IT Center Blog

Onboarding – Digitally and with Heart

September 29th, 2021 | by
Two women and a man in a video conference smile at the camera

Xuan Nguyen and Patrick Wawoczy in interview
Source: Own illustration

On board in financial management

Patrick Wawoczy has been working in financial management at the IT Center since April 1 and Xuan Nguyen since May 1. In this interview, the two tell us how they experienced their first time at the IT Center, how their induction went and what it’s like to get to know their colleagues digitally.


Janin: Please briefly describe the IT Center department you work in, which group you belong to and what the tasks of the department and group are.

Xuan: The Administration and Organization Department, or A&O for short, consists of four areas of activity. Personnel management: The colleagues there take care of application procedures, personnel planning, personnel controlling and much more. There is also the project office. This is where all information and the current status of projects at the IT Center are recorded.

The department also includes the management assistance and the financial management. Patrick and I both work in financial management. Our main tasks include procurement, invoice processing and much more, everything that has to do with the finances of the IT Center. Soon we will also take over project controlling for some projects, we are currently still being trained for this.

Janin: How was your first day at the IT Center? What did you experience and how did you feel?

Patrick: My very first day was a bit unusual. Unfortunately, I was in quarantine at the time. Health-wise I was fine, however I had to go into domestic quarantine due to a contact. This was of course not only somewhat unusual for me, but also for my managers. My day then began in the morning with a digital meeting. I was then introduced to the IT Center and then they took care of setting up my duty laptop. A friend picked up my work equipment at the IT Center and brought it over and placed it in front of my door. After I had set up everything else at home, we had a video conference to check to see if everything was working. Due to the circumstances, I was very nervous at the beginning. No personal contact, no saying ‘hello’ in person – accordingly, it was already a strange first day at work.

Xuan: My first day of work started at the IT Center. Michelle Kadansky from HR management gave me a warm welcome and we went through important documents together. In addition to a welcome present with a mug, something sweet, a pen and a notepad, I also received my keys. Afterwards, I was picked up by an employee and together we put together my work equipment for the home office. Once the technical arrangements had been made, department managers Sarina Franzen and Axel Taraschewski showed me around the IT Center’s premises. I was also introduced to another IT Center location. That was very nice, because we were able to get to know each other a bit better on the way there. In general, I was very excited on the day, but that quickly subsided so that I was really very satisfied with my first day at work. Overall, it was a very nice day.

Janin: How did you feel about knowing that you would be digitally onboarded and meeting colleagues and managers online?

Patrick: Xuan and I talked about it together before the interview and it was clear to both of us that it felt like a big challenge at the beginning, but we were very open about the situation. Neither of us had any prior experience with home offices and digital onboarding. Digital meetings were new and getting to know the college digitally was just very different from what we had imagined. I wasn’t even aware from my previous job of all the technical things that are possible, for example, I don’t know the “screen sharing” feature and the ability to have everything explained digitally very easily. The work equipment we were provided with is also really super. The second screen was very beneficial for familiarization. We could follow everything on one screen and on the other we always had a document open to make notes.

It all really worked out very well and our uncertainty was quickly taken away. Getting to know each other in person also worked very well. We couldn’t imagine in advance what it would be like. To be honest, we assumed that in the meetings we would only talk about work and the daily to-dos. We asked ourselves in advance: Will we get to know each other better at all? Can we build trust with each other? You really only see upper bodies, few gestures and facial expressions, which was very unusual at the beginning. But that’s not the case, we maintain regular “face-to-face” contact and get to know each other better as a result.

Janin: How did you like the digital onboarding process? Did you have certain expectations and were they met?

Xuan: In addition to the points Patrick has already mentioned, I would like to add that we were given a fixed contact person at our side. That reassured me a lot, because at the beginning I was really worried about how it would be when I had queries. How do I reach someone from my team? If we had any uncertainties, we were helped immediately. Damir, our contact person, was really always available for us.

Janin: Have you already experienced an induction at another company and if so, did you notice any differences?

Xuan: I have also been inducted in person on site before. Of course, on-site induction was much more personal and the distance wasn’t as present. With digital onboarding, the face-to-face interaction is missing after all.

Patrick: I previously worked at the company where I did my training. In my eyes, the induction there is not comparable to ours now.

Janin: When you look back on your first few months at the IT Center. How did the onboarding go? What went particularly well and where were there still hurdles in your eyes?

Xuan: Onboarding went very well, we were very well received by the staff, everyone was very friendly and helpful. As I said, you also get to talk digitally and get to know each other better personally. In addition, we are both in the fortunate situation that we can work in the office twice a week. So we were able to get to know all our colleagues from the team in person after a while. What didn’t go so smoothly was that there were still a few technical hurdles at the beginning and a few program installations had to be made up for. That was quickly taken care of, though.

Janin: How would you sum up your onboarding time?

Patrick: We have been extremely pleasantly surprised. The best has really been made of the current situation. We are very happy with our onboarding time and have learned a lot.

We would like to sincerely thank Patrick and Xuan for taking the time for the interview, which allowed us to learn more about their onboarding and onboarding process.

Responsible for the content of this article are Janin Vreydal, Patrick Wawoczny and Xuan Nguyen.

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