When your hobby becomes your job

#004 Snackbox with Nick Erber

For the latest episode in our Snackbox podcast, presenter Rufus met with Nick Erber from the IT team. Nick has been working in Herdorf for an impressive 11 years now. After securing his school-leaving certificate, he opted for an apprenticeship at Thomas instead of going on to university to study computer science. Two and a half years later, he was a fully qualified IT specialist for system integration and took up his new role as a Technical Administrator.

But the desire to study never left him, so Nick decided to enroll on an extra-occupational course at Siegen University of Applied Sciences for Economics and Management. From his interview with Rufus, it soon becomes clear that juggling a full degree program with a full-time job is a challenge, even with an employer that supports its staff and trusts them to manage their own working hours. But it would seem to pay off: Nick obtained his master’s degree last year and has had a new role since October 2022, heading up an IT service design team. He and his colleagues are in charge of developing IT software that Thomas isn’t able to source from external suppliers.

Nick got into IT in his youth, via computer games. After all, knowing computers inside out is a must for gamers. Ultimately, a gaming PC has to meet specific requirements in terms of power and performance. Nick would go on to more or less teach himself to code as part of a final-year project at school. But anyone who might have Nick down as an IT nerd who never leaves the house couldn’t be more wrong. He loves mountain biking and jogging through the woods – even in winter in the case of the latter, provided he has got his thermals on. If that wasn’t enough, he is also a committed trainer, sharing his knowledge with the next generation of experts.

Needless to say, there is much more you can learn in the podcast. About artificial intelligence, how it is changing work at Thomas and what new opportunities it is opening up. About Nick’s plans and dreams for the future. About a great project for school leavers where Thomas apprentices turn the STA philosophy into reality with two glasses, a jug of water, and a whole bundle of equipment. You will also find out why Nick shares a nickname with his favorite snack. Curious? Then don’t miss out – listen in!