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      November 29, 2021

      Perfect Match: Ana Duarte explains why Continental best suits her IT skills

      The perfect match isn’t always obvious. For example, what’s techy about tires? At Continental, digital solutions and sustainability are key to our future growth. As one of the world's largest suppliers of electronics, sensor systems, and software in the mobility industry, our company has a decisive competitive edge. The missing piece? IT needs you.

      I joined Continental in May of 2013.

      I’m a coordinator at our IT Solution Development Center in Lousado, Portugal, which is one of a number of tech hubs that we have across our global IT organization.

      We create technology solutions to support our tire plants.

      Our group here at the hub is split into two teams: one that focuses on the development of solutions, including understanding the business’ needs and coding the solutions; the other team provides ongoing support to the plants that are using these solutions.

      One of our main projects right now is developing software that will help us optimize the machines at our plants.

      The software program is able to collect and send data from the machines to the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) telling if the machine is running at peak efficiency, if it has stopped and, if so, why it stopped, production orders, materials validation and machine recipes. We are making it easier for production to obtain more information from the machines, increasing the interaction of the entire chain of manufacturing operations and with this we can optimize the production of tires.

      Continental’s IT team is a perfect match for me because you can see the end result of what you’ve created – you can see the solution working.

      When you are working for a software-only company, you develop it and sell it to the customer, but when you see your solution running and supporting the lives of the people who are using the solution, for me that’s why I prefer being in IT at Continental. I get a big smile when I see the solutions running every day.

      I knew Continental was the perfect match right from the moment I applied.

      I started with our two-year manufacturing trainee program. The description said everything I needed to know that this was going to be the place for me. I had the opportunity to work in the plant, then join the core team at our headquarters in Hannover, Germany, for six months.

      The description of the trainee program made it easy to understand my career path and the countless opportunities to grow and learn. During those two years, I really got to work hands-on jobs and work on every single machine we have in the plant. Being able to understand the plants’ machines from first-hand experience really helps me when we’re developing tech solutions.

      I am still learning every day.

      My learning journey hasn’t stopped during my eight years with the company. It’s never felt like the end, or like I’m stuck on a certain type of work. Also, we are working with a very international team. All the different plants, the colleagues from the central office, and the different opportunities we have to learn from other teams really gives me pleasure.

      After eight years, I don’t even need to look outside the company. I can look inside the company for opportunities.

      What type of person is a perfect match for an IT role at Continental?

      You need to be able to communicate. Of course, the technical skills are very important, but for these types of activities we need to be able to actively listen to our colleagues from the plants and other locations. We need to have the soft skills to learn what, exactly, our colleagues need from the solutions we develop.

      You also need to be able to build relationships within the global team that we have in IT and be open to learning and experiencing different things.

      So, I’d say you should apply at Continental because we always need fresh minds and new energy.

      That helps us continue our journey of growth and development so we can build the strongest IT team possible.


      Coordinator, IT Solution Development Center, Lousado, Portugal

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