The MANN+HUMMEL plant in the Czech Republic is near to the town of Trebic (pronounced Trebitch). During my two-month foreign assignment there, I was living in an apartment right in the centre. There are a large number of shops around a central square, with larger supermarkets and a shopping centre further out of town. If you are used to living in a large city like Stuttgart, it’s quite a change. You can however discover many beautiful places in Trebic, such as the path along the River Jihlava and the park near to the basilica (a Unesco world heritage site).
I was assigned to the series production project management department, which follows technical changes or analyses the life-cycle of products. In the eight weeks I was there, I supported a rationalisation project for a customer’s series production. First of all, we gathered ideas as a team, which were then evaluated according to defined criteria. The next step was to introduce the technical changes on the internal System. Once the various phases were complete, it was possible to calculate savings. The sales department will then use this calculation for their quotations.
Communicating in three different languages
I particularly enjoyed the team meetings in which important steps were agreed and tasks distributed. The working language switched between German, English and Czech. Some colleagues spoke English, others spoke German, but with a mix of all three languages, we generally managed to understand each other quite well.
Driving to the Czech Republic
My boss, Tiago Da Silva, comes from near Ludwigsburg – where I am studying industrial engineering at MANN+HUMMEL – and on the first day he picked me up at 4 in the morning to go to the Czech Republic. A week later, I drove there in my own car, giving me local mobility and enabling me to explore the area.
The local colleagues warmly welcomed me into their department. One thing in particular sticks in my mind: if colleagues some distance away from you are entering a room, they will always wait for you and hold the door open. I know this is only a little gesture, but it reflects the nice way people over there go about their business.
Places off the tourist map
You can enjoy your evenings in some nice restaurants and bars in Trebic. I would also strongly recommend a visit to the cities of Prague, Brno and Pilsen. There is so much to see, and thanks to tips from colleagues, I could find places which were not thronged with tourists.
One example is ‘Naplavka’ in Prague, a street right on the river where there are many nice bars and restaurants.When I look back and think about these 2 months now, I can finally say that the experience was most worthwhile and a great deal of fun. One particularly exciting moment was when we had made the first calculations of possible savings and passed them on to the sales department. I would also once again like to thank my colleagues very much. I was delighted with the surprise farewell party and gifts such as the book about the Czech Republic and the polo shirt.