During my studies, I was already a big fan of having an experience in a foreign country. After living in Germany, China, Canada, Sweden, and Taiwan during my time at university, I knew that my professional career would also take me abroad later. When I heard Anton Paar was opening a subsidiary in Taiwan and there was a possibility of me helping out as an expat to build it up, I didn’t spend much time thinking about it – I was on board right away.
Anton Paar is an international company with 33 sales and service subsidiaries around the world. The goal of the subsidiaries is to be close to customers and support them in the best-possible way – the applications and needs of our global customers are as varied as Anton Paar’s product line. Expats with intercultural experience, who can facilitate communication and cooperation between headquarters and the subsidiaries, are in high demand.
As an expat at Anton Paar, you get to know – and help shape – a lot of different business areas. My role as admin manager includes financial management, logistics, order processing, and marketing, all the way to strategic management, IT, and HR, and this, of course, involves a lot of different topics and challenges. Since you’re running your own team, you also gain management experience, which, in another culture, is doubly demanding, with a steep learning curve.
As an expat, your job isn’t limited to these areas though: You help out where you can and where assistance is needed. I spend a lot of time on the phone with other subsidiaries or the various departments in Graz, exchanging thoughts and solving problems, and I decide with local management on the subsidiary’s strategic foci. But I also have phases in which I concentrate more on preparing key financial figures, the budget plan, and other reports.
Since Anton Paar is a very dynamic company, is growing quickly, and is constantly developing its processes and product portfolio, you also, as an expat, help implement the new strategy locally. This means that even after a number of years, I’ve never had a boring work day and am always able to learn something new. In addition to the exciting work, there’s the fact that I’m living abroad, and I’m working – and achieving goals – together with colleagues from another culture. That’s what makes this job so exciting. For me, it’s the highlight of being a professional expat.