This post is also available in: German
My name is Marcel Vogel and I am one of the Applications Engineers for drive belts at ContiTech Power Transmission Group in industrial applications.
Let me start with my background. In 2011, I started my dual studies together with more than 20 other students at Continental. The program I chose was named Production Engineering and ended with the Bachelor’s degree in March 2015. During that time, I had the pleasure to work in different departments and business units throughout the big Continental world. Besides Hanover, where my studies and contract were located, I had the chance to work in Northeim and Korbach and as my highlight in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (for a nine weeks project).
Continental enables its staff to connect those foreign assignments with their annual vacation before or after the project in the assigned country. Because of this, I was able to have my first big vacation (three weeks) since I started my studies within the beautiful country of South Africa. Continental pays for the flight nevertheless due to the business trip, which boosts the vacation-budget.
After finishing my bachelor’s degree, I started to work at ContiTech Power Transmission Group as an Applications Engineer and Technical Editor with a 50% part time job. Besides my working days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I continued my studies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Hochschule Hannover to graduate as a Master. As a part time employee in the applications engineering and technical editorship I worked on customer projects together with customers and on our technical catalogues. My customer projects are one of a kind but very different to each other at the same time – the exciting advantage of the industrial segment.
You ask what I am talking about?
There are certain systematics how to handle customer projects, which are always the same – this part seems to be too boring for a blog – but as I said those projects are very different to each other. Industrial applications are chameleonic. With small brushes of vacuum cleaners, over CNC-machines, up to metal disintegrators we are equipping almost all different kinds of applications you can think of. Shelf access equipment, elevators or conveying systems of oil are additional branches we are working in. Due to this, it seems obvious that some applications are more in need of an explanation than others. Therefore, right from the beginning of my job at ContiTech, I travelled to different customers within Germany (which was the market I was in charge of). I visit customers, inspect machines and applications, discuss technical feasibility and so on. Due to this fact, I was able to travel around Germany to places I would not have visited otherwise.
Our fairs are highlights every year. For example the Hanover fair, or as a support for our customer at other power transmission fairs. I get to know many other people and hear new stories every time.
After finishing my Master’s degree, I changed my part of technical editorship to a sales part to get to know the commercial aspects of our business better. Furthermore I was still an Applications Engineer as before, but now with a full time job and a bigger market.
After one more year I got the chance to take over the responsibility for the technical coordination of our applications engineering activities in the Asian and Pacific market. This is still my job. This means I am currently working with 100% of my capacity for the Applications Engineering Department with a 50% share of German and 50% share of APAC’s markets.
In frequently held telephone conferences with the Applications Engineers who are located in their markets (India, Singapore, South Korea, Australia and China) we discuss running and new projects. Within this, I am supporting at topics that are new to my colleagues or, if necessary, I priorize their projects.
At least once per year, I have to travel to China. In the fourth quarter of each year, the PTC China takes place in Shanghai, which is the largest Power Transmission Fair in Asia. Last year, I travelled to South Korea and visited some customers with which we had running projects to discuss about those. Following that I spent one and a half weeks in Shanghai. At first, we visited customers due to the same reason as in South Korea. Afterwards the fair started. Besides a visit to the fair, I held a presentation about our new products and some applications at a customer event. This was a big experience for me – to hold a presentation in front of our biggest customers from Asia.
Not least, I got the chance to get to know my colleagues in person. We had very nice evenings, which not only showed me the South Korean and Chinese culture and mentality, but also the Asian kitchen – which is amazing. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to have a personal travel at this time, due to personal appointments in Germany right after my travel. Nevertheless, I had the chance to see some things in South Korea and China that made me curious for more. Especially Shanghai, in which I had two days in the weekend and found out, that you can see new places again every time. Surprisingly, there are so many green and colorful places as well as many high buildings that are waiting to be explored.
The next PTC CHINA fair is just around the corner. Currently I am planning my next visit to China at the end of October. This time I will be able to combine my business travel with a personal travel. Within this, my partner and I will travel around China to explore the biggest places of interest. Continental’s travel policy is a big bonus. Without the experience last year, I probably did not have the idea to do a sightseeing tour in China.
Continental enables a person to experience great and unimagined adventures. I am happy to contribute my part to this company and to be able to experience so many valuable moments at the same time.
That is why I love my Job!