With locations all over the world, the HAHN Group offers a large network. In the following article, four employees report on their exchange experiences between international sites.
Carlos, Project Leader Assembly HA DE AS, came from Mexico to Rheinböllen
Efrain, Junior Software Engineer Controls HAHN Automation GmbH, came from Mexico to Rheinböllen
Kresimir, General Operations Manager HAHN Automation S. de R.L., came from Rheinböllen Germany to Zagreb Croatia, and afterwards to Queretaro Mexico
Johannes Philipp, Project Leader Assembly HAHN Automation GmbH, came from Germany to the Czech Republic, and afterwards to Mexico
What was your reason for this experience?
Carlos: I wanted to learn more about both – the work at HAHN Automation in Rheinböllen and the German culture. I believed that it was a good opportunity for my professional and personal development.
Efrain: I wanted to continue growing as a professional and as a person. My boss gave me this opportunity and I said yes to it.
Kresimir: I am an open person who is always searching for new challenges. The dynamic of our work means we could never have the same day twice.
Johannes Philipp: A colleague told me that they didn´t find someone for the job yet and I felt like doing something new. I spent 2 weeks visiting the location and then joined the team for 4 years.
How was the experience with your new colleagues? Did you feel well integrated?
Carlos: I always felt welcomed, even though it took me some time to adapt. By the time that I arrived, I did not speak neither understood the German language that much. Now I can do it a little bit more than before. Everyone is nice, helpful and willing to collaborate. I feel integrated with the team and I enjoy my days at work.
Kresimir: Since I have started at HAHN Automation in Germany, I have always had a feeling that we are one family. As a foreigner coming to Germany, without knowing language, all the team members accepted me very well.
Johannes Philipp: In the Czech Republic, it was very difficult at the beginning because of the language. The people were very skeptical. After a year, I did an intensive language course and then I could communicate even with the 50% who did not speak English at all. That made a huge difference. People really appreciate it when you learn their language. It opens up a completely new range of opportunities.
Did this experience improve your technical skills? Did you get to know new technologies or processes?
Efrain: HAHN Automation in Germany is bigger than HAHN Automation Mexico. Here you can find more projects, more technologies, more specialists, more processes. If you have any technical issue, there are more people available that you can ask for help. I have had the chance to collaborate in projects made for different customers worldwide.
Johannes Philipp: Technically, we learn new things with every project. The Czech Republic has a different way of thinking than the Germans. You have to find a common basis for that. That is not always easy, but you also have to realize your goals and never stop learning.
What was the one thing you benefit the most of?
Johannes Philipp: Definitely the interaction with people and I lost the fear of trying new things. I have seen that everything is possible.
Would you recommend an exchange to other employees and why?
Efrain: If they have the opportunity, they just need to take it. They must not be afraid of the people, the country or the language. They need to know that they will learn a lot and they will find out how people live. This can help them growing professionally and improve themselves personally.
Kresimir: Do not be afraid to try new things and to take opportunities that scare you. It is a big learning experience.
Thank you for the interviews!