My name is Felix Spranger and I went for practical training to the German company Schüco International KG. The company is market leading solution provider in the field of window and facades and receives a great reputation globally. The company was and is involved in many of the biggest construction projects of the world, and Schüco products count as the reliable choice.
From the beginning, I experienced a challenging work atmosphere with very flexible schedule and work hours. A big part of that time is spent on traveling and meeting costumers personally, who are often spread all over the country. It was a totally new experience to use a car or Hotel as office and being eventually many days “on the road”.
The work itself was mostly costumer based, including tasks like preparing for meetings and gathering information, which was often very technical. I definitely benefit from my background as a construction mechanic at that point, by having a core understanding of technical drawings, questions about material choices and fire prevention. Also answering customer requests and/or providing them with updates about recent developments was a common activity.
A very difficult part was the fact, that many customers especially if they have been already in contact with Schüco for many years are treated in a very personal way. This form of customer contact is definitely hard to adapt for a trainee, who is new to this business and definitely requires plenty of time and observation.
On the other side a big part of the learning is also to master the skills of how to approach decision makes on the phone who don’t know your company and services yet and gain a good relation even under time pressure. Especially in the beginning it was a good strategy to listen to the key-account-manager and asking about own strategies to adapt them into the own practices.
Within the later process, more and more coordination tasks came into the schedule. When the needs of certain customers get more clear to the trainee it is easier to solve them, and the contact becomes more personal. Especially the communicative part and the extremely high amount of self-management that was required from the first day was a great challenge to learn from, overall a very teaching experience.
Author: Felix Spranger