Her forebears were miners, welders, and lathe operators. Like them, Anna Rodriguez Chavez also works at voestalpine, but in a manner they would never have dreamed of.
If Anna Rodriguez Chavez continues to combine her work with her part-time studies so purposefully, then her business card will soon need an extra line for all her academic titles: aged 30, born in Klagenfurt, and the daughter of Austrian and Peruvian university lecturers, the engineer and economist is a graduate engineer with an MBA in Business Law. She’s currently enrolled on a university program for Sales Management Excellence, and you can bet that it won’t be her last academic qualification.
“The main thing is, it’s voestalpine”
Her remarkable technical abilities became clear at a very young age. Her mother says, “She really challenged me in this area.” After leaving school where she focused on languages, Anna studied materials science at the Montanuniversität Leoben, completing internships at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, and the no less famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. Ever since her childhood days, she has wanted to work in industry like her great-grandfather, a miner and welder who served voestalpine all his life. Her grandfather, who trained as a lathe operator at Alpine in Donawitz, was extremely proud when, 60 years after starting his own apprenticeship, his granddaughter began her own career at voestalpine in 2016. Even if he can’t quite envisage what Anna—who started off as a project leader in developing alloy concepts and process parameter optimization—actually does, especially after her move to the High Mobility Pool, “The main thing is, it’s voestalpine.”
Here today, there tomorrow
Anna is very busy in the research & development department where she is not only gaining experience, but also enjoying learning more about voestalpine as a global group. In 2018, she was invited to join the voestalpine High Mobility Pool, the international personnel development program which, once every two years, takes six young academics and puts each of them on a total of 4 placements in different Group companies, each for a period of six months. For someone who is always looking for the next professional challenge as a form of personal development, this opportunity comes at just the right time: “With my technical and business background, I enjoy being able to find out more about voestalpine in a global context. At the moment I’m in Vienna with voestalpine High Performance Metals GmbH where I’m involved in a major transformation project.”
A luxurious nomadic life
This allows Anna to apply both her specialist expertise as well as her extensive language skills. In addition to her second mother tongue, Spanish, she speaks English—of course—as well as French, and some Russian. “High mobility,” the program’s motto, describes both her professional and private life: “I haven’t had a permanent home for one and a half years now, because the program demands that I constantly change location.” The fixed elements in her travels are the local cultural offerings—opera, concerts, and theater—which she attends wherever her work takes her. Plus the long-term relationship with her partner who is based in Germany: “We spend every free minute together at weekends. We enjoy being in the Tyrolean mountains, or traveling, whatever we have time for.”