BENJAMIN THEIS - PROJECT MANAGER

gbc engineers is delighted to introduce you to Benjamin Theis. Benjamin is 34 years old and a structural engineer with over 7 years experience in structure design. He recently joined our team in Vietnam. We spent a few minutes to give you a short glimpse of his first experiences at gbc engineers.


What was the main reason you joined gbc engineers?
The main reason that has brought me to gbc engineers is the chance to work in a country outside of Europe. After my interview at the company’s headquarter in Berlin, I received an offer to work in Vietnam. I personally think it is a great opportunity to explore a new country and challenge myself in a different working and living environment.


What is your current position and how does your typical working day at gbc engineers look like?
Currently, I am a project manager who is responsible for several international projects. My tasks include conducting structural analysis, working with engineers and draftsmen as well as taking care of the time schedule and the quality itself. In addition, I serve as the contact person for our clients in Germany.

My typical day at gbc engineers starts by walking across our office and greeting my colleagues. While having my first coffee in the morning, I start to check my email inbox to check if any problems have occurred. Afterwards, I will continue to work on scheduled tasks, check the status of the team and ensure that we can finish our tasks on time. Occasionally, I have meetings with our engineers but only when we have difficulties to solve a problem, and when a suitable solution for our client and for the company is required.


What do you like most about your job at gbc engineers?
The best part of my job at gbc engineers is that I have chance to work in another country. Living and working in Vietnam is a life-changing experience to learn a new culture, to meet new people, as well as to try out new things and to adapt accordingly.

The second reason why I like to work at gbc engineers is the team spirit. Everybody here is very supportive, helpful and they always care for each other. It is quite uncommon to find such an environment in Germany.

And last but not least, I really enjoy the team building activities organized by the company. Most of the activities were after work so we could relax and get to know each other better. Personally, I really enjoy playing football with my coworkers every Thursday and badminton every weekend.


What are the biggest challenges for your job at gbc engineers?
Driving in Vietnam by motorbike in this crazy traffic is one of the biggest challenge at gbc engineers I was facing in the beginning. It seemed impossible to ride a motorbike here. The traffic is chaotic and people come from almost every direction. However, after driving a couple of times I realized that people always observe and pay attention. People will actually make their way around you. It has become easier day by day. You get used and comfortable to the traffic rules in no time.

Besides, I am always keen to find the best solutions for the client and ourselves. In order to find them, it often takes time and demands to work closely with our design engineers. Therefore, teamwork is absolutely required to find out the best way.


How would you describe the working environment and your colleagues?
Comparing the working environment in Vietnam with Germany is very difficult. Basically, I do the same job as I did in Germany. However, each day in Vietnam is different compared to the day before. You always find new things that surprise you every day and makes your life less boring.

My colleagues are very friendly. They are always willing to help and support each other, even with not work-related issues. I have witnessed the friendliness of my Vietnamese coworkers when a foreign coworker had problems with his/ her motorbike. They immediately offered support without any hesitation.


What is your most favorite memory at gbc so far?
In September our company organized a team building trip to a national park outside of the city. We spend an amazing and memorable time in the middle of nature including many team activities to strengthen team spirit and enhance teamwork skills.


In one sentence, how would you explain gbc engineers’ culture?
German engineering combined with Vietnamese lifestyle.


What is your favorite thing to do out of work?
Just relax while doing sports, reading and travelling.


What do you like most about living and working in Vietnam?
Firstly, Vietnam is an interesting and dynamic country. It offers a wide variety of beautiful landscapes, with mountains and oceans to visit. You can travel around Vietnam with different vehicles like bikes, buses and trains. Have I mentioned that the weather is always great throughout the year? Secondly, the Vietnamese food is inexpensive, healthy and delicious. I am constantly spending time to explore more Vietnamese food because you have such a great variety of choices. Lastly, I really like the people in Vietnam. Every person I have met is friendly, supportive and hospitable to each other.


Tell us your top 3 reasons why you would recommend your friends to work at gbc engineer!
The first reason why you should work here is because you have get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself by working in another country. Secondly, you will meet a friendly working environment with young and supportive colleagues. And lastly, you will receive opportunities to learn new things and most importantly work on interesting projects.


Tell me one interesting thing that you want your colleagues to know about you?
I love cycling - so if someone knows a good cycling route – just let me know