INV: Nikolaus, what do you actually do at In-Vision?
Nikolaus: Well, originally I started in our optical design group as senior optical designer. This team simulates light paths from mathematical and physical perspectives, determines adequate combinations of optical lenses and develops optimized optical systems. This is the basis of our products if you will.
INV: And why do you say "originally"? What are you doing at the moment?
Nikolaus: We launched several strategic projects during the last year. Since I had already gathered some experience in projekt management before, I was asked if I was willing to take that challenge on a temporary basis.
INV: What does this project management involve?
Nikolaus: Specific details of the project are confidential I am afraid. What I can say, though, is that we set up a cross-functional team to solve a critical problem of one of our major customers. The team spans from development to manufacturing. My responsiblity is to manage that project. I set the project plan, define milestones and deliverables, get input from all relevant departments and communicate results to both, our management and the client.
INV: Sounds like an unusual responsibility for an optical designer. How do you manage this?
Nikolaus: Better and better I would say. In the beginning I was a little overwhelmed with the multitude of challenges. I started in the development department because I like to fiddle things out, get to the bottom of things. In daily project work, however, I permanently need to decide which issues are worth pursuing and which are not. My current work is a lot faster paced and more transactional than classic development work.
INV: Sounds like you're developing new capabilities.
Nikolaus: Absolutely. Everyone likes doing the things they are good at, and what you like to do, you'll eventually be good at. Project management brought me out of that comfort zone which means I learned a lot.
INV: Which things would you like to improve at In-Vision?
Nikolaus: Many of the things that need improvement are being handled already. The amount of flexiblity we have is definitely a big advantage. However, we could use some more structure at the same time. This is aleady addressed, though, as we're bringing in new people with clear responsibilities. In quality management or manufacturing, you could literally feel the change on a daily basis troughout the last months.
"In-Vision is just like a chaotic family - sometimes its a bit of a mess, but people help each other without hesitation."
INV: What do you specifically like at In-Vision?
Nikolaus: Many things, but people in general are remarkable. There are so many colleagues I learn from, and not only from a professional but also from a personal perspective. Many friendships have already been built on this – I meet a lot of collegues also after work.
INV: How would you describe the culture at In-Vision?
Nikolaus: It is definitely like in a chaotic family.
INV: How sow?
Nikolaus: Chaotic because we are growing strongly. This can be a mess sometimes. Yet the relationship between collegues always stays inclusive and supportive. This helps a lot with all the challenges we face. I felt welcome from day one - I think the culture at In-Vision is remarkable. That's why I say chaotic family. Sounds really likeable by the way.
INV: What would you tell someone considering a job at In-Vision's development department?
Nikolaus: The industry we are in, the company itself and thus also the job do have tremendous potential. Apart from that, you'll have numerous opportunities to bring your own ideas to the table and have a say in which way to go forward. On the other hand, you'll need to be ready to take a lot of responsibility.
INV: What are you up to after work usually?
Nikolaus: I like fishing a lot - it helps me relax. I usually do that in the area around, at the river Triesting vor example. Apart from that I love to cook - I would just go shopping for anything really and then figure out which meal I could prepare out of it. I guess the passion for food and cooking came some time during the 17 years I supported my family in their wine tavern.
INV: You've probably also tasted one or the other glass of wine during that time?
Nikolaus: I started quite young actually.
INV: What do you mean by young?
Nikolaus: I don't remember specifically but definitely too young to mention it here.
INV: Alright then, let's leave it at that. Thank you for the pleasent talk, Nikolaus!
Nikolaus: Thanks a lot!