Program Manager at HBPO: A few (more minor) detours on the road to a dream job!

At HBPO, you don't necessarily have to have a university degree, never mind a PhD, to climb the career ladder. What you do need is hard work, dedication and passion for the job, disciplines that the 40-year-old mother of two masters extremely well.

Like every project, every career path at HBPO is unique. Katharina started her career in the sales department and eventually found her dream job in HBPO's Program Management group. She started work as an assistant and worked her way up the ladder to become a program manager, putting in a lot of hard work and commitment. For eleven years now she has been sharing her fascination for the fast-moving automotive industry and for our innovative product – the front-end module. HBPO has been with her every step of the way and always has encouraged her in her endeavours to achieve.

As an experienced program manager she knows best that there is no magic formula for project success. Rather, the ingredients for success are flexibility, openness and communication. A good PM has a sharp mind and can assess complex situations quickly and precisely, like Katharina can.

The special attraction is great diversity and variation! The plans agreed in the morning might have changed quite completely by lunchtime. In such cases, Katharina's communication skills and flexibility stand her in particularly good stead. It is her task to accompany a project from its early days through to a successful conclusion, in our case through to market launch and beyond. Here, she works with and manages an interdisciplinary team. It is important to her to gain the trust of the team and work with them towards a common goal.

On a normal working day, "Katharina puts out a lot of fires". Alongside processing emails, holding meetings for her projects and exchanging information with customers, she always keeps an eye on the costs and has new project changes evaluated. She pays special attention to a target-oriented and systematic procedure because the devil is so often in the detail in project work as elsewhere too. In other words, it is her task to assess complex situations quickly and precisely and track down any weak spots with enthusiasm, all within her 30-hour work week. As program manager she is out and about a lot, primarily to clarify the necessary details on site in the plants and with customers.


And life is demanding at home, too, where she organises her day-to-day family life, which also requires the wife and mother-of-two to be extremely flexible. Thanks to the child-care services offered by our parent company and support by her parents-in-law, she manages the balancing act between professional and family life very well. Katharina and her husband are a well-practised team, too. Their business trips are always planned, so that one of the parents is always at home with the children. HBPO provides support with a tailor-made working hours model. Starting work again after two periods of parental leave was made as simple as possible for her.

She balances her daily marathon by relaxing with a book in the evenings. Or simply spends quality time with the family.

We think Katharina is a real superwoman with a function!