A guest in a land of contrasts

Modern and traditional, loud and at the same time quiet, physically active, but also easy-going – a country could hardly combine more contrasts. China is multifaceted. China is different. And that’s precisely why our colleague Lisa Hertel from Plastics Technology wanted to go to Taicang in China. What did she do during her time abroad? For six months, Lisa relocated her workplace to Krones’ facility in China – and there she could not only learn a lot of new things for her job, but also on a personal level intensify collaboration with her Chinese colleagues.

“I’d never been to China before. So to start with it was a challenge for me going to a completely strange country. But at the same time I was very keen to try it,” she admits with a grin. Her choice of a posting abroad in Taicang was an easy decision, not only because she was curious about the country, but above all because of the similar remit structure of the staff there. Thanks to the superbly equipped pilot plant and laboratory in Taicang, Lisa was able to deepen her specialised knowledge in the field of plastics technology. “My goal was also to familiarise myself even better with China’s bottle and preform markets,” comments our likable colleague.

To prepare for her posting abroad, Lisa was sent an etiquette guide for China by the Across Borders team. Fortunately – since Chinese culture and customs are in many respects very different from the Germans’. And: Downloading an app like Google Maps in China? Sorry, no way. Because the internet is censored, many apps are not available. Most of the Chinese mainly use only one app anyway: with WeChat they can chat, telephone, shop and pay online.

One of the things Lisa particularly liked was the flexibility and spontaneity of her Chinese colleagues. “They made everything possible somehow,” she recalls. For instance, Lisa was able to conduct some experiments in the lab, or to pursue some spontaneous ideas. Her Chinese colleagues always supported her. Even though communication in English was sometimes less than easy, they always managed somehow. “You get there in the end – even if sometimes there are some minor detours.” At the beginning of July, it was time for Lisa to say farewell: the date for returning to Neutraubling had arrived. She will, however, continue to stay closely in touch with her Chinese colleagues. Not only for this, but also for her personal and professional development, her participation in the Krones Across Borders programme was well worthwhile for Lisa.