student, he already completed an internship in the Research and Development deparment at GF Piping Systems. The decisive factor for starting his master's thesis at GF Casting Solutions was the topic of innovation and the company's attitude towards it.
How does your typical day at work look like?
With my master's thesis, I have my own project that I work on and bring to a conclusion over a period of 9 months. It contains the core of my master thesis - the development and design of an innovation interaction system. As part of such a project, regular meetings are held, idea workshops are conducted, initial prototypes are created and digitized, and finally the results are presented to decision-makers and, in the best case, implemented via a roll-out. I would describe the entire work as a typical project management activity, except that the innovation culture idea resonates strongly in such a project. The goal is to establish a far-reaching and comprehensive innovation culture at GF Casting Solutions through this system.
« My favourite moment at GF was the day that I was told by my supervisor that my journey at GF would continue and that I would be offered a permanent position in my desired area after completing my master's thesis. For me, that was an acknowledgement that I was doing a good job and that my superiors had the necessary trust in me. »
What are the next steps after your master's thesis?
Thanks to the trust of my supervisors, I will remain part of the GF family after the end of the internship. I will start my career as Project Manager Innovation at GF Casting Solutions and will drive the innovation activities of the division together with the Innovation team. My focus will be on the one hand on the rollout of the Innovation Interaction System for our plants in China and Europe, on the other hand I will take over and further develop innovation projects.
What have you learned so far at GF?
I have been able to gain a lot of experience in the field of project management, especially with regard to agile project management. During my studies, "agile" was explained to me in theory, but at GF I learned and experienced what this actually means in reality. I learned how a full Design Thinking process works and what this looks like in reality. In general, I would say that during these 9 months I have learned more than ever before. For that I am very thankful towards my supervisors and GF Casting Solutions.
What tips would you give someone who is starting new at GF?
Onboarding is great at GF, and you're in good hands from day one. Networking with colleagues and getting to know all the different departments was important for me. Luckily, all colleagues are open-minded and willing to show what they're doing. In addition, I would recommend using the opportunities offered by GF, such as after-work drinks, sports activities, bike-to-work, etc. That way, people get to know the company and the people behind it very quickly.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I'm very athletic and have been dedicated to weight training for more than 8 years. To have enough variety I also like to go jogging or mountain biking. To relax and enjoy the fresh air I like to go fishing or hiking. And probably this will shock one or the other, but I am a huge friend of ice bathing in all 4 seasons.