Reach for the moon; even if you miss, you will land among the stars. The star I dreamt of since childhood- is Mercedes-Benz.
Let me tell you about my journey – a ride that is indeed beyond imagination.
The day I was with my father, in 1998, and saw the new S-class model I was fascinated right away and I told my dad: “Dad, one day I will work for this company”, and he responded: ”Son…don’t dream too big, don’t dream too small.” Ever since that day I was convinced to do anything to work for this company.
Believing that with this attitude nothing is impossible, I decided to follow my dreams. From that particular incident on I knew that I was born with a passion inside, that made me go reaching for the stars-and here I am at Daimler, where dreaming of the impossible turns into blueprints, then reality.
I am currently enrolled in the American University of Beirut. I’m in the third of my four-year Mechanical Engineering degree. One of my major concerns since the very first year at AUB was my future internship. I have always perceived it as an essential for hands-on experience and advancement in knowledge. On top of that, it provides an overview of the future career.
Having this in mind, I started reading and learning more about Daimler as a company, exploring the world of Mercedes-Benz. In addition to that, I took German language classes, since I always knew that this is the language of engineers.
I knew exactly what I wanted, so I applied for an internship at Daimler through the Young Arab Leaders (YAL) program. Knowing that it will be a fierce competition, I tried my best to make it till the end of the selection process. After what seemed to be an endless period of time, I received a phone call, or better said, “The Phone Call”. The words of my current supervisor will never abandon my memory, “Mr Saad, are you fine with doing an internship with us this summer?” That moment made me realize what it is like for senses to ignite; I wanted to scream, I wanted to jump. I was two months away from living what seemed a wild fantasy back in my childhood!
It’s time for business
On the first day of work, I arrived to Sindelfingen determined to make the most out of this opportunity. “A week in the same compound”, I told myself, “great, I’ll have the chance to meet and know the majority of the workers”.
Sindelfingen turned out to be the largest Mercedes-Benz compound worldwide, encompassing over 40,000 employees! And spreading over 2.9 square kilometres with a production capacity exceeding 2000 cars per day. To me it was the moment where I stepped into the gates of my Disney Land.
Of the many diverse departments, I work in the Mercedes-Benz Cars / Material Cost Strategy department. The team attempts to find the best solutions to lower the production cost and thus increasing the revenues for Mercedes-Benz. The work atmosphere is delightful and professional; everybody is willing to help and to explain his intricate type of work.
I attend my department team meetings which I consider an essential way to communicate within the company, regularly. Unfortunately I am not fluent in German which hindered my complete comprehension and active interaction. To help me, my supervisor briefly summarizes the main points discussed in the meetings. This enables me to fully grasp and appreciate the meeting, to feel like a contributing member.
The motivating team spirit
Away from work, my team and I went to see the television tower in Stuttgart and dined at a great German restaurant. Furthermore, I was fortunate to spend one weekend with my supervisor and at a soccer match of VfB Stuttgart which took place in the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Later that day, we went to see the mindboggling fireworks show “Flammende Sterne 2011” in Ostfildern. This made me see a different aspect of Daimler AG, a glamorous aspect that you explore when you are outside the gates of the company.
The Mercedes-Benz roller coaster… A Thrilling Ride!
I was sitting at my desk working, when my boss approached me and said: “Mr. Saad, do you have work to do for now? Because I have a meeting to discuss and check the new Mercedes-Benz prototypes, would you like to join me?” I was speechless, I thought: “The new prototypes?! I didn’t have the chance to dream about this yet!” The prototypes we were going to see are the actual designs of cars that will be in the market soon. I tried to hide my excitement and over-enthusiasm and flowed towards my boss.
We were welcomed by a team of engineers and began walking along the line where magic is being created.
I was surprised that the building process is done by hand and not by robots, so I asked the chief engineer about the reason behind this slow production process. He replied:”Building cars by hand can be costly, but we build prototypes of the cars for test purposes, so creating an automated assembly line would be nonsense.” This implies the level of professionalism and expertise by which Mercedes-Benz achieves this distinguished perfection and excellence.
To add the frost on the cake, my team and I are planning to attend the IAA motor show Frankfurt, the world-famous automobile trade fair. I consider myself so fortunate to have face-to-face interaction with cutting edge technologies and to be present among world leaders and decision makers in car industry.
To me Mercedes-Benz is the pioneer, the leader and the innovator.
It is a great honour for me to work with the world’s top engineers and to be a part of this family.
Einstein once said: “Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what has happened.” Fortunately, I was privileged to watch things happen.With the experience I gained hopefully in the near future I will be among the ones who make things happen.