Tarek Saunders, Press Electrician at Heidelberg UK
Read the interview of Tarek Saunders, a young and highly skilled Press electrician of Heidelberg UK.
What is your role at Heidelberg?
I am a press electrician for the South West of England, although my work is rarely confined to that area. I get the opportunity to travel and see new places and people around the country most days. I am primarily responsible for the maintenance and repair of our presses, both planned and reactive. I am also the first point of contact for many customers, so customer service is an important part of my job.
How did you first learn about Heidelberg?
I learnt my trade with the Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. I left in search of a ‘normal’ life. As I was without any prior connection to Heidelberg or the print industry, I was a little sceptical when I was approached by a recruitment agent asking if I’d ever considered a career in print. Once I’d visited Heidelberg’s showroom and local customers during the interview process, however, and learned about the industry and Heidelberg’s position within it, I was sold.
Could you tell us how you have been supporting our customers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?
I have been fortunate enough to work through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, assisting customers with critical issues - remotely when possible to reduce any further impact to businesses beyond that already caused by the current climate. When necessary I travelled to site to carry out repairs, ensuring safety to myself and customers by remaining up-to-date and following latest government and customer guidelines.
What is your proudest moment at Heidelberg?
I have recently been given the opportunity to work on Gallus products as well as Heidelberg machinery. There is now a much larger pool of machines that I will come across on a regular basis. This role requires a degree of self-sufficiency and resourcefulness to repair, obtain parts and gather information on these machines, particularly when working with a model of machinery no longer produced by Gallus but still in use by customers. I was proud to be part of a small number of engineers entrusted with this task.
What advice would you give to recent new hires?
As I am still fairly new to the company myself, I can only draw on my own experience. The job can be stressful if you allow it to be, so don't! I just do my best when faced with any problem. Everything else is then out of my hands. Just be prepared that things won’t always go your way. Flexibility and adaptability are important when working for Heidelberg; problems happen at any time of the day and night, but usually only happen when you’ve planned to go for dinner that evening!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 31 and live in Bristol with my fiancé Lucy, 2 beagles, Dexter and Rufus and a chameleon, Frank. I’m soon-to-be a dad. I've worked at Heidelberg for four years. I enjoy being outdoors, I ski and mountain bike as much as I can.
Where is the best place you’ve travelled to, and why?
I’ve had the chance to work in some lovely places around the United Kingdom and Ireland with Heidelberg, but the nicest place I’ve been with the company is Heidelberg itself. It’s a city in Germany around an hour from Frankfurt Airport, and it's full of bars, restaurants and things to see.
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