Bonjour and hi from Montréal – my city of choice for the foreign assignment as part of the graduate management program StartTechnik. Last month, my Trainee colleague Julian introduced you to Tulsa, Oklahoma as one station of the Mobile Engine Services network. In this article you will get to know Montreal as an exciting city as well as another station part of the worldwide Mobile Engine Services network, located at the headquarters of Air Canada.
Montréal is a beautiful and diverse city located at the east coast of Canada. With about 4 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, the city is home to people from all around the world, reflected in the international cuisine and various neighborhoods. Especially the French and British influences describe a lot about the history of Montréal. The city is divided into east and west by the St. Laurent Boulevard and although being a bilingual city, the further east you get, the better your French language should be. The European influence is still present today, next to the North American attitude. On the one hand, there are plenty of small streets and individual shops; on the other hand you find various large (fast food) chains. In Montréal, historic architecture meets modern buildings and since 2006 it is one of the UNESCO cities of design.
A fact definitely worth mentioning of Montréal is the weather: Coming from minus 30 degrees and masses of snow, the city turns into a vacation spot with lots of sunshine and outdoor activities in the summer. During winter times, many people in downtown use the 33km long underground city tunnels, connecting apartment buildings, offices and shops. Ski fans can even go cross-country skiing on Mont Royal, the hill in the city center. Also, a must-do and typical Canadian activity is to experience an ice hockey game of the Montréal Canadians. As of May, all of the sudden the restaurants open their terraces, the festival season starts and people enjoy the outdoor places.
Apart from being a great city to live in, the aviation industry plays a large role for Montréal as for example the International Civil Aviation Organization is located here. Air Canada, too has its headquarters in Montréal and this is where you can find the Mobile Engine Services station of Lufthansa Technik. Since 2013 Lufthansa Technik is offering onsite engine support for Air Canada. In the following years, the business model of Mobile Engine Services has successfully been established and is currently growing worldwide. Also, in Montréal the business with Air Canada is expanding and we aim to increase the customer base further. I am working closely together with the product center of Mobile Engine Services in Hamburg to evaluate and identify the best expansion strategy for the Montréal station within the network.
Right from the beginning, I really enjoyed my foreign assignment. I got to know the Canadians as very friendly and helpful, which makes it easy to feel welcome. Being part of a small team allows me to work on a variety of tasks, ranging from daily operations support to a strategic project about the way forward in Montréal. Socializing after work is an essential part of the Montréal culture. Whether it is “Taco Tuesday” or “Wing Wednesday” – it helps to get to know the colleagues and ensures a good teamspirit. The must-have food is “Poutine”, a Québécois delicacy consisting of fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. What makes this foreign assignment special is the closeness to the customer. Being located at the facility of Air Canada means that customer meetings are on the daily agenda. In this way, I enhanced my experience in key account management and cultural awareness.
Curious? In order to learn more about the StartTechnik program and the projects abroad, check out the articles of my colleagues. Next month, StartTechnik Trainee Joschua will share his impressions abroad and will take you to New York City.
Profile of StartTechnik Trainee
Since October 2017, Jacqueline Reinartz is part of the graduate management trainee program StartTechnik. Before, she studied business administration in Münster and in Portsmouth, UK. Afterwards she finished her master degree at the Goethe University of Frankfurt in Managerial Economics and Marketing Analytics. Already as a student she got fascinated by the aviation industry. During internships in Frankfurt and New York City, Jacqueline gained first experiences with Lufthansa Technik. Her previous project as a Trainee was with Fleet Services in Frankfurt in the area of product management and strategy.