Brazilians are masters of improvisation

Charlotte Vogel

Four months in Brazil. A win for everyone.


Charlotte Vogel is not afraid of change. She moved from Lower Saxony to Baden-Württemberg in 2004, when she started her dual study program at STIHL. The young woman currently works in production planning for end devices in Waiblingen, where her responsibilities include coordinating new developments. Contact with other STIHL production sites is part of everyday business in this specialist area. When her supervisor returned from a business trip in Brazil with the news that a Brazilian colleague would be spending some time in Waiblingen, a thought occurred to her: “Perhaps this visit can be designed as a kind of exchange.”

The plan becomes reality

Almost a year of discussions, deliberations and preparations followed, until finally the 32-year-old traveled to São Leopoldo in November 2015. She took with her a Portuguese course, some intercultural information and her open and cheerful attitude. Her new colleagues quickly integrated her into the team and accepted her as “one of us”. Positive teamwork is one of the valuable experiences Charlotte Vogel’s took from her time there: “The Brazilians are masters of improvisation – in all areas. And they always strive to make sure the end result is the best outcome for everyone.” She spent four months working there, also in production planning, and would have liked to stay even longer.

The contacts she made continue to benefit collaboration with the Brazilian site to this day: Much can be done better, faster, and more smoothly. “Certain things about a place can only be understood and comprehended once you have lived and worked there.” Charlotte Vogel says, “This benefits everyone – and especially the company – in ways you cannot achieve with money alone.”