My name is André Puetz and I am Head of Biotransformation & Bio catalysis in the Engineering & Technology department of Bayer. Like many young people who have just finished school, I wasn’t quite sure at the time what I wanted to do in the future. Vocational training or university, humanities or science? And where could I work in the future?
A globally operating company like Bayer wasn’t really conceivable for me, at least at the time. Can such a large company really offer each employee individual opportunities? Hardly! Today I know that I was wrong. That’s because Bayer offers a wide range of different development opportunities – individually plannable and adaptable.
Off to college and then the next step: biotechnology – preparing me to join Bayer
As a person with diverse interests, I looked at various courses of study and ultimately decided on a diploma program in biotechnology at Braunschweig Institute of Technology. In my studies, I particularly liked both the combination of biochemical principles and molecular biology methods as well as their technical implementation. For ecological reasons especially, I wanted to use cells or cell components as a catalyst to carry out reactions in mild conditions.
Since the university wasn’t sufficiently applications-oriented, I transferred to the private sector at the end of my studies so that I could complete my diploma thesis on fermentative enzyme production at a large German detergent producer. I would describe my experiences during this time as positively formative, as I had the opportunity to get to know a particularly well-coordinated team that still today serves as a good role model for me with regard to constructive performance-oriented cooperation. My work was apparently convincing, as I was given the opportunity after finishing my diploma dissertation to complete my thesis in the same company within the scope of an industrial cooperation. During my doctoral work, I concentrated on the protein biochemistry of industrially interesting enzymes – thus laying the foundation for my work at Bayer.
A part of the big picture and a professional home
Shortly after earning my doctorate, I joined Bayer as a postdoc. Despite the experience I had gained in industry, I still had much to learn: new colleagues, new processes, new topics and much more. Right from the beginning, I received preparation for my new tasks with the help of my supervisors and colleagues, as well as through training courses. And that’s one thing that hasn’t changed: those around me always encouraged me to undergo suitable training measures. So far, for example, I’ve been able to gain further valuable experience as a scientist, project manager and auditor. I was able to take over a small scientific group after five years and further build it up in the years thereafter. I received good preparation for my leadership role and have the opportunity to further develop my leadership and management qualities. So far I’ve never had the feeling that Bayer is “too big” for me. On the contrary, I get the impression that Bayer is trying to make me bigger as a person and in my function.
In the following video, I give you an insight into our department biotransformation & bio catalysis:
Today, after more than 10 years at Bayer, I still have substantive challenges to overcome and a lot of new things to learn. But now I’m faced with another challenge that I would never have imagined back when I was finishing up with school: to be occupied with my career while still having time for my two sons. Both aspects are possible at Bayer. Bayer isn’t the least bit too big for me – on the contrary, Bayer allows me to grow and enables me to satisfactorily balance my family with my career.
This post is also available in: German