Globetrotter whose home is in auditing
Marcel Schmidt has been with thyssenkrupp since 2009. From Essen, his career took him to Detroit and Chicago. In 2019 he returned to Germany. As Audit Manager at thyssenkrupp AG, he is responsible for all auditing activities in the Materials Services segment.
In 2009 Marcel Schmidt decided to take an apprenticeship as a wholesale and international trade specialist and multilingual administrative assistant in conjunction with an integrated degree course at thyssenkrupp Materials Services. Even then, Marcel was toying with the idea of going abroad one day.
After completing his degree and apprenticeship, Marcel continued his career in Controlling, where among other things he took care of risk management for the Materials Services segment and carried out analyses of the individual thyssenkrupp business units. A responsible role with the aim of identifying and evaluating business risks and developing concrete safeguarding procedures to contain these risks.
A new challenge
In April 2013 a new challenge awaited Marcel when joined the Controlling team at thyssenkrupp Materials NA in Detroit. “I always knew that I wanted to work abroad one day,” he says. “I was keen to test myself in a different cultural environment, get out of my comfort zone and experience something new.”
Marcel acclimatized to life in the USA pretty quickly. “In the first few weeks of course everything was really strange, but also very exciting. I soon made friends, both at work and in my private life. Of course I also benefited from the help of my colleagues who gave me their support.”
As Financial Analyst Corporate Controlling in Detroit his role was to analyze financial ratios and develop efficiency programs. He also wrote executive summaries and created presentations for the business area board. An exciting job. But after two years it was time to move on again.
Move to Auditing
“A work colleague at the time said that I was the type of person who should be doing internal auditing. Back then I had no idea of auditing, but I’d seen that a job was being advertised in the Internal Auditing department in Chicago .” His application was successful – Marcel got the job.
As an auditor in the Internal Auditing department of thyssenkrupp North America, Marcel’s task from then on was to audit the individual segments of the group particularly on the American continent. In the audits he analyzed and evaluated the security and efficiency of the business processes of group companies, from purchasing to sales, from quality management to IT systems. “The job provides detailed insights into all core processes of a company and is incredibly varied,” says Marcel.
Another new job that ticked all the boxes for Marcel. “I worked in all segments of the group, including Automotive, Elevator, Marine Systems, and Steel,” he says. Much to his delight, the work involved a lot of traveling. “In this job I’ve been all over the world, traveling to places including Brazil, Mexico, Asia, Saudi Arabia.”
After relocation to the Chicago Regional Headquarters, Marcel returned to Germany in August 2019 to take on his next challenge – this time at the group headquarters in Essen. As Audit Manager Materials Services & Forged Technologies at thyssenkrupp AG, Marcel now coordinates all auditing activities in the Materials Services segment, his first employer. “thyssenkrupp Materials Services is like a family. Some of the people I knew from my apprenticeship are still there. I find that remarkable because it’s not so common anymore. People here are incredibly loyal to the company.”
A responsible and international job
Marcel now reports to the Head of Corporate Audit and as well as leading a three-strong team in Germany he is responsible on a project-related basis for the regional audit teams in North America, China, Italy, and India. “I really love working with my team of highly motivated, diversified and international employees and being able to achieve great results together,” says Marcel.
Variety is another aspect of his job that fascinates him. “Every audit is different. Even if you’ve already audited a business unit ten times, the eleventh audit is sure to be different.” But most of all Marcel enjoys the responsibility he has in his job. “As auditors, we are objective quality managers, analyzing business processes and optimizing them in consultation with the company. The companies use our analyses and for the most part proactively request them. Together we then develop measures that lead to the sustainable improvement of the company. Most companies believe our work adds value and are pleased to have the support of an objective authority with a neutral viewpoint. It’s always a great honor when companies thank us for our work.”
Even though Marcel is happy to be back home, he likes to look back at his six years in the USA. “I’m very grateful for that time and wouldn’t have missed it. The USA has become my second home.” At 32, Marcel is still young. In his career at thyssenkrupp there’s still every chance he will find a third home…