Im Jahr 2015 eröffnete RPK seine Niederlassung in Deutschland zur technischen Unterstützung unserer Kunden. Im Vorfeld wurden wichtige Vertriebstätigkeiten von unseren Kollegen Petra Peel, Luis Telleria und Sven Alter geleistet und somit der Grundstein gelegt für den jetzt nachfolgenden Schritt um unsere Präsenz auf diesem Markt noch weiter auszubauen. Im Zusammenhang mit unserem strategischen Plan und unserer Verpflichtung unserer Klienten gegenüber ist unser Kollege Daniel Mesanza Angang des Jahres nach München umgezogen um die Leitung dieses Büros zu übernehmen. Seitdem sind einige Monate vergangen und 4 Kollegen, Ruth, Luis, Sven und Inigo haben nun einmal nachgefragt wie seine ersten Erfahrungen und Eindrücke sind.
IÑG: How long have you been working for RPK and what initially made you want to work for this company?
I’ve been working for RPK for over 9 years now since May 2006. First in the Quality department, involved with Initial Samples and Prototypes and then for about a year and a half in the Technical Department.
I had friends working for RPK so I knew the company through them. I decided to send in my CV and then 7 or 8 months later they got in touch with me for a series of interviews. Soon after that I started work at RPK.
Sven: When did you first become interested in Germany? How are you getting used to life in Germany?
I started learning German almost by chance. At university we had some free subjects which are optional subjects you take in the first year of university in addition to the compulsory degree subjects. As the time suited me and I’ve always liked languages, I went for it. I think the classes lasted about five months, and then as I enjoyed them I signed up for classes on my own. Later RPK gave me the opportunity to take in-company German language training and I continued.
When I saw the vacancy for a job in the German office I thought it might be a good chance to improve my German and get to know German culture and I also thought if I don’t do it now I might not have another opportunity as good as this so I decided to come to Munich.
So far I’m really happy here. I think Munich is a great city to live in with a good quality of life. There’s a lot to do in and around Munich, both in terms of culture and the countryside.
RUTH: I can see from your comments that you are fitting in well. Is it easy to make friends? What do you do in your free time?
To be honest I’m not finding it hard to adapt. I’m not fully fluent in German yet of course as the local vocabulary, expressions and accent are all different to the German we learnt in class but apart from that no problems.
There are a lot of people in a similar situation here, people who are here on their own for work reasons, so it’s easy to meet people. The friendship groups aren’t closed, once you begin making friends with a group you meet others as on special occasions, like birthdays, it is typical for people who don’t know each other well to meet up and that way it’s not difficult to widen your circle of friends.
Leisure activities vary depending on the time of year. As soon as it starts getting warmer people tend to spend time outdoors. For example, in spring and summer, it is very typical to go to the Isar, the river running through Munich and to meet up for a swim, a barbecue or a chat. They call it the Munich beach and it’s actually really nice. There are also a lot of lakes around the city where we normally go at weekends when the weather is good. In summer there are also a lot of open air festivals.
Now winter’s coming there are more indoor activities, meals with friends at home, concerts, etc. Another typical autumn activity, something I did recently, is going away for the weekend to a cabin in the mountains. There are lots of these in the Alps, which are one hour away from Munich, where there are some great walks.
Ruth: When people hear the word Munich the first thing that comes to mind is the Oktoberfest. Is it as spectacular as they say?
The Oktoberfest is pretty awesome, yeah. The city transforms itself for the two weeks it’s on and it’s not unusual to see people on their way to work with the traditional costume then go to Wiesn where it takes place straight from work. Also, almost all companies have a couple of meals during Oktoberfest for their employees. Inside the Wiesn venue there are lots of fairground rides and stands like tombolas, street stalls, etc and there are also the beer tents put up by the large Munich breweries. Inside these tents, about 14 in total, with room for between 5 and 10,000 people in each one, they serve one litre glasses of beer and typical German products and they put on live music. They’re almost always full, from 11 in the morning to 9 at night and there’s an amazing atmosphere. Maybe the worst thing about the Oktoberfest is it tends to be crowded at weekends due to the large amounts of people visiting the city. On those days it’s difficult to get into the tents because of the queues.
IÑG: Do the customers appreciate having the technical support so close at hand? Do you plan to grow this organization in Germany by bringing in German engineers?
I think companies really appreciate the technical support. Thanks to this office we’ve been able to reach out to key customers who we couldn’t access before such as Schaeffler. They really value having the technical support so close at hand as our rivals had been working closely with them for years with frequent visits and meetings so they’re used to that kind of relationship and most of them are grateful for it. I am starting to see just how important it is to build up strong relationships with the engineers, for them to call us or send their queries directly to us instead of having to submit them through bureaucratic official tenders, quotations, etc as once you have developed the product with them there is more chance of obtaining the tender for mass production.
Regarding growing the organization, at the moment we are working on finding a suitable German engineering intern who will be trained for about a year in Vitoria then come back to join the Germany office.
Daniel Mesanza, RPK Engineer
Phone +49 1719563031