Stefan Schrinner in an interview with Mala Ullal from Vervelan (2013)

“I enjoy working together in a team. In a meeting, to see how colleagues formulate and implement strategies across country borders, that is what makes my work fun and appealing.”

V: Mr. Schrinner, this year you celebrated your company’s 25th anniversary. Congratulations! Could you quickly describe in which area your company has worked in these 25 years?

S: Thank you very much for your congratulaitons. I was surprised by how quickly the time had passed. For 25 years now I’ve worked at the production site for gas insulated switchgear at the “Schaltwerk Hochspannung” in Berlin. In these years, Siemens has always offered me the opportunities to further develop my technical and functional skills. Which I am very grateful for. Since 2007 I am head of Global Supply Chain & Procurement of the production site for gas insulated switchgear.

V: Did an internationalization take place in your area over the course of your career? If yes, how did this influence your daily work?

S: Siemens has always been a company operating worldwide. By now we are represented in almost 200 countries! Over the course of my personal development, Siemens has constantly prepared me for new areas of responsibility.

V: In the course of globalization, did you have to develop new abilities and competences that became necessary in the international cooperation? If so, how have you developed them?

S: On the part of Siemens, there always existed the possibility to increase my abilities and competences. Here in particular, the internal further training program, which contains technical training subjects as well as leadership excellence, should be mentioned.

V: According to you, which competences are most important for international cooperation?

S: At Siemens there is basically no difference between national or international cooperation. You should be open to people. A certain “thirst for adventure” is also not bad when you leave your “comfort zone”. What I do want to recommend is the participation at intercultural trainings.

V: What do you enjoy most when working together with international colleagues and what do you find most challenging?

S: I enjoy working together in a team. In a meeting, to see how colleagues formulate and implement strategies across country borders, that is what makes my work fun and appealing.

V: You took part at an intercultural training at Malal Ullal for the cooperation with India. What did you find most interesting? How did this training support you in your daily work life?

S: In Berlin you can always see ads with the slogan “Incredible India”. For me, that alone suggested something unknown before I first came in contact with people from India. It is important to get to know things during your training that will allow an easier start abroad. Everything that was discussed and experienced, confirmed itself afterwards in many areas and helped me out in the business life and in the country.

V: A training for the cooperation with Germans was held at the Indian Siemens site in Aurangabad. How did the Indian colleagues receive this training? Did it change something for you?

S: After a good four years now of cooperation with the colleagues in Aurangabad I am strongly convinced that the intercultural training accelerated the growing together of a cross-border team.

V: Is there something on the topic of international cooperation that you, as an internationally experienced manager with 25 years of working experience, want to share with younger colleagues?

S: Like I mentioned before, you need to be open to people of this world, and their cultures. Because in the end, a shared goal can only be reached together.