An interview with Thomas Grassauer about the cooperation between Dynatrace Austria GmbH and the University of Klagenfurt.
The cooperation between Dynatrace and the University of Klagenfurt is multi-faceted. Can you tell us what motivates you to work closely with the university?
The University of Klagenfurt is an excellent university. The teaching and research activities in the field of computer science are superb. We have had very positive experiences with graduates from the University of Klagenfurt. 50 per cent of our team members in the lab in Klagenfurt have either graduated from or are currently studying at the University of Klagenfurt. The graduates leave the university with a sound basic knowledge of theoretical concepts. This foundation is conveyed during the Bachelor’s programme and the subsequent in-depth specialisation provided by the Master’s programme (e.g. software engineering) is highly relevant to our day-to-day business. As a result, the learning curve is very steep when graduates first join us. At this juncture, the nurturing of young talent is essential and this is also the main reason for cooperating with the university. We are constantly on the lookout for talent and maintain strong links with the university and other educational institutions.
With the Klagenfurt Scholarship and the Technology Scholarship, you support two outstanding students as they pursue their Master’s degree. What role do these scholarship programmes play in the race for the best employees?
In order to attract qualified employees, we pursue a combination of measures. Connecting with talent at an early stage is particularly important, and we achieve this through the scholarship programmes. In the Klagenfurt Scholarship, the scholarship holders are keen to gain practical experience and we can enter into an exchange. In the best case, they become part of our team within the framework of an internship and eventually go on to work with us as colleagues. In the case of the Technology Scholarship, foreign students are looking for new challenges, seeking contact with the world of business, and aiming to stay in Carinthia in the future. It is important for Carinthia as a business location to create attractive working conditions for people from abroad. Scholarship holders also serve as a source of enrichment for us: They provide an opportunity to gain an outside view of our company, to shape the team in a more heterogeneous way, and to generate new ideas.
Talent marketing is an important issue for every company. What can you tell us about Dynatrace’s recruiting strategy now and in the future?
We intend to maintain our current collaborations with the university and we also have some ideas for our future cooperation. We are currently developing the “Work and Study Programme”, and cooperation with Carinthian educational institutions will be essential here. Our location within the Lakeside Park places us in close proximity to the university, and our colleagues can switch effortlessly between the office and the lecture hall. We create a flexible framework for students so that studying and working are readily compatible and we adjust working hours to suit study schedules. This gives students the opportunity to enjoy an excellent education, get a taste of practical experience and become fully-fledged team members at the same time. Moreover, we are currently awarding prizes for outstanding Master’s and Bachelor’s theses for the first time ever. Students can rightfully be proud of what they achieve in their Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. We aim to highlight this and support students who submit excellent work.
What is your personal connection with the University of Klagenfurt?
I count myself among the alumni of the University of Klagenfurt, and I enjoyed my time as a student very much. I met a lot of people, formed long-lasting friendships and built up a network that I still benefit from today. I got to know many of my current colleagues back in those days. Links to lecturers and teaching assistants are still strong today and over time they have developed into ties that continue to be fruitful in the professional context.
Why would you encourage other companies to cooperate with the university?
Early contact with talent is an essential factor for any company. We gain an insight into how students visualise modern software development and how they see it in the respective company. This early contact means that we can secure motivated employees for the team in the future and we can work with them to advance the issues of the day. For companies, cooperation in the field of education offers the opportunity to establish contact with talents early on. Conversely, we have also succeeded in getting schoolchildren interested in pursuing a university education. It certainly makes sense for every company to seek and nurture this kind of contact.