In June, 50 technical trainees and 24 commercial trainees – covering a total of 11 different professions – successfully completed the last part of their finals, with seven of them getting such good results that they were invited to the Industrie- und Handelskammer Kassel-Marburg, IHK (the Kassel Chamber of Industry and Commerce), to be recognized for their efforts.
In May, Laura and Barbara, two members of the SMA Italy team, ran a very special competition, Avon Running, in Milan. The aim was to collect money for a children’s charity association, founded by Marco Modena, the SMA Italy’s former Service Director who died last November. Avon Running, part of Win4Youth – a global sports initiative to raise money for youth foundations, is a five kilometer, women only run that courses through the center of Milan.
The beginning of my career with SMA Solar Thailand
In February 2013 I attended a Solar Academy international training course in Malaysia. On the way back from lunch one of the customers asked me what made me decide to work for SMA. Inspired by the question, I felt energized to give my reply, “Well, that’s a good question. It began one day as I woke up and asked myself what I could do for the world. During that time I was learning about alternative energy sources, solar energy in particular. I realized that we have a tremendous source of energy to which we have access every day. More importantly, I love to share knowledge and ideas. I love working at SMA.”
At SMA America we have the opportunity to advocate for a cleaner planet by promoting renewable energy every day, and sometimes we get to contribute on the weekends too!
Earth Day 2013
Although Earth Day isn’t officially for a few more days, SMA employees got a head start on Saturday, April 13 by volunteering at the sixteenth annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup at Folsom Lake. Hosted by the California State Parks Association, this annual event brought together more than 2,000 volunteers at 24 parks across the beautiful state of California.
In April, SMA Italy celebrated the fifth SMA Family Day, one of the most expected event of the year. The Italian subsidiary opened the door to children, wives, husbands, friends and relatives of all SMA employees and involved them in a very funny party.
A group of electronics engineering, industrial engineering, and environmental engineering students from the Braunschweig University of Technology (TU Braunschweig) recently found out what solar inverters and popcorn have in common during a field trip at SMA.
Before Ingolf Hoffman comes into the office at SMA, he often sits at his desk at home. That’s because the technician is currently completing a distance learning degree in electrical engineering while simultaneously pursuing his career at SMA. In the following interview, Ingolf explains what he’s had to do to make it work.
“Listen to Your Heart – Health Day Is Coming Your Way.” This was the motto that preceded a team of health experts as they went through all of our departments at SMA during the last two weeks. Their mission? To carry out blood pressure screenings at the workplace during working hours. The reason? Ninety percent of men know the average MPG rating and the engine horsepower of their cars, but only twenty percent know what their blood pressure is. To put things into perspective, high blood pressure is the world’s No. 1 health hazard, causing over nine million deaths a year worldwide. In Germany alone, it’s a widespread condition that affects one out of every three people! And the consequences are serious. Forty percent of all deaths among people younger than 60 can be traced back to high blood pressure, and, left untreated, it will shorten a person’s lifespan by an average of 11 years. To top it all off, it’s a treacherous condition that remains undetected in fifty percent of all cases because it has no outward symptoms.
It cannot be felt. But it can be measured!
Around 1,620 members of the SMA team participated and had their blood pressure taken, and I’m extremely happy that so many of us took part in our Health Day campaign. I would also like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, our health experts and the team that organized the campaign, as well as all the team members that contributed. Performing all these blood pressure measurements would not have been possible without all of you!
In addition to having their blood pressure taken, all participants received a thorough assessment of their personal high blood pressure risk. Moreover, team members who were likely to have high blood pressure were given informational brochures for their family doctor, as well as recommendations on what things to change.
Starting in April, we will begin a health program that will focus on lowering blood pressure by providing advice and courses dealing with the following preventive measures: moving around, changing diet, managing stimulants such as alcohol and coffee, and eliminating/managing stress.
For an entire week, six SMA team members from Colorado switched workplaces to Niestetal, about 5,000 miles away from their home in Denver.
It goes without saying that there is usually a good reason for a business trip that long, and this was no exception. Our US team members had been invited to a joint workshop by the SMA Logistics and Purchasing departments as part of a large logistics project that SMA is planning to implement at other locations as well.
Family planning, parental leave, day care: Ute Wiesner not only handles every aspect of our company’s family benefits, but also provides assistance to SMA parents and to anyone who is planning to become one. We recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk about the various benefits that SMA offers, as well as the kinds of things our colleagues should keep in mind when getting ready for their new baby.
Me, a computer science major, stuck in the figurative barracks of electrical engineering? With the dudes who think a C array is the ultimate data structure for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g? I have to admit it: That was the very thought that went through my mind at the beginning, and, to be honest, SMA AG was nowhere near my radar as a place for computer science majors to do an internship until the spring of 2012 came.