Christoph Lehmann-Eschenhorn from Brandenburg went to do a four-week internship to learn more about living and working in China
Brandenburg/Kunshan. Since August 2016 Christoph Lehmann-Eschenhorn has been employed with Wirthwein Brandenburg GmbH & Co. KG in Kirchmöser, a company that produces highly complex plastic parts for the automotive, railway and also other industries. He is going to complete his vocational training as electronic technician for industrial systems soon. Due to his remarkably good performance both in the company as well as at school, plant manager Klaus Kinnemann and trainer Bastian König offered him the chance to do a special internship.
In collaboration with Europäischer Bildungsverbund e.V. (European Training Association) from Magdeburg, the 25-year-old spent a whole month in Kunshan, China, where the internationally active Wirthwein-Group is represented with one production plant. Kunshan is situated at the Eastern coast of China, some 60km away from Shanghai. Around 1.66 million inhabitants live in the industrial city of Kunshan, among them also Christoph in October. Already on his way from Pudong International Airport in Shanghai to his hotel the future electronic technician was fascinated by the dimensions of Chinese architecture. Compared to Shanghai, he says, Berlin is kinds of placid. Christoph arrived at the beginning of October, just at the Chinese “Golden Week“, during which Chinese do not work. Therefore Christoph was given the opportunity to get to know the foreign country and its people a bit. To him, the Chinese seem to be quite laid-back and serene, which is different to German cities and which he was quite surprised of. There is no such thing as hustle and bustle: “At least as long as the Chinese do not go by car“, adds Christoph with a smile on his face.
Upon settling in, the young electronics technician trainee from Brandenburg went to work to actively support his Chinese colleagues for three weeks. He was cordially received by plant manager Kuno Knobloch.
Originally, Christoph was meant to support his colleagues in relocating nine of all in all twenty-five injection molding machines on which plastic parts are produced at the plant in Kunshan. However, thanks to a pleasing order situation the machines had to be kept running and remained where they were. That’s why Christoph was able to apply in China what he had learned in maintenance and mold construction in Germany. “The colleagues from moldmaking accepted me immediately and we worked hand in hand, despite the language barrier”, remembers Christoph. “Of course our working manners were not always the same. Yet this is it what made my internship so interesting”, he says.
However, the trainee did not only come to China for work. The trips to the metropolis of Shanghai were a special highlight for Christoph. Not only did he enjoy the world-famous skyline but also the city’s nightlife. 24 million people live there. Together with his colleague Wu Jianjun and his family he visited the Shanghai Circuit, where the formula 1 holds the grand prize of China every year, and the historical Zhujiajiao Water Town, which is also known as “Shanghai’s Venice”.
In retrospect, the four weeks passed quickly for Christoph. He made unforgettable experiences and explored a so far unknown part of the world for him. He particularly enjoyed working with his Chinese colleagues and hopes he can soon work on joint projects with them again.
Christoph Lehmann-Eschenhorn‘s training company, Wirthwein Brandenburg GmbH & Co. KG, is part of the globally active Wirthwein-Group. The family-run company headquartered in Creglingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, produces complex plastic components and assemblies at altogether 22 plants in Europe, Asia and the USA. 3,650 employees work for the group of companies. The plastics expert employs some 70 people at the plant in Brandenburg- Kirchmöser and some 150 people at the plant in Kunshan, China.