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Germany

The sales engineer: Markus Reissenweber from Watzendorf

Engineer Markus Reissenweber regularly works over-time and spends a lot of time on the road. He doesn’t mind, because he’s a firm believer in the idea that fortune smiles on the hard-worker.

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Markus Reissenweber is at the beck and call of his clients

Markus Reissenweber lives in a picturesque Bavarian village called Watzendorf with his wife Daniela. It's about 20 kilometers away from the town of Coburg, home to the Kapp company, where 29-year-old Markus began working four years ago.

The firm manufactures machine tools for the automotive, rail, marine and aerospace industries and has a list of clients that includes Daimler, Volkswagen and tractor-maker AGCO Fendt.

Markus standing by the Niagra Falls

Markus' job also involves travelling abroad

The first customers are usually already waiting when Markus arrives in the morning. Most of them want to hear about Kapp's product range, or they've come to pick up an order. Before they do so, the clients will want to inspect the order and check that their stipulations have been met. This often involves a bit of negotiating:

"There'll usually be a bit of to-ing and fro-ing until we have a compromise between what we're able to manufacture and what the clients see as the best solution for their purposes," explains Markus.

German and American customers

His role is to talk to clients, present the Kapp product range and discuss how they can adapted to fit clients' needs. He has to travel a lot, but he enjoys the fact that every day is different. He never gets bored and he likes meeting new people.

His job also takes him to the States four to six times a year, for visits lasting between one and two weeks. He's observed that US clients have different expectations to German ones – they tend not to plan so far ahead and they need less time to mull an offer.

"We Germans like to know what we'll be doing in two or three years time," says Markus. "Americans aren't like that, they're more impulsive and they don't mind completely rethinking their plans at short notice."

Markus at his workplace

Markus at his workplace

Markus first went to the States for an internship, and these days he feels quite at home in the US. In fact, he wouldn't mind living there for a few years. But he loves his job, and that's his first priority. He's at the beck and call of his clients, and that often means getting home late. For the time being he doesn't mind having to be flexible, but that might change if he and his wife have children.

Settling down

As things stand, he can easily juggle the work-life balance. He and Daniela made a conscious decision to live in the country. "It's a welcome contrast to the hectic pace of everyday life," says Markus. "We have fields on our doorstep and we can just leave the house and go for walks."

Markus and Daniela

Markus and Daniela in their favorite Italian restaurant

Family life means a lot to him. He knows his parents and grandparents are always there when he needs them. "To begin with I thought it was unusual," says Daniela of her husband's close family ties. "But then I got used to it and now I think it's lovely."

The couple first met at university, and got married in May 2009. Markus wasn't the most hard-working of students, but at one point the penny dropped. "It was when I got to specialize and concentrate on doing what I liked best," he recalls. "That's when my performance began to improve." He even went on to win a prize from the North Rhine Westphalian Energy Agency for his graduation project on energy-efficient production sites.

Markus Reissenweber is very goal-oriented. "It's important not to be discouraged when you suffer a setback," he advises. “"You have to do your homework, be persistent and keep trying."

"It doesn't matter what goal you've set yourself, you can always achieve it if you put your mind to it," he says emphatically. "You make your own luck."

Author: Anjelina Verbica (jp)
Editor: Rina Goldenberg

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