From working at the petrol station to a job as a civil servant

Tobias Pötzsch was head of a petrol station. But he didn’t want to spend his entire career between the pump and office. Today he is a Consultant in Strategic IT Procurement at the Procurement Office of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. He was supported in his transition by the distance learning programme of the IUBH.


During my studies in business administration and a dual Bachelor’s Degree, I entered my parents’ petrol station business early on and was then able to take over my own AGIP service stations. It was logical for me to put what I learned from my studies into practice. But because personal development is important to me I quickly came to the conclusion that I needed a Master’s Degree to achieve my goals. That’s how I ended up choosing the Master of Arts in General Management at the IUBH distance learning programme. The practicality and the modular structure were convincing.

During my studies I was chosen by my fellow students to be a student representative in the examination board at the IUBH. Our main task was to monitor compliance with the examination regulations. We also handled special cases, in particular applications for equivalences and opposition procedures by students. Strategic development of the examination system was also a topic. We managed to lay the foundations for online examinations during my time. And I was also able to learn a lot for myself and my professional life: Where else can you get involved so directly in building and developing a university and gain insights into the decision-making process for applications?

IT-related position at the German Weather Service

I came to IT because of a personal interest, because I have always found setting up processes involving IT to be a lot of fun. When I was looking for job opportunities, I found a job at the DWD, the German Weather Service, with a high IT-related component, which was compatible with my studies. I was also tempted by the possibility of being a civil servant and having a secure job for my remaining professional life.

After a multi-stage selection process, where not only my expertise but also my social skills and my health were tested, I was successful. And in 2013, I started working at the DWD. Health aspects are important for civil servants, because you are committed to the position your whole life. My employer was happy with the fact that I was continuing my studies – and he supported me as part of my Master’s thesis. So I was able to write an organisational concept for the optimisation of the procurement process in the DWD and implement it later. In addition to the theoretical knowledge, I also obtained the necessary qualification for the higher non-technical service through the Master’s programme.

At the DWD, I was responsible for the strategy papers on IT procurement bundling in the federal government. So I got an early insight into the structure of the central office for IT procurement (ZIB for short). It was similar at the time to a start-up among civic offices. The ability to shape things here appealed to me so much that I seized the opportunity, as a job at the procurement office of the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Bonn was advertised.

Study knowledge usable daily

One of my core tasks is the organisation of departmental and cross-departmental processes for ZIB in the Procurement Office of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. This also includes coordination with customers and IT service providers and IT consolidation measures.

I am helped in particular by my technical training from my selected specialisations in my daily work. I was trained in project management and controlling. In the context of the designing processes, it is becoming increasingly important to steer various stakeholders and to present an overall planable approach. My knowledge of controlling helps to make the successes of our daily work measurable and to be able do this in a structured way.

Being able to schedule my studies as needed coupled with the excellent preparation of the educational content really convinced my that the IUBH was for me.


Tobias Pötzsch is Consultant for Strategic IT Procurement at the Procurement Office of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. He studied at the IUBH distance learning Master of Arts in General Management programme until 2015. In his spare time, he works as a referee for handball and American football and enjoys diving.

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