An interesting path led me to be employed by Atec Pharmatechnic in Sörup, Germany. In 2006 and 2007, I travelled to Atec for a Pfizer project. I found the work environment of a small European company to be a lot different than that of a large American corporation. The focus seemed to be on customer satisfaction and creating a quality product. While at Atec, my interactions with the owner of the company (Hans-Werner) were positive. And exploring a different country (a different continent!) was an exciting adventure, even if only for short business trips. Jackie and I always liked the idea of visiting Europe, and we agreed maybe it was time for a change. After my last Pfizer trip, I called Hans-Werner and inquired about the possibility of working with Atec…
I made that phone call in September of 2007, and my first day of work here was June 2, 2008. Negotiations with Hans-Werner were easy, but figuring out all of the details was a long and arduous task. After Jackie and I completely dismissed the idea at the end of the year, Hans-Werner called again in January. I guess moving to Germany was meant to be.
My first four weeks here were spent away from Jackie. It was hard to make the transition without her, but it allowed me extra time to spend at work and to pave the way for our life in Germany. We joked about me returning to the “mother country” to establish the homestead before she arrived.
My responsibilities at Atec are diverse. My first project is to develop a model for the equipment commissioning and qualification process. This includes writing policies and procedures for equipment (such as stopper processors) that Atec builds for pharmaceutical companies. I also will be acting as a project manager for North American contracts. My first contract is with a company in Puerto Rico!
I like thinking outside of the box and having the freedom to run with my ideas, and so far my proposals have been well accepted. After my first presentation, Hans-Werner wanted the documents to be ready for our customers the next day, even though I thought they were only first drafts! Needless to say, I have been busy and the variety of my responsibilities has kept each day exciting.
My employment status with Atec is unique. Atec has plans to start a subsidiary company in the United States, providing qualification services to pharmaceutical companies. So, I am not actually employed by Atec Pharmatechnic, but by my own company called Atec Qualifizierungs. The idea is that when Jackie and I move back to the US, I will continue working as the manager of this subsidiary company. Only time will tell!