Manuela Midl

From Kapfenberg via Munich to Silicon Valley - Manuela Midl lives the dream many students have


Key data

Job description Field Application Engineer Industrial IoT and Liaison Manager

Company TTTech North America Inc

I am working in Silicon Valley, California, U.S.A. since 2017.

My contacts:

What I do

TTTech, the company I work for, is a strategic investor in the Silicon Valley startup Nebbiolo Technologies. Both companies collaborate on NERVE, which is a set of innovative computing platforms for industrial automation. I was transferred from the TTTech headquarter as first person permanently based in the co-located office with Nebbiolo in Milpitas, California. In this position, I am in charge of

  • liaison management with our partner Nebbiolo
  • easing the joint product development, project management
  • carrying out local customer contact in customer support, business development and marketing

Why I love my job

  • I can spearhead my company in a newly created office in the Silicon Valley
  • I can closely work with a startup and whiteness it’s growth
  • I contribute to an innovative product and work on cutting edge technology

What I don't like that much

  • The timeshift to my headquarter sucks
  • I do not have to travel a lot for work, which I actually love
  • The coldest winter you can experience here in California is the summer in San Francisco

Important skills in my job

  • You have to be able to mingle easily into new teams and foreign cultures, don’t get homesick, be flexible and good with people
  • Have the technical understanding about the products
  • See what needs be done and have the passion to judge and drive things on your own

How I found my current job

I established myself at TTTech Automotive in Ingolstadt for a couple of years in an automotive series project (zFAS) , in this acquired the knowledge about TTTech technologies and the trust of my superiors. I played with the thought of going further abroad after Germany for some time and finally was very lucky: Just as I made the decision to leave Germany and go to California, TTTech announced this opportunity! Me and some other candidates internally formally applied for this job, and I won it. But that wasn’t it: Compared to relocating within the European Union, relocating to US involves a process and the fulfill of certain requirements to be granted a US work visa. This took some time, but as also this hurdle was successfully taken, I got the job.

What I learned for this job during my studies

During the studies of electronic engineering I learned all the technical basics in so much depths (electronics, programming) to be able to work in this technology driven environment and understand it’s challenges. However I must say, that mostly my previous job prepared me for the current challenge, as I experienced what is needed to manage and well execute customer projects and product development.

Job prospects in my field

Working abroad, basically anywhere in the world, is in fact really very easy with an electronics or basically any tech background, because the qualification is widely accepted while at the same time, the electronics industry is longing for good people. This is especially true for the automotive supplier industry: each notable supplier has a presence in or around a big tech hub (of which Munich, Wolfsburg, Stuttgart are just a few examples) and suffers from the large OEMs sucking up the extraordinarily qualified people from the personnel market. This offers very big chances for new-entries in the labour market into companies which are not the big brands but nevertheless very successful high tech companies.

My exact job, which is representing my company abroad at a U.S. partner, is not likely to be given to a newly graduate, as it requires being really well settled in the company and technology and the U.S. visa process. However, a newly graduate can take up similar jobs. Such as I, starting in development roles, which are available all over Europe, can be an option, or aiming for a trainee program in larger companies, most of which involve an assignment abroad.

I am

  • Independently working and decisive
  • Working analytically and well structured
  • Very happy in what I am doing

Some final thoughts

Never it will be so easy again to acquire true knowledge than during a course of studies. Never. Use this phase and the guidance of your teachers (who will maybe see things in you, that you do not yet see) to prepare yourself, to understand before you talk. But after that, also don’t think (study) all too much. The time is hardly ever perfect for anything, so go out boldly, take up a job that feels good now, and where it feels good, do enjoy it. Take one step after the next, each helpful for you to staying motivated and bringing you closer to the very best vision of yourself. I can only encourage you to go with one of these steps abroad, as it will totally change the way you see things in the world and within yourself. All the best, my friend;