Seeing the whole world with Rehm... Stefan Nikitenko turned his hobby into his job!
His grandfather was an electrician, and so was his father. Stefan knew that he wanted to continue this “family tradition” when he left school. His training as a mechatronics engineer at Rehm and his role in production after this provided a good basis. But Stefan wanted more! He wanted to get out and see the world, whilst still being able to utilise his technical expertise. He has now been working as an external service technician for Rehm for over ten years and has travelled to over 30 countries with his job. His recipe for success: you have to love what you do!
He makes the world a better place and solves problems! If a new system needs to be commissioned at a customer’s premises, maintenance needs to be carried out or user training is required, Stefan is there to help. And he provides these services all over the world: in Sweden, France, Mexico, Brazil, China or the US. As an external service technician with Rehm, he ensures that Vision, Condenso and Securo etc. work perfectly and that customers do not have any outstanding queries with regard to process optimisation and system engineering. He also helps customers with consulting, after-sales matters and support. Stefan found the Swabian Alb where he grew up too small-town and wanted to experience new places. Travel is his great passion. So why not work in an international environment and see the world with your work?
It is important to Stefan that his job is a calling. Throughout his training and right up to the present day, he has developed not only his technological knowledge, but also his experience and sense of responsibility. He now knows Rehm system technology like the back of his hand. And Stefan wants to achieve something positive through his work, whether that’s solving a machine error or even “just” giving a customer a valuable tip. The result is what counts! Stefan knows the trick for ensuring that the systems are working perfectly and that he is ready for anything: coffee! And he prefers to drink his coffee from one of his 30 cups, which he has collected from all over the world. Stefan buys a cup for his collection in every new country he visits.
What is a typcial working day like for you?
Stefan Nikitenko: There is no such thing as a typical working day for us service technicians. Every day, every task and every customer is different. That’s what I love about the job! I might be in Mexico today and in Asia tomorrow... there is so much variety. Spending eight hours a day in an office or working in production would not be for me. My job is both challenging and stimulating. Rehm stands for innovative ideas and high quality consciousness. The customer expects a perfect solution and the best service. That means that I might be at a customer’s site for a couple of hours or even several days or weeks. A service plan specifies exactly what needs to be done when, where and how. Since I often work by myself as a bit of a “lone wolf”, I don’t just throw in the towel as soon as things get difficult. Quite the opposite! Facing challenges is what motivates me to provide the best service and stops things from getting boring. I use my experience and expertise to ensure that everything is running smoothly when I’ve finished and that the customer is happy. And I always have support from the service team at the headquarters, of course.
You have travelled a lot already as a service technician with Rehm.
What experience have you had in your job that you’ll never forget?
S.N.: I have travelled to almost every continent now. I love my job and I have had lots of great experiences already! But one funny story springs to mind: I was working in Sweden a long time ago when it was -35 °C outside. I’m not sure why, but I had decided to hire a Volvo Cabrio to get to the customer’s site. The road I was on took me through a wonderful snow-covered landscape which I absolutely had to photograph. So I stopped, took a couple of photos, and got back into the car, but the Volvo wouldn’t start again. Panicking about the signs of frostbite which were starting to set in and getting angry at myself for wearing a thin winter jacket, I was frantically hitting the start button. There was no one around for miles and I truly thought I wasn’t long for this world! After what felt like an eternity, I finally remembered that you have to start an automatic car in a different way to a “normal” car. Thankfully, after remembering this, I was quickly able to continue my journey and warm up again. Flexibility, motivation and maximum performance really paid off in this case (laughs)!
What tips would you give to applicants?
S.N.: If you want to start working in the service field, I think it is beneficial to have some previous experience working in this area. You need to love your job and be good at organising your own work. An interest in technology, a desire to travel and a willingness to go the extra mile are absolutely essential in our field. I am only happy when the customer is happy. Working all over the world as a service technician requires discipline and flexibility. But this commitment is worthwhile – from a financial perspective on the one hand, but much more so in terms of the freedom to organise your own work schedule, which I absolutely love and, of course, the people, cultures and countries which I have had the opportunity to get to know.