Written by Guest Blogger, Su Jin
I got to know and join the big family of Schneider Electric by participating in the 2009 University Challenge, now called the Go Green in the City competition. If you are not familiar with the competition, Go Green in the City is a Global Business Case Challenge sponsored by Schneider Electric for students to solve real-life challenges within energy management. The competition is open to two-member student teams from anywhere in the world with at least one woman per team. 2018 submissions are currently being accepted until June 1st. Read a blog from our 2017 winners here.
My partner and I’s Go Green project was an integrated cooling solution for residential buildings. It was an eye opener for me to see how a raw concept can be realized with effort from experts in Schneider Electric. Throughout the challenge, we had numerous discussions with our mentors to improve a far-fetched concept into a realistic solution in the near future. Through the experience I learned not just about the wide variety of Schneider Electric product and solution offers, but also the supportive culture in Schneider Electric that made me decide to join the big family. A fun fact – my partner and I both worked at Schneider after the competition, and we are now happily married with a son.
Lessons Learned in My Career
My career in Schneider Electric began as contract engineer for the Machine Solutions team. I then I moved to the HMI (Human Machine Interface) team supporting South East Asia. Today, I’m a Product Expert of wireless controller supporting the Asia Pacific and America zone. In this role, I support key hoisting customers in respective countries and formulate business models which are beneficial to both Schneider Electric and the customer. I’ve been with Schneider Electric for 8 years, and have learned several important lessons in my time with the company.
1) Work hard, Play harder
Being employed as fresh graduate meant I had a steep learning curve during my first few years. I needed to learn to support my colleagues while try my best to answer customer’s needs at the same time. I was fortunate enough to have a charismatic manager who steered the team in the right direction while allowing us to be a little bit crazy sometimes. My days in my first role on the Machine Solutions team could be summarised by saying “Work Hard, Play Harder”. We were focused on completing our work effectively and efficiently, but we still had fun together. The team had a close-knit bond, and we could always get things moving efficiently.
2) Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Three years into my role on the Machine Solutions team I was nominated to support the HMI offer for South East Asia. My new manager inspired me with her own experience where she relocated to Shanghai for a bigger challenge. Since then, I have never stayed in my comfort zone. I’m out meeting exciting people in different offices and new customers in different countries. I’m exposed to new business cultures and adapting to new business models every day. I accept new challenges and assignments that are given to me with an open mind.
I probably spend more than half of my day listening to feedback from colleagues and customers. Paying attention to customers always gives me better insights that leads to a better outcome. We can do a good job by focusing on the main goal, gathering feedback and comments, and tweaking our work along the way in order to deliver a better result.
4) Time Management is Important
After encouraging results with HMI team, I was given new challenge to lead the eXLhoist offer for Asia Pacific zone and later America zone. eXLhoist is an industrial remote control designed for intuitive and safe operation for hoisting and material handling applications. My responsibilities include following up on key hoisting OEM, managing offer adaptations to targeted OEMs, and coordination with local sales representative and distributors on offer management. With this new role I support regions with different time zones. This meant I would potentially work longer than my previous assignment. Because of this, I would need to time my meetings and discussion sessions with each party according to their time zone. Being able to manage my time was very important in order for me to succeed.
5) Be Humble
Be humble in front of your customers as we know the offer well, but they know their application better. In recent years I have learned that success can come from being humble and asking questions about your customer’s applications. Most of them are happy to share, and you can imagine that you are being coached by the guru in the profession. There are many lessons we can learn from our customers – a 10 minutes session could provide years of experience in the segment!
Go Green in The City was a great way to start my career in Schneider Electric. I have experienced the working vibes and routines even before I joined the company. It helped me to adapt well in the early stage of my career. Furthermore, I am always exited to see familiar faces during cross-function collaboration. It feels good to reconnect with participants and mentors who I worked with in the Go Green In The City competition.
I encourage any current students to submit their ideas for the 2018 competition before the June 1st deadline. If you are a student interested in entering the competition, visit our website for more information. You never know where it could take you!
About the Author
Su Jin is Product Expert in wireless crane controller. He started with Schneider Electric in 2010 as trainee, he has been part of OEM team of Schneider Electric Malaysia and H2I team of Schneider Electric South East Asia before taking up eXLhoist Product Expert role for Asia Pacific and America Zone. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, and spending time with his wife and son.
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