Mirjam Milsch

Strategist for Automobile Production

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: We build light transportation vehicles, such as the iconic "Bulli" (VW Transporter) or the Caddy. In the future, we want to provide mobility to anyone in any affordable shape or form - not just produce cars!

I try to find out TODAY what's best for our production sector at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles TOMORROW (and beyond - mostly looking at time frames 5-10 years ahead). I am analyzing future trends and ongoing technological developments to arrange our actions today for a sustainable future of our production. I communicate a lot ... like a lot ... and bring people together that need to talk to each other.

I am in a very unique position in our company. There's only one spot for this position, that I am currently filling - that's very exciting in itself. What I love most about my job is the networking part. I get to talk to so many different people and broaden my horizon on a daily basis. Being in this position, I get out of my little bubble and get to look into other people's activities in- and outside of our company. I can be creative with workshop concepts, but also new media like LinkedIn, podcasts, and so forth. Also, I can dig deeper into the fields that interest me the most: Technology & innovation, digitization, new work culture, people development, sustainability, etc.

There's no day like the other to be honest! Since I communicate & network a lot, my typical day is filled with a lot of different meetings that start around 9AM. I get to my desk before that, though, to sort out my tasks for the day and the week ahead. Since the field of an automobile production is so diverse in its topics (e. g. culture vs. technology), I have to prepare myself for a bunch of different conversations mentally and physically with work materials etc. I have to look at my To-Do-list multiple times in a day to stay on top of all the different topics. Meetings can go deep into the afternoon sometimes. But, if there are none, I use the time to either come up with new concepts for workshops, technology fields, etc. or work on communication concepts (podcasts, articles, etc.) OR (but that's rather rare) educate myself on a new skill or topic. The good thing is that I can mostly arrange my time how I like. I have an amazing female boss who gives me a great deal of freedom with just enough control. Once a week, we also have a team meeting and several coffee chats throughout the week.

I started my learning and study journey with the company that I work for now through a dual study program. This enabled me to look in different fields & branches within our company and get a hint of what I like/don't like. I studied business/industrial engineering through Volkswagen, which also gave me a broad look at different fields in business & mechanics. Through my studies, I wasn't really a specialist at anything. I knew a little about different things - that's also a strength! My first "real" job was in our industrial engineering department within a team that was just being built-up by my first female boss (who was and is an amazing person I look up to). I actually didn't apply for that job in specific. (My application targeted the assembly planning department.) Through funny circumstances, she found out about my application and actually reached out to ME if I wanted to work for her in this new team! The position PLUS the new team situation were both very attractive to me, so I said yes. I worked in that department for 7 years total - 3 different car projects, 2 years abroad in Poland, and 1 journey to become a valued specialist in industrial engineering, alongside great great coworkers the whole way! After 7 years, it was time for something new. Just when I picked up that thought of switching departments, it was like the universe heard my calling. One of the ladies I had known through our women's network reached out to me if I wanted to take over her position. We talked twice about what she's doing as a production strategist, I met her boss and it was a done deal. I am glad that I was able to come into this more broadly arranged working position as a production strategist coming from a specialist position. I am able to bring in all my knowledge from my previous position into this new role. I know exactly how production planning processes work and where a lot of pain points in production lie. Without this deep knowledge and the network I established throughout the years, I wouldn't be able to perform so well in my new job. What I've also learned along the way: Staying true to yourself and your core values is extremely important. Be authentic and nice to the people you cross paths with. Chances are, you'll meet them again! This is especially true for big companies - as weird as that may sound.

Everything that I want it to! Honestly, I believe that I can do everything that I put my mind to. Through my current job, I get to look into so many different fields that I am lucky to choose from them. What I am finding out is that digitization and coding are very interesting to me (not a coincidence, as a former gamer girl). Maybe this is where my future job lies; we shall see!

I love to do a lot of different things in my free time. First of all, there's sports: My favorite sport is basketball - with a passion! I also love running and am planning my first half-marathon in 2022. You can also find me in the gym in between the weight racks. I love being outdoors to hike or go SUPing (stand up paddling). Germany offers a great deal of forests and rivers/lakes. Our planet is truly amazing! Through hiking and paddling, I am experiencing nature from a new angle. (I used to hate hiking as a kid!) On the other hand, I love cooking and especially baking; anything that nourishes the body nourishes the soul - that I am sure of. I love to read but honestly don't take enough time out of the busy days to pursue this hobby. I am currently re-discovering my gamer girl roots. (I used to play Playstation and Nintendo as a young girl.) I start up my Playstation and computer more often these days to play different games. One of my new hobbies are riddles in the form of exit rooms/escape games - I LOVE those! No matter if it's a real exit room or a board game or an online game - I am in. Game nights are super fun!

"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." Mother Teresa