Moritz is sitting at the Customer Center in Oberkochen, surrounded by mighty TV cameras. This is normally the place where customers and visitors are guided through the world of ZEISS' high-precision industrial metrology. But now, a life-sized LED screen reads "ZEISS Innovation Rocks." The digital product launch series for the Metrology division will kick off tomorrow. In a year where all trade shows have been canceled, all eyes will be on the online event – and on Moritz.
"Tomorrow we'll be broadcasting a livestream to an audience of thousands, so every camera motion has to be just right," he says. While trade shows across the globe were being canceled, it was up to the Head of Global Customer Communications at Industrial Metrology and his marketing team to step in: "Suddenly, we had to adapt our product launches for the digital realm – and for live communications." But Moritz knows his way around the digital realm. In fact, it's a skill he's been showcasing since he joined ZEISS as a trainee. Ultimately, the "ZEISS Innovation Rocks" team helped to surpass 2019's record lead figures. Once again, he was not fazed by the many curious eyes following the development of his project.
Moritz realized early on that he was comfortable assuming positions of responsibility. At age 22, the German ski association asked him to join their national team of ski instructors, a team of just 40 instructors across the country. So in his early twenties, Moritz was teaching experienced skiers who wanted to become instructors one day. "I truly learned what it means to be responsible for others – and how to assert myself," he says.
And he's happy to dedicate his time to this hobby - that is, when he's not studying at the European School of Business in Reutlingen, near Stuttgart. He realized back then that "This is a great way to train as a manager while studying. I'm always meeting new people and helping them to improve their skills." So in a way, his hobby helped him prepare for his future career.
I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of a company, by engaging with its technologies and markets. I believed that a trainee program was the logical next step for me.
Moritz is no stranger to leading people. But he still wants to sharpen his business skills, beyond the limits of his degree. His master's in International Business focuses on marketing and includes a placement in Tokyo, so it provides him with a general overview – "but I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of a company, by engaging with its technologies and markets. I believed that a trainee program was the logical next step for me."
And he believes ZEISS offers an ideal opportunity to develop his skills. "ZEISS is a great place for people who want to make a difference. It's a global company – but with just over 32,000 employees, it's the perfect size to really make your mark." Moritz is doing this during his trainee program, where he is benefitting from a key advantage of the program: flexibility. Trainees normally complete three or four global assignments, working on different projects within the ZEISS Group. But Moritz dedicated all of his energies to one project during the trainee program. And he retained his role as project manager throughout. The trainee program can be customized, and that is exactly what Moritz did. "I should mention that it was a one-man project," he says. "But I successfully led the global rollout of an online marketing tool in the Metrology division, which allowed me to get to know many parts of the ZEISS world."
Moritz was on the road during his 15-month trainee program, traveling everywhere from the USA to China to ensure the project was a success. "I'm still benefitting from the contacts I made during the program," he says. As his network grows, so too do his skills, and he is developing his sound and in-depth understanding of the metrology market, the benefits of ZEISS products, and the opportunities to use his marketing knowledge to impact the company's business. Moritz now feels he has the skills to take on even more responsibility: "I was one of six trainees at the company when I joined. So I knew that if I expressed an interest in assuming greater responsibility, I would be encouraged to do so."
After completing the trainee program, Moritz took on more and more project responsibility. And it wasn't long before he was in charge of digital customer communications. Since early 2020 he has been leading the team that forms the control center for global customer communications in metrology.
"My current responsibilities were certainly born of the trainee program," he says. "I always wanted to make a difference, especially from a position of responsibility. And the trainee program was my gateway to doing that." The gateway to a position that would allow him to make his mark on the company. Through "ZEISS Innovation Rocks," for example. And he's happy to take responsibility for that.