Sarah Lechner

There are no problems, only challenges.

DiaSys colleagues take the floor. After all, behind every company's success is the story of an employee. From apprentice to professional - in our interview series, they talk about their way to DiaSys, their daily work, give advice and share what makes them unique.

What kind of work do you do at DiaSys and what is your department responsible for?

My name is Sarah Lechner and I have been working at DiaSys since March 2006. I am a group leader in the After Sales Support department. A large part of our tasks is complaint handling for our reagents. Besides, we answer customer inquiries or questions from product management. We also manage small product improvements. The third area of responsibility, which is currently quite large, is a sub-project of the major project "Implementation of the new IVDR [In vitro Diagnostic Regulation]".

How did you become a part of DiaSys?

I came here thanks to a former fellow student. At the time, we had done our chemical engineers degree in Idstein, Germany. She already started working at DiaSys three months before me and wrote to me because she knew I was still looking for a job. That is the story of how I started in the development department.

What steps did you take on the way to your current position?

I started as a project manager in the development department. There, I had the great chance to work on a cross-site project, a cooperation with the University of Hoeven in Belgium. I spent almost a year working in the organic laboratory, partly on site.

At the beginning of 2009, I got my first project leadership with the development of Cystatin C. I took over a group leadership with development collaborators in the fall of 2011. In November 2013, I switched to the After Sales Support and took over the Reagent Support Center group management.

Alongside my job, I completed a master's degree program from the end of 2011 to the beginning of 2013. The company was great about supporting me. I also wrote my master's thesis at DiaSys and integrated it into my daily work routine. Without the company's support, I would not have been able to do that back then.

What makes your working day successful?

Our day-to-day work is very fast-paced. Especially in complaints handling, we are heavily dependent on what comes in. I am satisfied when I leave the office and have an overview of everything that has come in and what still needs to be done. I am not too fond of it when there are e-mails in my inbox that I have only skimmed through or do not know what they contain.

If you could solve a problem and help the customer, that is the icing on the cake. Of course, it is utopian to think that you will go home every day with a tidy desk.

Which song describes you best and why?

Usually, we only have the song title in mind and sometimes it does not have much in common with the rest of the lyrics. But I had the fun of asking around me. My husband said quite dryly "Highway to hell". For his defense, I have to say, he grinned and winked while saying it. ;-)

A friend said, "I`ve got the power" from Snap. This song refers to the fact that I am the handyman in our family.

Spontaneously, what comes to my mind is "TNT" by ACDC because my fuse is pretty long; I have quite a high suffering limit. But once the fuse is burned down, I can be explosive.

Your intranet employee profile says: "I sit in the office where there is an answer to (almost) everything". What can you tell us about that?

Indeed, there is much that I do not know. The sentence is not meant to make the impression that we have stashed all the wisdom here. Not at all. But the fact that we have an extensive network, especially concerning our products' production cycle, means that if something is unclear, we know quite well where to ask or search.

I really do not like hiding behind an "I don't know". I have the ambition to find out somehow anyway.

Were there any professional experiences or setbacks in the past that you consider to be great learning in retrospect?

Of course! I started in the development department and setbacks are definitely part of it. Especially product development is very much a matter of trial and error. At that time, my boss, Dr. Metzmann, always said, "There are no problems, there are only challenges". That has stuck in my mind and most cases, I try to see it that way.

Who is your greatest role model and why?

If I had to choose, I would say Michelle Obama. I read her biography a year ago. Great book; I highly recommend it. My hat is off to her career before she became First Lady. She made her way from her not easy childhood to the person she then was. That determination and "not letting it get you down" is admirable. From a mother's point of view, the balancing act she performed between her children and her White House duties, later on, is great. That strength and authenticity are amazing.

What does your work-life balance look like?

I am lucky to have a good work-life balance. On the one hand, of course, we can organize our working hours flexibly and work from home. That makes many things more comfortable and takes the pressure off. If something is left undone, I easily recheck my e-mails in the evening. I have never had the feeling that I am being torn between my job and as a mother. My daughter is five years old, and no one has ever made a fuss of me when I have only had to be a mother because she was sick, for example.

I also try to create my own little islands. I love to tinker around in my garden, read books and go to the gym once a week in the evening. I meet up with friends regularly, sometimes in combination with the kids. Overall, there is not much to complain about my work-life balance.

To conclude, we would like to know three fun facts about you that make you who you are!

I have a pronounced left-right weakness. Back in driving school, my annoyed driving instructor wrote L and R on the back of my hand before every lesson. I consistently took the wrong turn.

Furthermore, I am completely lost in orientation. I am the absolute stereotype of the navigation-dependent woman. Without a GPS, I am lost. In my hometown, where I have been living since 2000, I still discover connections between certain places, which I would never have thought to be geographically close to each other.

Last but not least: like IKEA for others, DIY stores are for me. When I "have to make a quick trip to the DIY store" because I forgot something, I often come home with a full trunk. It runs in our family. My mother and grandfather have always built and repaired everything themselves.

Thank you very much, Sarah, for your time and openness!