Getting to know new things, mastering challenges, and looking for good and practical solutions together with my team – that is what drives me in my professional life. So, when I joined TRATON GROUP as an expat in Germany five and a half years ago, I was curious about what to expect in Munich. At the time, I could hardly imagine that I would extend my assignment in Germany indefinitely – but that's exactly what happened. So, what motivated me to stay in Munich? Above all, it's the desire to continue learning new things and the feeling of being part of something bigger. And it's the realization that the TRATON GROUP and its brands offer a fascinating and unique working environment – in almost every project, the employees can look beyond their brand and department and gain new and exciting experiences. This includes the exchange with colleagues within the TRATON GROUP and its brands, as well as getting to know partners and customers around the world.

At the weekend, I take almost every opportunity to go for a long walk. Like here, for example, at Schliersee, located about 50 kilometres southeast of Munich at an altitude of 777 metres in the Bavarian Alps. One of my favourite places.
Fascinating mountain world at 777 meters altitude: the Schliersee, located about 50 kilometres southeast of Munich.

International cooperations are the DNA of the TRATON GROUP and its brands. And what else keeps me in Munich? The city's beauty, good Bavarian food, and the closeness to the Alps and the southern European countries. I live with my family in Wolfratshausen, a good 55 minutes by car from my workplace at MAN Truck & Bus. In the south of the Bavarian capital, in the Isar Valley, I enjoy the breath-taking view of the Bavarian Prealps with all its lakes.

Here I am chatting with my colleagues Thomas Doering (left) from TRATON SE and Johan Berglund from TRATON AB at the TRATON GROUP headquarters in Hanauer Straße in Munich.
Creative exchange with my colleagues Thomas Doering (left) from the TRATON Headquarter in Germany and Johan Berglund from the TRATON Office in Sweden.

But back to work: As Head of Cooperations, Mergers & Acquisitions at MAN Truck & Bus, together with my small team, I take care of creating new and maintaining existing Cooperations and Joint Ventures, the consolidation of companies and/or their major assets through financial de- or investments as well as the conclusion of technology license agreements  for MAN. It's about collaboration in a wide variety of areas with external and internal partners. For example, if a member of TRATON GROUP  wants to participate in a MAN project and use certain technical components, we take care of cross functional alignment on content up to the conclusion of the legal framework of this collaboration. Or if MAN would like to invest into another company or divest some part of the business, we are the main responsible department.

In a good mood, I am preparing for last year's Oktoberfest with my colleagues Marianne Ekstedt (centre) from TRATON AB and Kerstin de Vaan from TRATON SE. Of course, we are wearing a dirndl, the typical Bavarian traditional dress.
Preparing for the Oktoberfest with my colleagues Marianne Ekstedt (centre) from the TRATON Office Sweden and Kerstin de Vaan from the TRATON Headquarter in Germany.

When we then find a good way for successful cooperation – often after many meetings and months of long initiation – then it's incredibly fun. It's great to find a solution that suits all partners! Seen in this light, we build bridges between the TRATON GROUP, the brands, and the customers. By the way, the basis for the success of this work is the willingness to see people with different professional views and experiences for what they are: an incredible enrichment for our working life. Because it is the diversity that makes a company fit for the future: Only together are we strong, creative and successful.

However, transparency is essential so that intercultural cooperation can be implemented. All decisions and processes must be understandable to all colleagues at all times. No one must feel disadvantaged or left out. In addition, joint meetings in real life (not just digitally on the screen) and a common language everyone understands are essential. English, for example. Because although German is spoken predominantly at MAN, my colleagues often like to talk to me in English. In that sense, we're all practicing for the next big international meeting. 

Here, it becomes increasingly apparent that my German can still improve...

There is a lot to discover on a trip to Lake Starnberg, about 25 kilometres southwest of Munich - for example, on the approximately 49-kilometre circular walk around the lake. Very often with me: Svea, my cheeky pug.
Challenging walk: On a trip with my pug Svea to Lake Starnberg, about 25 kilometres southwest of Munich.

That's why I regularly practice German – for example, when I visit my favorite places in Munich, the Olympia Park, and Nymphenburg Palace with its extensive park. When I take my two dogs Svea, a cheeky pug, and Atlas, a good-natured and constantly hungry Labrador, for a long walk, there is always a good opportunity for a chat with other walkers. By the way, I particularly like the Olympia Park because King Carl XVI Gustaf met and fell in love with his Silvia there at the 1972 Olympic Games.

My husband, my three children, our two dogs, and I feel very much at home in Munich and Wolfratshausen. Nevertheless, we miss our family and friends in Sweden. We talk to them regularly on the phone; my mother and father often visit us in our new second home in Germany. And in return, we regularly spend our summer holidays in Sweden. Then, over a fika, a Swedish coffee break, I tell them about the many helpful and creative people I have already met at TRATON and MAN. And about the typical German way of addressing things directly and without beating around the bush...

Best regards from Munich