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atriga personalities: Lasse Kühl - From apprentice to head of the Customer Service (Part 1)

This is not a ‘rags to riches’ story. But it makes two things clear: Germany’s innovative SME sector still offers exciting career opportunities – and a successful career at the same company is far from being a discontinued model. A good example is Lasse Kühl: he started as a trainee at atriga in Langen in 2005. Since the end of 2019, he has been Head of Customer Care.

 

Apprenticeship at the last minute

Lasse Kühl, born in Frankfurt, is running late when he applies for an apprenticeship in the summer of 2005 after graduating from high school, doing nine months of military service and dropping out of university. He received a series of rejections, most of the positions had already been filled. On the Internet, which was still relatively new at the time, he found a job ad for atriga GmbH for an apprenticeship as an office clerk – today a clerk for office management. He applied and was promptly invited for an interview. Lasse Kühl reports: “I was about to turn 24 and atriga was also still a very young company. After the first interview, there was a trial day with short tests, and soon afterwards I was accepted. In August, I was able to do a one-month internship before the actual training started in September.”

“Thanks to the support of a great team, I have always been able to master the increasing, exciting demands and challenges very well.”

Lasse Kühl

Lasse Kühl, Head of Customer Care at atriga

 

Thrown in at the deep end

Instead of making copies and coffee, Lasse Kühl gets to know all areas of the company right from the start: he familiarises himself with the activities of the employees in the in-house contact centre, supports the sales department and helps in the support of atriga’s clients. Kühl recalls: “I was very quickly integrated into the daily business of the various departments, but the focus was on client support. That was also a good fit, as this area has always interested me.”

 

IHK examination with distinction

The apprenticeship is designed to last two and a half years, but Kühl is able to shorten it to two years due to his good performance and passes the final examination in summer 2007 with an overall grade of “very good”. Afterwards, he was awarded a prize by the IHK in Offenbach for being one of the best in his year.

 

Responsibility from day one

Lasse Kühl would like to stay at atriga, which the people in charge in Langen also think is a very good idea. Consequently, they reach an agreement after only a short conversation: Kühl signs his employment contract, stays in his favourite area and takes care of the diverse and varied concerns of atriga’s clients in Customer Care and Customer Service. He also supports the sales department and the back office, i.e., the administration. His first official title is ‘Sales Assistant’: “I was gradually given more tasks, the responsibility grew and since 2008 I have also been involved in tenders,” reports Kühl, “thanks to the support of a great team, I have always been able to master the increasing, exciting demands and challenges very well.”

 

The path to a management position

Since December 2019, Lasse Kühl has been ‘Head of Customer Care’, although this new German term only inadequately describes his very different areas of responsibility. He can do that much better himself: “Since its founding in 2003, atriga has been on a steady and continuous growth course,” says Kühl, “which means that the number of employees is also growing. In sales, I support my colleagues in planning trade fairs and events, prepare newsletters for our customers and work with our creative minds on atriga’s social media channels. First and foremost, of course, I look after our clients, but in the meantime I have also taken on responsibility for personnel and take care of applications, conduct interviews and prepare employment contracts. During the large-scale office expansion in 2019, I acted as a kind of all-rounder, coordinating the tradesmen and helping to select the new furniture. This year, another expansion is planned, and we are also making our contact centre one of the most modern in Europe. So, there’s never a dull moment at atriga!”

 

Read in the next atriga newsletter how the career of Lasse Kühl’s career continues.

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