Last September, I decided to go to Switzerland to work in our Swiss entity as an expat. Why I did that is quite clear: I wanted to take on a new professional challenge and broaden my knowledge.
When I arrived here, I didn't notice any difference at the beginning. Austria and Switzerland do not only have the same national colours, but also a similar culture. In my function as Assistant Key Account Manager, I get in touch with customers a lot. During my first customer meeting in Switzerland, I quickly realized that „Schwyzerdütsch“ (the Swiss dialect) was not the same as German.
My first impression of TGW Switzerland was a very special one. The colleagues immediately accepted and supported me in all matters. The team here in Switzerland is characterized by esteem, friendship and collegiality. What I particularly noticed is that they support one another - no one is left out in the cold.
In the beginning I was always asked: What is Switzerland like? All I could answer: "Expensive"!
In the past year, I learned a lot at TGW Switzerland. The team is quite small, so in my opinion you have a closer access to knowledge and the working processes of the different departments. In the office you can see how the sales colleagues, project managers or systems designers work hand in hand. This alone enabled me to acquire a lot of know-how and also to develop a better understanding of the customer. This is especially important for me, as I look after the customer in After Sales and I am often confronted with project-specific questions. If a customer comes to me today, I can give him a better understanding and help him faster because I also have a better overview of the internal departments such as sales, project planning and the like.
What I am particularly proud of is that I am part of the first LTS team in Switzerland.
An expat year is certainly not always easy. You have to leave your family, friends and familiar surroundings behind. But what you get in return is a better perspective, more experience and above all new friends. Here at TGW Switzerland, we have remained a finely-tuned unit. For these reasons the decision to stay another year was an easy one for me.
Now to another beautiful part of Switzerland. As an Austrian I never had the idea to go on holiday to Switzerland because of its similarity to my home country. But once you're here, all you can think about is why I've never done this before. I live in the canton (federal state) of Lucerne and the city is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. The impressions gained there still fascinate me today. Lucerne is surrounded by beautiful mountains. You can hike up to Pilatus or Rigi in shortest time and make afterwards a beautiful conclusion in the city. And all that on my doorstep.
But what I can especially recommend is the beautiful Tessin (Italian part of Switzerland), where I had one of my most beautiful holidays. This canton is marked by beautiful mountains and lakes.
If someone asks me today whether I regret my decision, my answer would be a clear NO. Working abroad broadens your horizon and helps you growing: both personally and professionally. I have to say thank you for this amazing year here in Switzerland. I am looking forward to next year!