20. Dec 2021

In irregular sequence, we introduce people and their jobs at mika:timing and EST. We talk to them about moments of happiness, adrenaline rushes and important work tools. In this episode, we highlight a common species at mika:timing - the career changer. We find out from Daniel Hoppe how to go from a science degree to the role of a timing project manager.

Daniel, you have a master's degree in physical geography. However, you've been working for mika:timing at various sporting events for over 7 years now and are responsible for timing and logistics in the Operations department. Recently, you also joined our social media team. What does all this have to do with physical geography, or how was your path from geography to mika:timing?

Strictly speaking, my job today has nothing to do with geography, of course, except maybe that I work on events in different countries. My path to mika:timing was similar to that of many colleagues. During my studies, a fellow student told me about the temporary jobs at mika:timing. In 2014, I first started as a temp in production, i.e. enveloping start bibs and transponders, and then I also worked in the areas of participant support and expo services during the following season. There I was also able to gain my first event experience. In July 2015, I then already took up the permanent position as Project Manager Timing.

Is there anything you were able to take away from your studies or previous activities for your work at mika:timing?

I think that above all, open-mindedness and mental flexibility are crucial both in event work and in scientific studies. In research, despite all your prior knowledge, you always have to approach a question with an open mind. You have your theories and tools, but what comes out in the end is open for the time being. It's very similar when planning our events. I have different tools that I can use to prepare for an event, and a sport event basically has a predefined process. Nevertheless, with every event there are special requirements and imponderables that you have to react to and that may not run according to the usual pattern at first.

Why did you ultimately decide to join mika:timing after graduating?

Many things came together. On the one hand, I already knew mika:timing from my 1.5 years as a temp. So it wasn't that far to a permanent position. At that time, I was impressed by the team spirit. For many colleagues here, it's not just a job to earn a living, but a task that everyone enjoys doing together. But the timing was also right in the truest sense of the word. I didn't have an attractive position in the field of research in sight, mika:timing was just looking for a project manager timing and through my temporary work at events, I had already gotten the opportunity to look into other areas.

What were the biggest challenges for you when you joined the company?

Technically, of course, there was a lot to learn first. Since I already knew various departments from my time as a temp, it was especially important for me to put these areas of responsibility into the right context and to understand the links. Of course, you need to have skills in different areas. The fact that some colleagues have taken similar paths, who know exactly what is needed and how to help best when training new employees, makes the lateral entry easy to master.

And we also wanted to know this:

Your adrenaline gets pumping when....
....the race start is just around the corner and then again just before the first athletes cross the finish line. Because then everything has to work perfectly.

The fun factor.... usually very high for me. Also because the humor is definitely not neglected in the work. Thanks to the good mix of "working outside at events" and the planning and follow-up phases in the office, it never gets boring.

The most important tool... probably the laptop, although more and more is also possible with the smartphone. And of course the test transponder, you can't go to an event without it.

Greatest moment of happiness... mika:timing?! Definitely: 12.10.2019, 10:14:40,2. The moment when Eliud Kipchoge finished the marathon in Vienna under 2 hours. I was part of our team on site and still get goosebumps when I see the pictures of the finish. This was in every respect the most extreme event I have ever witnessed.



Are you ready for a career change? Join our team and check out our jobs here!

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