From apprentice to manager – nothing unusual at nox.
First an apprenticeship, then a cooperative work-study degree program, and now the position of Director of Operations Germany: Alex planned his career and reached his goal, all at the same company. You can read more about his career and the decision to work at nox here in the interview.
Alex, you started out at nox as an apprentice and now you are Director of Operations Germany.
What made this career advancement possible?
After completing school, I wanted to earn my own money, so I decided on the apprenticeship as a forwarding agent. That was at TNT Innight, which spun off from the TNT concern in mid-2016 and became nox NachtExpress. After I finished my apprenticeship, nox offered me a traineeship that included financing studies in a dual work-study programme. Of course, I agreed at once, since I had always aimed at getting into management. So I was able to study International Management at the FOM University in Cologne while gaining professional experience at nox. That was perfect for me: I could get my bachelor degree and at the same time go on earning money and furthering my career. Of course, I didn’t rise from trainee to department head at once, there were a few steps in between. But I was able to take care of some larger projects while I was still studying, and my job experience was a perfect way to become prepared to take on my current management responsibilities.
You studied International Management.
How did that ready you for your career?
During my studies I gained a broad basis in business administration that still helps me every day. The topics at the university were closely tied to the real working world. So I was able to learn a lot very quickly and could develop my talents that way. Many of the lectures were held in English, which helped improve my fluency in the language. And I am still profiting from the intercultural competence that I was able to gain during my studies, for example when dealing with international customers.
Now you are Director of Operations Germany.
What exactly does that mean?
We ship up to 160,000 items every night – everything from car bonnets or tractor tyres to surgical instruments. The goods are delivered by 8 a.m. and 85 percent of them even before 6 a.m. That is before our customers are at work. That is why we deliver them to pre-arranged, lockable delivery sites. All the necessary parts are then available when work or production starts. Our transport network with 22 depots has to work perfectly, with fair conditions and the best possible level of quality. It’s my job to ensure exactly that.
Would you recommend a dual work-study programme to others?
Absolutely! The dual studies jump-started my career. Sure, studying while working or during training is a challenge. I was at work three days a week and spent two whole days in the lecture halls, and then had homework to learn the material. But looking back I can say that it was definitely worth it! Graduates from a classical university are generally not really prepared to start out working, since they only know the theory. On the other hand, I was able to connect theory and practice and start growing into my job while studying.
You have been working at nox for some time now. What would you say is the reason you have stayed with nox?
Nox is an interesting and many-sided company that has fostered and challenged me again and again. The broad scope of work and the opportunities it presented have driven me to give my best every day. Along with my colleagues, whose enthusiasm helps make it easy to enjoy work every day, it is logistics itself that fascinates me as the most challenging field to master. Nighttime Express is simply exciting.