When Dirk started working at Brunel Germany as a branch manager in 2004, he joined the company during its startup phase. Now, almost two decades later, Brunel Germany ranks as one of the leading engineering service provider. Dirk has been able to grow professionally and advance his career even as the company itself expanded.
General Manager Southern Germany, Austria & Switzerland
Dirk started as a branch manager in Mannheim in 2004 and is now the general manager of for Southern Germany, Austria & Switzerland.
Hi Dirk, take us back to 2004: What was it like to work at Brunel back then?
At that time, Brunel Germany was still considered to be a small business. So when I was hired as a branch manager in Mannheim, I managed a team of one account manager and five consultants. However, that same year, a new law altered some of the legal principles for temporary employment and secondment. For instance, the permissible period of secondment was extended from 12 months to two years. This made secondment much more attractive and resulted in a modern-day gold rush. We quickly identified this growth opportunity and Brunel experienced double-digit growth over the next few years.
Speaking of growth, tell us more about your career trajectory at Brunel.
After working for ten years in the position of branch manager, Brunel gave me the opportunity to develop my career and I was promoted to regional director. Now, in 2022, I have assumed the role of general manager, where I am responsible for developing business in southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
Obviously, a lot has changed since you first joined Brunel. Is there anything that has stayed the same?
I would say that the entrepreneurial spirit remains one of the core components and driving forces behind Brunel’s successful business. Even after 18 years with the company, I still feel like an entrepreneur myself. Together with my team, we are constantly working to create new ideas, implement new processes and find ways to boost sales efforts. Moreover, from day one, I was given a lot of freedom to act and bring in my own perspective. That is something that I still highly value in my role as a leader.
What has been your most memorable experience at Brunel to date?
There have been many memorable moments over the years, of course. There are the many events I attended, such as the yearly DACH & CZ* kick-off party, which takes place in a different city each time. Or this year, as part of our cooperation with German motorsport professional René Rast, I went to the DTM race in Hockenheim. Nonetheless, what stuck most in my mind is a mantra of Jan Arie (former CEO of Brunel): that the only limitations are those we set up in our own minds. And truthfully, this is very accurate as neither the market nor our customers act as obstacles.
You have already touched on one of our values, entrepreneurship. What other company value(s) do you especially identify with?
Actually, I identify with all four of them. Integrity and passion for people are needed to build a strong foundation. And in order to be successful, you need to adopt a result-driven and entrepreneurial mindset.
*DACH= Acronym for Germany, Austria and Switzerland (composed of the translingual country codes)
CZ*= two-letter country abbreviation for the Czech Republic