From working student to Manager: Pierre’s career at ALDI SOUTH IT

Pierre began his career at ALDI SOUTH IT as a working student in 2014. Now, in his role as IT Manager, he leads the team responsible for the POS systems in the eleven ALDI SOUTH countries. In this interview, he reveals the challenges he faced along the way and the qualities that are important for a successful career at ALDI SOUTH IT. 

Pierre, tell us briefly who you are, how you came to us and what you currently do at ALDI SOUTH IT. 

Pierre: My name is Pierre and I am 28 years old. As an IT Manager, I am currently responsible for the “Managed Checkout” and “Checkout Hardware and Operations” areas. This means that I’m responsible for the almost 40,000 POS systems we operate in the eleven ALDI SOUTH countries. This involves the actual hardware and agile software development. I started in 2014 as a working student in the “Software Quality Assurance” area. After that, I worked as a requirements engineer for a while before switching to project management. After holding the positions of IT Professional, Senior IT Professional and IT Project Manager, I advanced to IT Manager and am now responsible for several IT teams with a total of 16 employees. 

How do ALDI SOUTH customers benefit from your work? And how would they know that you’re the one behind it? 

Pierre: For example, when the debit card payment goes through very fast. When you pull out your smartphone, tap it against the card reader and a second later, your receipt appears. When scanning is particularly smooth. Or when customers can see our modern electronic shelf labels that display prices dynamically, instead of the traditional paper price cards. 

What are the biggest challenges in your current job, what challenges have you faced in your career overall and how has ALDI SOUTH IT supported you in your professional development? 

Pierre: The biggest challenge is the constant transformation. However, it’s also a lot of fun and a great motivator at the same time. In IT, we strive to meet the expectations of both our end customers and our stores. To achieve this, we need to position ourselves properly over the next few years, transform our work and bring new people on board. I don’t see challenges as obstacles, but as opportunities to learn. That’s why I always actively request feedback and listen to it with an open mind. You need a strong network of colleagues, mentors and leaders to build solid professional partnerships. 

ALDI SOUTH IT has always trusted me to find my own way. This makes it more natural and sustainable than if the company used a top-down approach to professional development. This is what I always tell my teams: “We are happy to support you in your development, but we won’t push you to the next level. You have to want to advance your own career.” It goes without saying that we support leaders whenever they need coaching, training, a fresh perspective or someone to bounce ideas off of. In this respect, I see us in a coaching role. I believe that ALDI SOUTH is very committed to this and offers its employees the freedom to develop their skills. 

So, why did you apply for a job at ALDI SOUTH IT in 2014?  

Pierre: Back then, I already knew I wanted to do something in IT. At first, ALDI wasn’t on my radar, even though I grew up in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Then, on my way back from a job interview, I happened to see an ALDI SOUTH IT poster at the bus stop and applied. The interview was very different from the others. I was taken seriously as an individual there. It was the company culture and the opportunities ALDI offered that convinced me to follow my gut and accept the job offer. 

What distinguishes ALDI SOUTH IT from other companies as an IT employer? 

Pierre: Here, you have the chance to provide a service to millions of people in different countries around the world and make their shopping experience easy and efficient. In IT, we develop mobile apps, work together with SAP, handle cash register software development, logistics and customer interaction. The retail sector is so diverse across the entire value chain. And due to our strong growth in recent years, there are many opportunities to help shape processes in every department and team.  Even if someone is looking for a job in a very specialised field, they are sure to find what they are looking for here.  

How has your work developed over the course of your journey and how do you see it developing in future? 

Pierre: Every day is different, a lot of fun and full of challenges. We are a large team, working across departments and countries, and remain closely aligned with our traditional corporate values. We want to develop ourselves further every day – to become more agile, and give even more responsibility to the teams. That’s what makes it so exciting for the future. 

Last question: What advice would you give your younger self as a working student on how to build a successful career as an IT Manager? 

Pierre: Seek out feedback every day and trust your instincts 😉

Thanks for talking to us, Pierre!

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