Rodrigo is a techie at heart. He’s not someone with all the latest games and gadgets, but a scientist who likes to explore the fundamentals of how it all works. By nature, he is more introverted and quiet. But you wouldn’t notice that if you met him. Rodrigo is open, easy to talk to and smiles a lot. The R&D Manager at OSRAM Sylvania in New England is a people person from top to toe. What happened?
“In my nine years at OSRAM, I have been through an extensive development process”, says Rodrigo. “The skills I need now are very different from those I needed to take measurements in the lab all day. And luckily I had a very supportive management who sent me on the right training courses at the right time.” So, even if he is still a techie deep down, Rodrigo now knows a lot about people. He knows how they feel, how to motivate them and how to create an environment for them that is conducive to doing a great job.
“There is one skill that is particularly helpful in my job: I am able to listen,” the physicist explains.
“It's so important, in business meetings, in every walk of life. Being loud and being heard is considered to be key to success, but listening is just as important. If you don't listen, you might miss something that has been said. And that could lead to all sorts of problems.”
Soccer in Germany
Rodrigo listens to – and understands – people speaking English, Spanish or French. The avid soccer player even learned some German when he spent two months in Berlin and four months at OSRAM in Traunreut. “I loved every minute. My boss gave me this great opportunity to explore a different culture. But I had to come out of my comfort zone. Suddenly you find yourself looking into unfamiliar faces where people do not speak your language. You have to come out of your shell, otherwise you'll have a miserable time. I didn't. I had the best time of my life.”
You'd better not mess with Rodrigo as he's a black belt. Well, not in karate, but in Six Sigma, a renowned process optimization method. Of course it took a lot of training before he became certified. OSRAM made it possible for him to attend the full training course. “This training provided me with all the tools I need to interact with customers, understand their needs and translate them into technical specifications. It was exciting to learn how to do that – something I had not done before.”
An industry facing enormous changes
“OSRAM gives you the space to grow and develop, to tread a new path. If you want to, you can really make a difference.”
Research and Development Manager
Rodrigo joined OSRAM in 2005. Ten years down the line his job is quite different from the one he took on straight after university. That's partly down to his personal and professional development, but also to the massive transition the lighting industry is going through right now. He says: “Our business is looking ahead to a brilliant future, there are lots of opportunities and great potential for all of us here. OSRAM gives you the space to grow and develop, to tread a new path. If you want to, you can really make a difference.
The passionate cook's advice to those looking for a job is not to focus solely on the money: “A good rapport with your colleagues and an enjoyable atmosphere are invaluable when it comes to work. If you like the place, go for it – even if the money is not as good as it might be elsewhere. Do what your heart tells you to do. I have done it that way and never regretted it!”
"Light is my future.
This is where passion joins with scope.
That's how we step out on new paths."
Research and Development Manager