Chairman of the Board at Trescal
“The most dangerous of all ideologies is believing people who have not yet seen the world” Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). This quote can be interpreted very differently today than it would have been many years ago in the 18th and 19th Century. Going abroad was not like it was today: open borders in Europe, large group of people with migration backgrounds, wide range of international friends and colleagues and worldwide connection through, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc. It makes you wonder, what exactly did Alexander von Humboldt mean, and if he knew that the world would one day be this open to travelling and international cooperation.
Today I came across an elderly man who was dressed in a “Pashtun dress” (a national Afghan dress) riding his bike next to me in a quiet suburb of Darmstadt. When I arrived back at my office, I wrote an email to my colleagues in Antwerp, Madrid and Detroit… Even if I tried to not have any contact with people from different countries and cultures… now a days it just isn’t possible.
Understanding and cooperating with each other is vital, even if you didn’t grow up in the same neighbourhood. This does not just mean understanding the Grammatik and the vocabulary, it also means to grasp the culture and the lifestyle of others.
To go out of your comfort zone and to challenge yourself with a new culture and lifestyle in a diverse environment, is the best way to gain work experience. This is why it is important for your studies to do an internship abroad. Sometimes it is also mandatory. The experience you will gain, will only benefit you in your studies, career and personal life.
And best of all: It’s also great fun!.
Timo Grünewälder is responsible for the international industrial services for Trescal in Germany and Northern and Central Europe. His career began at Robert Bosch, where he worked in the department for controlling and purchasing in different locations. He has last four years he was in Madrid for the last four years. After that he led the purchasing in Germany for the French company Air Liquide. During his studies who completed several internships in France and in England.