Sarmistha, leading a team for process improvements at ZEISS, talks about joining the company and her job at the Vision Care business group. Read this interview find out what personal advice she’d give young talents like herself today and what she appreciates about an interdisciplinary team.
Sarmistha, what did you already know about ZEISS before joining the company?
I learned about ZEISS through different cooperations focused on fostering young talents the company has with various institutions. ZEISS is well-known for its quality, and the company is considered an innovative manufacturer of premium products.
You have been working at ZEISS for seven years. Tell us a little about your professional background.
After completing my degree in mechanical engineering, I moved from India to Germany in 2007. I worked at several well-known international companies as a project manager and management consultant.
And then you joined ZEISS in 2011?
Yes, exactly. I first worked as an in-house consultant for process optimization at the Vision Care business group – at the time, I was part of a small, dynamic and very international team that had recently been created. This initial period was really formative. My job – to improve the processes at the different global sites – proved to be intense, but at the same time exciting.
What exactly do you do in your job?
I head the Manufacturing Efficiency team and provide operational support for executing the top management strategy at the sites. My team is responsible for strategic projects and operational excellence at global production sites. Currently, my team is involved in several high impact projects in Mexico, India and Brazil.
What impressed you most when you first started at ZEISS?
When I came to ZEISS, I was very impressed and quite surprised by the dynamic and international environment for a young professional like me. It’s a global company headquartered in the beautiful “Schwäbische Alb” region with highly ambitious, modern and global aspirations.
What comes to mind now when you think about ZEISS?
Opportunity. With its innovation and outstanding precision, ZEISS creates opportunities for its customers and, as a pioneer in the field of optics, it also offers its employees the chance to grow together with the company.
What about your work inspires you in particular?
ZEISS is very international. Of course achieving results with a multicultural team sometimes has its challenges. At the same time, however, it’s super exciting for me. What is especially cool is being able to work with the major production sites in my business unit, develop an understanding of their particular problems, and work towards solutions together with the local teams.
What is most important for achieving successful results?
My job requires me to communicate with multiple stakeholders at all levels and define common paths forward.
Would your job also be possible for a person with a different professional background?
Yes, definitely! I’m lucky enough to be heading an interdisciplinary team. While I have a background in engineering and business consulting, my colleagues come from project management, the automotive industry, finance and engineering. My team is strongly committed to problem solving and focusing on results. And diverse backgrounds lead to the best outcomes.
Why should young talents apply to ZEISS?
In particular young talents with a long term perspective receive a lot of support. As I already said, ZEISS is synonymous with excellent career opportunities. There are so many great ways to go on an exciting journey with a global, high-tech company like ZEISS and shape your own future.
Thank you for this interview. To conclude, we have one last question: what advice would you give your younger self along with other young professionals?
While it’s important to have a goal, it’s equally important to define the individual steps leading to that goal. Work hard and smart, but don’t expect results overnight –be patient.