Leading with German: Engineers Earn Language Experience Working with Multinational Company
“You add German, and you add life experiences that you’ll never forget,” remarks Lance Richardson, Logistics Director at the Fountain Inn Facility of Bosch Rexroth.
The Fountain Inn Facility, located in South Carolina, is the primary U.S. location of the multinational engineering firm which manufactures hydraulic pumps and motors. Learning German is key to the firm’s business model and, as demonstrated in this video, is beneficial to many of its employees. As part of an expatriate apprentice program, employees travel and live in Stuttgart, Germany, where the company headquarters is located, to connect with senior engineers and company culture.
For Bosch Rexroth, being a successful employee and learning the company’s culture go hand-in-hand, as apprenticeships abroad often guide employees into leadership roles. Richardson is one such employee whose German immersion experience abroad contributed to both his professional and personal achievements. Further, in fostering strong friendships alongside his working relationships, he gained an international perspective that he now employs back home.
Michael Weathersbee, a Senior Design Engineer who also took part in the apprenticeship program, began his job at the firm with no previous language skills. Spending two years as an apprentice in the development department, he traveled most weekends to different regions and cities in Germany to better understand cultural nuances.
According to Michael, one of his goals “was to eventually learn a second language, because that’s one thing that I did not have the opportunity to do previous to my travels to Germany.”
While some students and employees in STEM fields worry that course loads or training commitments may limit their ability to complete quality language learning experiences, this is really no longer the case! Bosch Rexroth is a clear example that the two not only complement each other, but actually promote a better working environment for all.
Considering a career in engineering or seeking ideas about opportunities for additional growth? Check out our Engineering Sector Profile for resources and to learn about the many possibilities.
Or thinking about working in Germany or for a German company? German companies are the third-largest group of foreign employers in the U.S. That’s a lot of opportunity! Learn more on our Lead with German page and visit Goethe Institut’s Just Add German campaign.