My time with the Bundeswehr
My decision to join the Bundeswehr in 1981 was a rather pragmatic one. I wanted to study and earn money at the same time. I was also attracted by the training to become an officer and working in the technical service. However, the job market situation at that time was not comparable to today. The Bundeswehr offered me the opportunity to do this – so I started studying “aerospace engineering” in Neubiberg. Right from the start, I found the Bundeswehr to be a performance-enhancing employer. The job prospects in the technical service also seemed very interesting to me.
When my term of service came to an end after 12 years, I had to consider what direction to take next. Most recently, I was deployed as a squadron commander in aircraft maintenance and was keen to combine this with my academic background as a graduate engineer and my training as a Bundeswehr expert in a management position in my civilian working life. So my path led me first to DEKRA, then after a few years to SGS and finally to TÜV Rheinland.
Next step: Civilian working life
I became aware of my current employer through a recommendation from a TÜV Rheinland employee. The wide range of careers in engineering was particularly interesting to me as a former regular soldier. With a technical-based degree, as I and many others do in the Bundeswehr, this is a good prerequisite for training as an expert. The many professional development opportunities, both on a technical and personal level, also convinced me. And so, for the past three and a half years, I have been working as the managing director of TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH. I look after more than 2,000 employees throughout Germany. The majority of them are engineers who provide expert testing services in a wide range of service areas throughout Germany.
Blue collar or suit and tie? You have the choice
As already mentioned at the beginning, there are some parallels between the Bundeswehr and TÜV Rheinland as employers. Both work in a very structured way with technical standards and regulations. The daily interaction with many different people, customers and employees is also similar and is honed in a special way at the Bundeswehr. In my opinion, a former career as a regular soldier is an excellent basis for possible activities at our company. This is also confirmed by many colleagues who are former officers.
You should be clear about one thing:
In the job of an engineer in the “free economy”, suit and blue collar are on an equal footing.
And both offer the opportunity to make a career. Before you start your career, think about which path is better for you and then express this purposefully and confidently to your potential employer.
I wish all applicants much success and all the best for their professional future!
Managing Director of TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH
Andreas Geck is Managing Director of TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH.
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