Mirka Tanner started out at MOTOREX as an apprentice on the Commercial Employee, Federal Diploma of Vocational Education and Training programme. Today she manages Controlling for the entire Group. In this interview, she tells us all about her career so far.
With its interesting fields of work, a modern infrastructure and friendly corporate culture, MOTOREX is an attractive employer. One of its key objectives in this respect is to bring new talents on board and continue their personal development. But the company also endeavours to support its existing employees through training and individual measures on an ongoing basis.
Mirka Tanner, how did you first hear about MOTOREX, and why did you decide to start your training here?
I was concentrating on larger companies in the hope that it would give me varied insights into the various parts of a company and therefore provide me with a good footing from which I could plan my future career. The job description for MOTOREX appealed to me immediately as it met my expectations precisely and I’d heard of the brand.
Even though it's seen as more of a “manly” sector?
I didn’t even think about that. On the one hand because I knew what I wanted. And on the other because MOTOREX focuses on people, regardless of gender, age or origin. People from all over the world work here. Plus, my decision was based around the company and the brand, and less around the actual product and the generally more masculine customer base.
The apprenticeship at MOTOREX stood out for me as you got to familiarise yourself with all of the various departments – Marketing, Accounts, Purchasing, Sales and Exports. Which department did you like the best, and which had the biggest influence on your subsequent career path?
Every department prepares the apprentices for different challenges and gives them skills in each of the individual areas. When I was in Marketing, for example, I was involved in the preparations and follow-up work for the Mountain Bike World Championships. In Purchasing, I was responsible for cultivating my own portfolio of products. In Finance, I was able to use my affinity for numbers and identifying correlations in my assigned area of responsibility. As apprentices, we gain experience in all of the different departments and so can create an overall picture of the opportunities available and choose the area that best suits us in terms of further training and careers.
Looking back, I found the Finance department the most enjoyable and interesting, which is why I chose to follow this path.
Today, you are the Head of Controlling – how did you plan out your career steps, and what further training did you need in order to reach this position?
After completing my apprenticeship, I attended a preparatory course for the federal vocational baccalaureate examination alongside working in the HR department here. I then spent three years studying full-time at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland in Olten to complete a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, majoring in financial management and controlling. During my studies, I was a temp in the IT department at MOTOREX. In the final year of my training, our CFO offered me a position as a junior controller. As that is precisely my area of interest, I accepted straight away. Now I have spent six years in Controlling and have learnt a great deal about the company and its processes. My existing knowledge from my training and postings in HR & IT also helped me.
You completed your apprenticeship in an SME. In your opinion, where does a smaller company differ from a large industrial enterprise?
In smaller companies, it is much more about the people. The friendly working atmosphere amongst the blended teams means that every person is an important and individual part of the company. And as the company does not employ a specialist in each and every area, each person may have to wear a number of different hats.
What is it like working at MOTOREX, day-to-day?
We have a young and very ambitious team – we really enjoy our work. My role in Controlling is very wide-ranging as MOTOREX is not a giant corporation. We are constantly in contact with the other departments, which gives us an exciting insight into all of the company’s processes.
Are you are working on any special projects at the moment?
For me, every project is special as they enable me to have an impact in the company and make my ideas a reality. We recently introduced a sales controlling cockpit that involves compiling a variety of sales figures into a single overview. I like using simple methods to develop smart tools for our managers that make their day-to-day job easier. These initiatives enable me to make a lasting impact on the company.
Find out more about careers at MOTOREX.