Irena Schindler

Data Scientist in the European IT department

Konica Minolta is a global company with an immense amount of data. As a data scientist, Irena finds ways to make better use of all that information. In collaboration with colleagues from different countries she manages projects where she combines the knowledge blocks from completely different fields in order to create the best solutions for clients' needs.

 

I work as a senior data scientist in the European IT department. I am part of an international team and thoroughly enjoy the global collaboration and networking with my colleagues from Japan and across Europe. Konica Minolta is a global company with an immense amount of data. This means I can make the best use of my skillsets. I'm very enthusiastic about finding ways to optimise approaches and workflows. I keep up to date with machine-learning concepts by attending conferences and completing training courses. Konica Minolta promotes the idea of innovation through education. I'm always supported when I come up with new ideas and need more resources to increase my knowledge. Training and learning are part of your development journey. In team meetings and annual appraisals, managers always focus on employees' achievements and are very supportive in shaping their career paths. I can safely say, after two and a half years, that all the promises I was given at my job interview have been fulfilled. And this isn't always the case in the world of work.
 
I joined Konica Minolta in 2018 straight after my doctorate in computer science. My first job here was as a data analyst. My role was to talk to the business stakeholders, analyse data, detect patterns, present the results and put forward suggestions for the business. Nowadays, I work more as a project lead. I implement product strategy, including product improvements, feature prioritisation, and cost and release management. I have to set deadlines, make sure projects stay on schedule, track deliveries and keep stakeholders updated. At Konica Minolta, I love the fact that I have the freedom and autonomy to act - in line with the goals given by my management of course. The variation in the projects is amazing and no project looks like any other. I had the opportunity for example, to join our "Technology Innovation Programme" (TIP) where I led and co-led a team and won the audience award in 2018 and the audience and jury award in 2019.
 
Besides my job, I have two wonderful daughters who are four and ten years old. They enrich my life in a very colourful way. The flexible work environment at Konica Minolta fits perfectly with my daily life and activities. Juggling work responsibilities with caring for my family means a flexible working arrangement is crucial. I'm delighted that Konica Minolta gives me the opportunity to achieve both my personal and working goals. I don't have to choose between the two worlds. I can have it all.
 

quotation marks

"We gain new experience with new technologies and target the high sustainability standard of Konica Minolta at the same time."

Dr. Irena Schindler

Senior IT Data Scientist Europe, Konica Minolta European IT

My colleagues are open-minded, competent and inclusive


I enjoy the cheerful working atmosphere at Konica Minolta. My colleagues are open, honest and always collaborative. If you need help, it's there. Whatever career stage you're at, there's a level of trust across the board. As a team we can speak out and express our doubts. Our managers and leaders motivate and support us to reach our targets and are clear on the strategy we're following. We always get open feedback.
 
As in many companies, in IT most of my colleagues are men. However, more and more women are joining. In general at Konica Minolta I've never felt differences to be a disadvantage. I've never been confronted with an unfair situation. Colleagues judge based on knowledge and not on looks.
In my opinion, having diversity means gaining input, having different viewpoints and being able to appreciate different approaches to various issues. Everyone at Konica Minolta has the opportunity to contribute to the success of the company.
 

My job has an impact on Konica Minolta’s transformation journey


When you join Konica Minolta, you quickly realise that they're so much more than just a manufacturer! The world is becoming digital. Therefore, transforming into an IT Service provider is absolutely essential to stay competitive. In this rapidly changing environment, the European IT department supports this transformation and develops numerous creative and innovative solutions to enhance our product portfolio. We invest a lot of effort in AI projects in order to automate process flows and detect new business needs. Our goals are to be efficient, accurate and fast.
 
I'm happy to be leading the very interesting and complex Chabot project. We have a big picture of what we want to achieve, but we're planning small packages for release as there are lots of changes in the intermediate development stages. It's quite crucial to plan small portions, to check that the other parts still fit and adjust them as necessary. We also involve our clients, taking their requirements and change requests into account.We test the features we agreed on weekly and decide on those to be developed the week after. It's a very agile way of running a project.
 
At Konica Minolta we also want to respect the needs of our planet. In the SmartChain project for example, we found a way to automate the entire recycling process, combining existing and new technologies to create new data-driven value streams and services. With this solution, customers are given an easy, automated way of recycling used toner cartridges, increasing their business efficiency while lowering their carbon footprint. We took the opportunity to gain new experience with new technologies and target the high sustainability standard of Konica Minolta at the same time.
 
All in all, when I look back, seven years ago the former IT Operations team was only able to manage the maintenance of two hundred thousand devices and six applications. Today we maintain a million devices and provide a broad range of services with three times more applications covering multiple areas such as Artificial Intelligence, full manage service or automation. We really do have the ability to create and innovate.
 

quotation marks

"At Konica Minolta, I love the fact that I have the freedom and autonomy to act."

Dr. Irena Schindler

Senior IT Data Scientist Europe, Konica Minolta European IT

Exchange of knowledge is crucial


Within our walls we have a huge amount of knowledge. However, communication around this knowledge can become something of a bottleneck so we hold regular meetings with different departments to exchange ideas, gather information and extend existing approaches with new features. We also network on a European scale with the help of different platforms exchanging knowledge and ideas.

For my project management I use very powerful applications which allow me to define tasks, set up deadlines, exchange files and create both public and private channels.

In addition, in our various offices we have collaborative workspaces that provide a superb environment to freely exchange ideas.
 

quotes

"Konica Minolta promotes the idea of innovation through education. I'm always supported when I come up with new ideas and need more resources."

Dr. Irena Schindler

Senior IT Data Scientist Europe, Konica Minolta European IT

quotes

"We really do have the ability to create and innovate."

Dr. Irena Schindler

Senior IT Data Scientist Europe, Konica Minolta European IT

quotes

"I can safely say, after two and a half years, that all the promises I was given at my job interview have been fulfilled."

Dr. Irena Schindler

Senior IT Data Scientist Europe, Konica Minolta European IT

quotes

"Konica Minolta gives me the opportunity to achieve both my personal and working goals. I don't have to choose between the two worlds."

Dr. Irena Schindler

Senior IT Data Scientist Europe, Konica Minolta European IT

My main message to you

Konica Minolta offers many opportunities such as networking and collaborating with cross-functional experts across the globe. The company invests in your individual talents and supports you by shaping your skills and providing training courses. On the one hand you'll benefit from a career assistance programme that ensures you achieve your professional goals, and on the other you have the facility to balance your work and home life with ease.
 

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