Where are you from?
“Where are you from?” a seemingly simple question. I always ask myself, “Do I say where I live right now? Or where I grew up? Or perhaps where I was born?” For some people, all or at least two questions have the same answer, or they would not even ask themselves all these questions. I was born in a different country than I live in now. When we left this country, I was almost 4 years old and too young to understand what it means, too young to remember how it was, and too young to live by the traditions. Yet a part of the culture, the language, the attitude to life, will be a part of me forever and regularly give me pause when I ask this simple question. For me, it is a question of connectedness. Which cultures and traditions do I feel comfortable with? If it were up to me, this simple question should be formulated more in the direction of, “Where do you feel at home?” Then it is quite simple to answer. I feel at home where the people closest to me live. It is the same for me at VEGA. I feel connected to the people, the traditions and the culture of the company and I feel at home.
Car repair shop
At the end of a typical day at VEGA, I turn off my computer and wish everyone a good evening. As I was getting into my car to drive home, there was a problem! The car wouldn’t start anymore. I suddenly felt alone. Since I wasn’t mechanically inclined, I tried as best I could to find the problem. After spending several minutes trying to find the problem and figure out how to get home (about 20 kilometres from VEGA). I became more and more overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. Suddenly I heard voices behind me say, “Can we help you? What's the problem?”. As I turned around, I saw two of my colleagues coming to my aid. My fear went away. There we were, trying to start my car. A third colleague joined us, then a fourth, a fifth, and one by one, all of VEGA gathered around my car and worked together as a team to find a solution. Unfortunately, after several dozen minutes, the problem was found, but the car had to go to a workshop for repair. At that time of day, all the workshops were already closed. My car would be collected the next morning. One of my colleagues offered to drive me home and pick me up the next day. I felt relieved. Since that day, I realised that VEGA is not just a company like any other but a FAMILY.
During an excursion to gliding into my training period, I chatted with the human resources manager about my hobby (climbing and mountaineering) and his time in the paratroopers. We quickly came across the subject of fear of heights, with him explaining to me that he gets a queasy feeling on an exposed hiking trail. During his time as a paratrooper, however, he viewed heights differently. I could hardly imagine feeling a fear of heights on a mountain trail but not when parachuting. The experiences in lofty heights connect us in a special way.
From guest to team member
I visited the German VEGA company and the Italian headquarters of VEGA for the first time in 2019. I was not a member of the staff, however, but had been invited as a guest to a press conference on sensors 2020. “How I would love to work in a company like this. Everything seems to have deep meaning and nothing is left to chance. Who knows if one day...”, I thought. Well, in 2022 I was recruited to the Marketing team and now I couldn't be happier to be part of a great home of values, too.
When I was invited to join this great company, my family and I had to change cities. The first person I met gave me a typical doll that is considered part of the cultural heritage of our country (Mexico). The doll was part of the decoration on the day of the inauguration of the offices, which was attended by people from other countries and even continents. They learned about part of our country’s cultural heritage and some even took a little lele as a souvenir. The values of connectedness and humanity are reflected in the fact that we were able to connect across borders and languages. We owe all this to being part of an inclusive and global company VEGA.
It's not a coincidence, it's inevitable
From 6 May to 15 May, I went on a business trip to the German headquarters for 11 days for on-boarding training. It’s the first business trip after having joined the company so another colleague and I left for Germany with a lot of anticipation and excitement. Accommodation, training content, colleague, food, culture and entertainment, everything was great and it was beyond our expectations and the training was perfect with a really well planned itinerary. After all the schedules were over, on the last day in Germany, Our MD invited me to lunch with the other colleague, so I went to the place we had lunch with my colleague who was in training with me together. At the front of the hotel, we were able to meet Julia Seckinger, who previously worked at VEGA, and S. K., who has always been very helpful for IT issues in Korea. After arriving in Germany, our MD made an appointment with J. for lunch, and J. invited S. to lunch, but we didn’t know that S. would join us and no one knew what kind of luck he would bring at that moment. Anyways, we went to lunch together and had a really good time and during lunch, I heard the notification that my email was received, and I checked the email on my mobile phone for a while. I opened the email with a pounding heart because I was waiting for the PCR Test result^^(FYI, it’s one of the necessary documents for returning to Korea) but the email had been blocked due to an encrypted attachment. I showed this email to S. right away and asked if there was a way to fix it and as always, he was able to find a solution for me. What would have happened if S. weren’t there? It was on a Saturday afternoon ... in Germany ... I still get sweat on my back just thinking about it. After lunch, S. returned to his home and solved the blocked emails issue for all of us, and we finally checked the negative results, and we were able to safely return to Korea the next day. It was an accidental meeting, but I’m still considering that it was an inevitable meeting because I believe that all Vega's employees are always connected each other somehow. Once again, thank you to everyone who took care of us during the training period.
Connectedness goes beyond technology
In today’s world, when we come across the term connectivity, we think of the Internet, social media, Wi-Fi, smartphones and so on. Perhaps we even engage with the concept of ‘transhumanism’, a theory that is focused on how to connect a human being to the Internet. In business, the human aspect of the relationships we share with customers and clients is crucial. In my opinion, it is more important than products and technology because the time and effort we invest in building trust and a relationship with them has a long-term impact. To do this, it is necessary to know their needs, fears and desires and to connect with them on a human level, i.e. to show interest in their background, history, culture, etc. In April 2014, I and my partners in Ghana worked tirelessly for four years on a tender for a major project until we were able to defend our bid in front of an audience of executives, union representatives and managers from the National Petroleum Authority on Friday 18 April 2014. Like any self-respecting businessperson, our shoes were shined, our suits pressed and our ties well coiffed. We were now ready to represent our product and VEGA to the best of our ability, and it showed. Our Ghanaian driver, Mr S., was waiting for us in the lobby of the hotel. He was wearing a colourful shirt, and I complimented him on his choice of shirt, and we made our way to the offices of the National Petroleum Authority. The stress and excitement were at its peak, and one question was on my mind: how do we manage to get in touch with all these people to convince them of our solution? Looking around on the street, I noticed that many Ghanaian men and women were wearing this colourful garment. I asked Mr S., “Is today a special day for everyone to wear colourful clothes?” He explained to me that business casual dress was the order of the day in Ghana every Friday and that traditionally men wore the same kind of shirt as him and women wore colourful dresses, regardless of their social or professional rank. I had the answer to my anxious question! I then asked Mr S. to take a trip to the town market to buy these shirts for the team and decided to replace our suits and ties with traditional Ghanaian shirts. After seeing the stern appearance of our competitors, all dressed in suits and ties, we entered the fighting hall where more than fifty people were waiting for us. The sheer joy that Team VEGA had internalised their culture was clear to see and immediately felt on their faces. They were truly convinced when they stood up and gave our team a standing ovation. We won the audience’s hearts that day, we were connected! A few months later, we won one of the biggest contracts in VEGA’s history, making our efforts to integrate and connect even more meaningful and valuable. Connectedness is more than technology, it's human.
Connecting as friends
The change to a new company when I started at VEGA was exciting and intimidating at the same time. In the first few days, I was lost in a sea of new faces in an environment that was also completely foreign to me. For the first time in my professional career, I was entering a world where working among family members was common and desired, and where many employees had been with VEGA for many years – even decades. That alone says a lot about a company. During my first days of training, I was invited to a small group lunch where I was introduced to a unique variety of chilli. At that lunch, I not only met one of my favourite dishes but also my best friend. Since that moment 8 years ago, we have been inseparable, and I thank VEGA for the opportunity to be close friends with some of the best people I have ever met. It is the welcoming team environment that sets VEGA apart from other companies. It truly is a family that I am proud to be a part of.
To the brother I’ll miss forever.
I wrote myself a message on the day I worked at VEGA Thailand for exactly two years. I am a service technician and I love my team. There were three of us, now there are two - I am the youngest. The first day I came here, I had zero ideas about the job. I was nervous and scared. I was afraid I couldn't or didn't understand my job. I was afraid I would be too slow. But my colleagues gave me time and helped me. They made time for me! So far, I have done many trips for VEGA, where we have almost always had dinner together. Every now and then we also spend our days off together. If I had to describe my team as an object, I would choose a VEGA screwdriver - it may look small, but it is very flexible and powerful. Just like my team of three. We harmonize perfectly with each other. For two years I have been able to improve every day! Even though there are only three of us, there have been hurdles and we needed a lot of energy, it has been a lot of fun so far.
I hope my brother can see me now and be proud of me!
A good swap
More than 20 years ago, I applied for a job at VEGA. A few weeks later, I was invited for an interview. At the end of that interview, I was told that there would be a second interview if necessary. A short time later, I went on a camping holiday to Italy. After 5 days, my mobile phone rang. I was asked if I had time at short notice to make the said second contact: The appointment would be the next day at 10.00 in the morning. I didn’t hesitate and agreed. So everything was quickly packed up and the tents taken down. Then I drove all night back home. Completely over-slept and with reddened eyes, I turned up on time for the appointment. It was worth it. A week of lost holiday joy in exchange for a workplace that you’ve enjoyed returning to every day for over 20 years. That’s a good swap!
There are so many stories…
For me, the VEGA tennis tournament is a symbol of solidarity. It’s nice to have fun and play tennis together with colleagues from all departments and, above all, to have a barbecue in the evening with your own family and colleagues and their families. Every now and then, even a VEGA pensioner drops by. I am always happy to see new videos that VEGA creates and publishes about the company. We always watch new videos with the whole family after dinner. While I get goose bumps and a lump in my throat, my children’s reaction is different: Dad, that makes me want to work too. That makes me so proud! Saturday morning, beautiful weather, off to Blumen Göppert to decorate the garden with fresh plants. Shopping trolley full, paid and back at the car the realisation that we hadn’t thought about the fact that all the plants have to go home in the car and us! Luckily, a colleague from work comes along shortly afterwards who immediately recognises our need and does not hesitate to offer to drive the plants home in her spacious car. The willingness to help and the cohesion can be felt not only in Schiltach at work but also in private life.
Daily companion with connection to VEGA
Since 2001, I have regularly worked in the production department at VEGA during the school holidays. In 2003, during one of these jobber phases, there was the half marathon in Schenkenzell, where a VEGA team was running. At that time, I asked if I could run with Team VEGA as a jobber. I kindly accepted and was allowed to run a half marathon for the first time and was also given a VEGA running jersey. After the race, the award ceremony took place, and I received a shoulder bag as a prize. This bag has accompanied me ever since as a bag to school, to university and even today as a bag on my way to work to VEGA. At the end of my studies and my first job afterwards, I had no contact with VEGA for 8 years. I have been working at VEGA for 5.5 years now, and the bag still accompanies me to my workplace and always reminds me of the connectedness I felt to VEGA, and how I found my way back.
Friendships are made at VEGA
I already felt a bond with the large VEGA team when I started my training here. From the very first day, I was warmly welcomed in the departments and also by the other trainees. The fact that we were not only assigned to the departments but also worked independently on projects with the other trainees, spanning different training years and occupational groups, made all the trainees a great and friendly team. However, my godmother remains particularly in my memory. She was in my third year of training at the time and made my first months at VEGA a lot easier. She showed me around the company, told me everything I needed to know about the processes at VEGA, and supported me in my first projects. Her warm, cheerful and supportive manner gave me the feeling that I could turn to her at any time with questions. I was able to learn an incredible amount from her. The fact that I can still call her a very good friend today makes me especially happy. Thank you again, dear godmother. It’s great knowing you 😊.
Mary in the mountains
It's a little story about simplicity, curiosity and connectedness. You can find the values everywhere, even in the workplace, but my story is about nature. I have always been curious, and I have always wanted to try something new, to discover and experience. And there are the mountains that are just waiting to be climbed by me. These are places that I can never get bored of. And behind every rock, a surprise awaits me in the form of a breath-taking view and an even steeper climb or maybe some mountain goats. I never know what to expect and all the more, I like to keep walking to satisfy my curiosity. I love nature, live in harmony with it, and feel most at home there. There is nothing more beautiful to me than standing at the top, drenched in sweat. Up there I feel very strongly the connection to our beautiful nature and earth. You also feel this connection to the people who are standing at the summit or hiking with us. They are very polite and warm-hearted people. I have never seen someone hike with a grim expression on their face. And you know what, you don’t need much: strength lies in the simplicity. I usually have good shoes and a backpack (always carried by my husband :D) with homemade provisions and a lot of determination to reach the destination. That’s all you need! Maybe in the future there will be a VEGA hike where we can enjoy and experience the values of simplicity, humanity, curiosity and connectedness together.
Connectedness in the whole family
After more than 30 years at VEGA, the attachment to VEGA runs through the whole family. A few years ago, my son gave me this yellow V as a birthday present: designed by him and made by Lego.