During his apprenticeship as a motor vehicle technician (truck division), it became clear to him that his general interest in machines and his aspiration to higher education should become the basis for his further career path.
In the evenings, he attended technical college, and after graduation, he enrolled in the Bachelor’s course in Mechanical Engineering at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. He followed it up directly with the Master’s degree programme in Mechanical Engineering/Lightweight Construction and directly hit the mark with this education.
“In addition to a lot of technical knowledge, the degree programme also taught me a lot in the area of soft skills. Above all, I learned how to deal with people, to handle stressful situations, and to present myself,” he still remembers the decision he made at the time.
After his first position at Bosch in Hallein, which not only helped him personally but also professionally in project management, he accepted a position at PALFINGER in Lengau. The company clearly had the goal of further developing project management in the area of Special Solutions. He was also entrusted with the management of the largest project to date for PALFINGER Special Solutions (order volume of approx. 1,000 units from a combination of loader cranes and hook loaders). The complexity of the project in terms of project setup was among its greatest challenges. In order to meet this challenge, Alexander Winkler undertook certification as a PMP (Project Management Professional according to the PMI® standard) in 2019 while working, so that the major project could finally be completed successfully – one of his biggest professional milestones to date. And his efforts proved successful – since September 2020, he has been heading the Project Management Office in the Global Sales division at Palfinger.
He has fond memories of his time at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences; even though there were hurdles here and there, he overcame them all. “Personally, the study period was not just a challenge, but also one of the best times of my life. The highlights were not only getting to know each other, learning and celebrating with fellow students, but also developing a close bond with the professors. We were a close group,” he tells.
He certainly recommends his studies to others because he believes that classical education in mechanical engineering is still, in his view, the best starting point for a career in this industry. “All doors are open to you and, depending on your preferences, you can develop within the job in the direction you want,” says Alexander Winkler.