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Andreas - Head UX Design

Rural areas tend to be associated with problems such as talent exodus, skills shortage or a remoteness from innovation. Whether in the start-up scene or creative centers, the trendsetters and the innovative elite are always based in a metropolis. Did we say ‘always’? “In the digital world, the discussion about location is increasingly taking a back seat. At the end of the day it’s irrelevant where the server is based and where an email has been sent from. It’s definitely no longer necessary to live in a big city to lead a modern lifestyle,” says Andreas, Chief Designer at GK Software.

I was attracted by the opportunity to work for an international company with very high standards of design and quality

Three years ago, he moved back to the Vogtland region. Born and raised in Plauen, after studying in Dessau he had worked at large companies in Berlin and Munich but Vogtland was now the next stop on his career journey. However, it was not homesickness or family ties that prompted him to return to the region. “I was attracted by the opportunity to work for an international company with very high standards of design and quality,” says Andreas. He was particularly drawn back to Saxony by the challenging tasks and the scope for his own ideas in his new job. This role is no different to what he has previously done for the big-city companies. “The local town may not be very ‘urban’ or dynamic but the company itself is. My work within GK is at the same level as it would be if I were working in a metropolis,” says Andreas. After all, although the software company is based in Schöneck, its customers are located in the likes of Hamburg, Munich, Zurich and even Moscow. And GK Software employs colleagues from all over the world because the company has expanded rapidly, both physically and globally – to the extent that it now has subsidiaries in the USA and South Africa.

 

Demanding and challenging professional role outside the major cities

Apart from the firm’s dynamism, this historic region of cultural heritage also offers a very high quality of life. That’s why, for example, Andreas can be seen cycling to work every morning through the picture-postcard countryside. In line with its role as a holiday destination, the region offers numerous opportunities for lovers of sports or relaxation, theater, saunas and lakes – all against the backdrop of a picturesque mountain landscape. Many of the employees at GK’s headquarters much prefer working in such splendid surroundings over being based in a large city, because the region has plenty for them to do in their free time. There is a lot of industrial heritage, serving as a reminder of the economic boom in the Vogtland region in the early 20th century when the textile and musical instrument-making industries flourished in the midst of the local countryside. Today, a new innovative industry is now emerging in many places. “GK is a beacon for the region, but it would of course be good for Vogtland as a whole if we would have a dozen or so more companies of this caliber based here,” says Andreas. “I actually regard myself as privileged to be able to do the job that I do in the place that I do it.” Because he has found the ideal balance between a modern, highly qualified role on the one hand and family and free time on the other – and in his home town at that.

 

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