Between IT and business -
my career at K+S
In 2016, Denis began his dual studies (integrated degree program) in business informatics, and today he already has his master’s degree almost finish. He didn't choose between IT or management, but simply combined the two. Read his story here.
In 2016, I started my dual studies in the field of business informatics at K+S. At first glance, you might not associate K+S and information technology directly with each other, as we are neither a software hub nor a bank, but digital transformation topics are nevertheless on everyone's agenda. K+S is anything but standard here, because we are talking about transformations of processes that do not exist on a broad scale in the world. In the pure promotion of our products alone, IT now plays a relevant role. I was particularly motivated to apply because of the opportunities for further training that the attractive dual study model gave us.
To study, get paid for it and gain a foothold in a company on top of that? It couldn't have been better!"
Course of the dual bachelor’s degree program
After the first few months in Kassel, I went to the Rhein- Main University of Cooperative Education near Frankfurt. In the regular exchange between theory and practice phases, I learned the close link between IT and business. In addition to an incredibly exciting time in our programming department, I was also able to visit the Innovation Lab through internal internships. Both worlds - IT and innovation management - are very closely intertwined. Reason enough for me to choose a management degree after an IT degree.
Next stop: master program
Therefore, it was clear to me to complete another master’s program to cover the management area. Unfortunately, part-time study concepts are usually very cost-intensive. As a 20-year-old, you quickly reach the limits of your financial capacity, but at K+S there are also so-called individual support programs. I took my chance and after several discussions I was able to convince my boss and K+S to support my plan. So, I was able to choose the perfect course of study for me. Looking back, I am more than happy that I got this chance, as this is not something I take for granted.
Because of the opportunity to get to know areas outside of IT, I quickly decided on the Leadership & Management program. The International Management College in Frankfurt particularly convinced me with its part-time concept. During the week you can concentrate on your work and at the weekend there are exciting lectures in Frankfurt. The interesting guests from the business world (such as Commerzbank, Accenture, DB, DHL, etc.) as well as the English lectures and exams also contributed to this.
The degree program as such extends over three semesters. Leadership was only one of many modules that showed the diversity of a company (other modules were, for example: Talent Mgt. Innovation Mgt., Financial Risk Management, Digital Transformation).
Then, at the end, I wrote my master's thesis. I looked at the trend that more and more companies are adding (or replacing) a digital platform to their manufacturing business. This trend is evident from the fact that 7 of the 10 most valuable companies are mostly platform companies. My central question of the master’s thesis is therefore, what exactly does a company have to pay attention to in such a change? What stands out particularly positively or even negatively when it is said "Pipes 2 Platforms"? The subject of my investigation was factors from market structures, talent management, change management and cultural nature. I am now eagerly awaiting the grade of my master's thesis and am looking forward to the exciting time ahead at K+S.
I think that this has also been my biggest challenge at K+S so far. Working full time and completing a degree in three semesters at the same time has been quite demanding. The colleagues who supported me in terms of content were even more important. That's when you realize how much expertise a company has within itself.
My current work life
On the one hand, I am active in the project business and work on the overarching goal of linking digital and analogue channels. Our website in particular is currently playing a central role. However, it is not only about content, but also about new sales channels, services and customer groups. On the other hand, I support product marketing for the social channels. Together we bring our products closer to the farmers. There is a lot of coordination and conception behind it.
Nevertheless, I still use my IT skills at every given opportunity to do small developments/tasks.