Be brave to make a change

by Nancy Chen, Application Engineer
     

How time flies! I’ve been back in China for over three months, but I still think that I have to take the Line 2 bus to go to the office in Wels tomorrow morning. My six month stay in Austria was not only for training, but also a precious experience in my life. After all, not everyone is lucky enough to be hired by a good company like TGW and get the chance to be trained and also work abroad.

Just after I graduated from my graduate school, I started to work at TGW China. I worked in the office in Shanghai for six months, and then I got the chance to go to Austria for the Applications Engineering training at the end of February. This was my first time abroad and before the departure I was really worried about how I will survive in a country that is so far away from my hometown, and where I am not familiar with the language. When I look back now, I can say I was a total worrywart. Things will eventually sort themselves out.

I still can remember the afternoon when I finally arrived in Austria after a more than ten hours flight. It was still cold at that time, but the lovely sunshine swiped all my tiredness away instantly. On large areas of grassland, small villages with European-style houses appeared every once in a while, you could even see wild deer and rabbits running around. The beautiful scenery outside the window made me feel like falling into a fairy tale.

During my stay in Austria I got to know a lot of nice people from whom I’ve learned a lot. My mentor at TGW is a very serious worker. He helped me to complete my knowledge in the AE field and showed me the right attitude we should have at work. I also met a lot of enthusiastic colleagues here who come from many different countries. We studied and made progress together; we brainstormed a lot, everyone was always creative enough to have different solutions for the same problem. Besides working, they also helped me to adapt to life in Austria very quickly, which made me no longer feel lonely in this totally strange country.

Besides doing AE routine work in the office, I also had some trainings on practical side. I got a chance to work in the production area. I did some simple assembly work under the guidance of experienced workers. Honestly, to work in production was much more tiring than to sit in front of the computer all day long, but I should admit that it’s well worth the time. Without this special training, I could only imagine how our machines work with pictures and animations. It’s helpful for us to have a better understanding of our products. I also went to some customers in Germany for site visits which showed me what it looks like when our drawings get realised, and also reminded me to pay attention to some details about the realisation phase when I draw the layout in the future.

As a big fan of traveling, how could I refuse the attraction of the beautiful scenery here? I made full use of my spare time to travel around. Snowy mountains, lakes, churches, bridges, different kinds of museums… exotic but amazing. As for food and culture, you can find some interesting differences comparing West and East. Everywhere you can find churches instead of temples; people seldom cook vegetables as a dish but like to eat salad; people like to live in houses rather than high-rise buildings and apartments; all shops are closed just at the same time when they should be the busiest in China… At first I was not familiar with the customs here so I made a lot of funny mistakes. However, the people here are really warm-hearted, even strangers would like to give me a hand.

The six months training passed by really fast, sometimes it feels like a dream which just happened yesterday. But I’ve gained a lot of knowledge which is helpful to my work after I got back to China; a lot of friendships which will last forever; a lot of memories which I can cherish for my entire life. To me, I was brave enough to face a different life and I didn’t waste my time, that’s enough. I hope I can have more experiences like that in the future.

Nancy Chen

Application Engineer