Judith Walter

I wanted to get to know the company from a variety of angles.

Passions that shape the future

Judith has always deemed it vital to focus on something that suits her personality and her interests. What better proof of her success: she joined ZEISS in January 2015 as a trainee in the Global Graduate Program run by the Medical Technology business group. This marked the beginning of 15 exciting months spent in different departments of the global player.

Judith sees herself as a woman of many talents and does not shy away from a challenge – what she loves most is to look at a problem from a host of different angles in order to find the best possible solution. One of her two great passions consists of project management and marketing. So it was no coincidence that she chose to study information management and corporate communications as an undergraduate. Her aim was to pursue a career that brought together as many of her interests as possible. “My degree was a unique combination of IT, design, economics and communications – I enjoyed every minute of it,” says Judith.

Bringing theory and practice together for good
She spent her practical semester working at a company in the aerospace industry and was able to gain plenty of experience, including in change management. Her master’s degree in Advanced Management focused on project management, communication, marketing, sales and change management. After graduating, Judith set her sights on a suitable traineeship. “I wanted to get to know a company from a variety of angles so I could get a feel for its culture, its various interests and leadership styles,” recalls Judith.

A tailored trainee role
No sooner said than done: the traineeship on offer at the ZEISS Medical Technology business group perfectly matched her profile. “I wanted to work at a company that deals with medical products. It’s a great feeling knowing that these products play their part in improving healthcare,” says Judith. And she got the job! In January 2015 she began her Global Graduate Program traineeship at the ZEISS site in Oberkochen, Germany. She was able to put her extensive knowledge into practice and develop it in project management and sales. For example, she was instrumental in designing and implementing an indirect sales channel. She also worked on customer segmentation and on the planning and implementation of telemarketing campaigns. Her duties included internal coordination, agency briefings, lead management and evaluations.

Hands-on training
Two Base Camps also form part of the Global Graduate Program Judith has already taken part in one of them. These three-day workshops are aimed primarily at getting teams to pool their efforts and find solutions. In addition to the project briefing, the trainees were coached on various topics such as lateral leadership and the promotion of a feedback culture. In a team together with a trainee and two postgraduate students, Judith came face to face with a real-life logistics project. In collaboration with a specialist department, the team spent six months working on Shipment Tracking 2.0, a project aimed at optimizing the follow-up of deliveries.

Shifting gears by joining Product Management
Nine months into her traineeship, Judith got the opportunity to develop in a whole new way by working for three months as a project manager at the site in Dublin, California. She got a glimpse behind the scenes of product development while preparing a global product launch: she learned all the tricks about how products are successfully brought to market. In addition to conceptual work, such as preparing market studies, Judith spent a long time speaking with doctors in order to get an idea about the challenges and requirements of the products on-site. She was also involved in planning and follow-up for trade fairs. “What I appreciate about the Global Graduate Program at ZEISS is the opportunity it offered me to learn about very different areas and enhance my knowledge,” says Judith with enthusiasm.

Judith Walter

Position: Trainee

MSc in Advanced Management, majoring in International Brand and Sales Management; Information Management and Corporate Communications

My top career tip
Don’t rest on your laurels. Instead, be inquisitive and aim to keep developing. Keep an open mind when it comes to trying out new things. See new things as a challenge, not a threat. Fight for what you believe in. Always trust your gut and aim high.