From Paradise to the German Army to SMA

This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

How did an adolescent who could hardly speak German and only had limited understanding of electrical systems become a trainer for PV inverters?
I would like to tell a short story about my career and the opportunities I took advantage of in this blog. My story begins in 1998 in the northern rural region of an idyllic island in the Atlantic (La Palma). After I completed the elementary school program offered at the Santo Domingo secondary school, I was already convinced that I did not have a future here, unless I became a farmer or fisherman. This is why it became quite obvious to me that I had to say “adios, La Palma”. I headed off on my journey into the unknown. But what now? Where to?

Adios La Palma – Time to head to North Hesse

I was given the opportunity to live in a host family in North Hesse until I was 18. In North Hesse? Should I expect that North Hesse would offer me better working conditions than those where I come from?
As I later found out, it was exactly the right decision. I completed my German certificate of secondary education and drew my school days to a close in the process. I started to slowly fall in love with the unfamiliar landscape and most of all the mentality of the people from North Hesse. Unfortunately I had to part ways with my new habits shortly after I completed school.

My journey continued on to the German army

The Germany army came knocking on my door, as I was now a German adult and I could not get out of basic military service. After the first few months in Ulm flew by, I saw the opportunity that civil service provided me and decided to take my military service to the next level. After nine months of basic military service I inked a 5-year employment contract as a logistician and participated in two missions abroad (KFOR ).
All sorts of doors opened up to me after I completed my military service.
Should I continue my military service? Should I stay in Ulm? Should I return to the island?
I was faced with all these questions, but one thing was certain – I could not leave North Hesse. In the end, I decided to do everything in my power to stay here.

service application

Service application in North Italy

I started an apprenticeship to become an electrician through the military’s vocational advancement service, but I was faced with a new problem. The military’s vocational advancement service only offered me an educational program and I therefore needed a company that was willing to support a completely new “The military’s pilot project”.
How was I to complete an entire apprenticeship in only 15 months? I had not even been inside a school in the last 5 years. Sounds crazy?

My journey to SMA

Thanks to SMA’s open and honest company policy, I was allowed to present my project during a briefing. During another interview and an Assessment Center, I was able to convince my apprentice trainers to give me the green light for my ambitious project.

And my career at SMA took off. My time as an intern in the Facility Management, Production, Test Engineering and Service departments flew by. The next thing I knew it was time to take the test, which I passed with flying colors thanks to the good preparation. As a result, I was allowed to submit an internal application.

Since I worked in the Sunny Central Service department right before taking my exam, left a good impression and also because I felt very comfortable in this direction, I decided to take the job as a Sunny Central service technician.
I had an interesting experience and gained valuable insight into the Sunny Central Service department as well as the Global Support team over my two year tenure, but being on the road for an extended time finally took its toll on me.

I have been in charge of the technical Sunny Central inverter training in the continuing education program for service technicians and customers since October 2011. I still enjoy the international flair which is why I enjoy my job so much and I finally feel accepted and settled in North Hesse.
P.S.: I am now a part of North Hesse.