Time is passing really fast. It’s been nine years now since I got the chance and made the decision to move to Spring Lake, Michigan to work with our US colleagues. Staying in the US for a longer period of time had always been in my head since I left schoo
l. And there it was. After six years of TGW experience here in Wels, I entered the US in November 2005 for the first time in my life. I still remember my first flight, arriving after 43 hours travelling when the US customs officer asked me: “What is your designated job at TGW Ermanco and how long will you stay?”.
I had several clear goals, a big one was getting ULC (Unit load conveyor) knowledge transferred to our US colleagues. Not only technical design and engineering, but also all other necessary processes like sales, supply chain management, project management, pre-assembly, installation and lifetime services. Markus Winkler, whose stay started already back in August 2005, had already provided a perfect basis on both sides, the TGW Ermanco and TGW Wels internal processes, to work further on with ULC. Working together with the colleagues was not just a job for me, it felt like helping as a family member. The great welcome, the many private invitations from the first day on – too many to count – and also the great fun at work. All team members pull together the pallet conveying system integration.
Besides that, I got a great chance to discover the huge US country. Not only to visit the Walmart job sites in Wyoming and Indiana, also my spare time, together with US and Austrian friends. On the whole, I visited 17 different states during my 22 months stay. All prejudices I heard before had been destroyed on the second day already.
Today, back in Austria, whenever US colleagues travel to Wels, I feel more that they are my US family than colleagues now. I try to return all the good things they gave to me during my expatriate time.
For all future possible US travelers, I can recommend some of the best places to visit which are Chicago, New York, Frisco as known as San Francisco, and Denver with its great Rocky mountains. And for shopping reasons, don’t miss the huge outlet stores in every corner of the states!
So thinking back to 2005, I would do it again – no doubt about that. As a sporting goods company would say – just do it. It was a great time, a great experience.