As part of the celebrations marking the 650th anniversary of the University of Vienna, we are presenting several voestalpine employees who graduated from the university. Find out more in the following portrait about Ursula Müller who is responsible for Information Management in the Special Steel Division.
Born and raised in Upper Austria, Ursula Müller attended the Ramsauergymnasium in Linz for eight years before going on to university. After leaving school she came to Vienna to study theater, film and media studies.
Ms Müller, what is, or was, interesting about your degree, and how does it help you in your current position?
The content of my degree doesn’t have any real relevance to my current activities. Naturally, many of the theories and concepts I learnt from that time are helpful, particularly those relating to my journalism specialism. However, one shouldn’t underestimate the ‘secondary activities’ associated with studying: learning to organize yourself, work in teams, carry out research of all types, as well as the chance to develop personally and focus at the same time, through internships, practical training, working with companies or cultural institutions. And in doing so, also to recognize what you don’t want to do.
What moment do you particularly remember from your time as a student?
Basically, I loved my time as a student. And looking back, I’m grateful to have completed my degree when I did. Since then, increasing numbers of students have started studying this subject, although it was regarded as rather ‘exotic’ during my time as a student. I relished every time I travelled to the university premises and my institute, located in the Vienna Hofburg, with its entrance under the impressive Michaelakuppel.
"When I walk through the Hofburg nowadays, I like to think back to that time, and I still talk about it with a certain pride."
What brought you to voestalpine, and when?
I’ve been working at voestalpine since November 4, 2013. I applied directly for an open position.
Please tell us something about your work.
I coordinate communications in the Special Steel Division, both between Group headquarters in Linz, as well as between the Division’s subsidiaries worldwide.
"I like creating networks of subject areas and people, histories and communication channels."
This position hadn’t previously existed in the Division in this form, and the challenge was, and is, to establish it, shaping its role and the range of responsibilities. The job is to highlight the many facets of communication, little by little, and to spread this message. It involves internal communications, proactive communication, and offering support in networking and cooperation, and all via a range of channels. That’s pretty much what the role covers.
What do you particularly enjoy about your job and working at voestalpine?
It’s working together with so many different people, whether colleagues within my own company, with colleagues in Division companies worldwide, as well as those in other Divisions. It’s the exchanges and commonalities, the experiences, creating things together and driving them forward. And then finally seeing the outcome of these activities.
Before I came to voestalpine, I worked for a company with 800 employees for five and a half years where I was responsible for internal communications and designed a product for the consumer sector, although in a completely different industry.
"And despite its size, there's also always someone you can rely on at voestalpine."
“You’re not alone here, but no one will lead you by the hand,” is a phrase I remember from my job interview. This approach demands lots of personal responsibility whilst creating plenty of room to maneuver.
What tip would you give future applicants in your area of operations?
Intuition. Empathy for the variety of personalities with whom you’ll be in contact daily. A curious mind, the ability to question yourself, other people and things, and to have the courage to stand behind new ideas and make them a reality.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I find it interesting and amusing that in 1999 I left Linz to study in Vienna. I got stuck there, and now working for voestalpine has brought me closer to home again. How nicely we come full circle. And thanks to a variety of projects, I’m home in Linz more frequently than I have been in the past 15 years.