In July 2014, my boss told me I will have training in Austria for about half a year starting in October. And time flies! During the past six months, I got to know TGW and Austria better, even Europe. This precious experience is fresh, interesting, exciting, sometimes hard, but it will be an unforgettable memory in my life!
I remember the first few weeks when I had just arrived in Austria – for me it almost seemed like a new life. In Shanghai, high-rise buildings are everywhere, people are busy, always in a rush; in Wels, even in Vienna, the buildings are not so high, people live a peaceful life. For me the hardest part is the food, for sure, some of the Austrian food is very nice, but I always miss Chinese food, dumplings, various kinds of fish, hotpot, everything… Fortunately, I survived! Even though many things are different, the language, the food, the faces, the building ... I would say the most different thing is the culture.
After I arrived, I received a project from China, and I had many different points of how to do the projects with my mentor here, we argued a lot, “why do you do in this way?”, ”Do you clarify all the details?”, ”We should never give the customer such a rough solution!” At the beginning, work was tough due to all the differences, but finally I know that all these discussions can be traced back to the difference between China and Austria. As far as I know, in Europe they will always make every detail clear and give a perfect solution. But if you get a lead in China, it is always in very early stage, when the customers don’t really know what they want, their requirement is reasonable or not. They need our guidance, their requirement is always unclear, that is why at first we can only give a draft solution, then we go deeper step by step, at last we can give the customer a good solution. Sometimes a project can last more than two years from the point where we get the leads to the bid released. So if you want to win a project, you should always keep good relationship with the customer. Normally you start your work early to keep a close relationship with them, and know their requirements better.
Finally, I would say, no culture is better or worse, just very different. Definitely, this training was very helpful regarding my future work. Furthermore, it revealed to me the differences between TGW China and the way TGW works at the headquarters. I am sure we can collaborate in a better way after we got to know each other better!