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Process technician Metin Yazici has found his ideal career combo with loyalty to the location, cosmopolitanism, and a passion for lifelong learning.

Text

Jan Schütte

Metin Yazici still remembers August 19, 1982. Not because the spacecraft “Soyuz” was catapulted into space from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, but because that day his professional “orbit” began at tesa. Yazici has been part of the company for more than 37 years, and today the 56-year-old works as a process engineer at the tesa plant Hamburg-Hausbruch. However, his career start at the tape specialist was anything but the product of long planning. Yazici moved to Germany from Samsun in Turkey at the age of 16. “After I graduated from high school, I actually wanted to start studying engineering, but for various reasons it didn’t work out. Then a friend gave me the tip to apply at tesa and I was taken on – a stroke of luck,” emphasizes Yazici.

Metin Yazici

has been working for tesa SE since 1982, currently as process technician Cleanroom Unit Industry at the Hamburg plant. The 56-year-old comes from the Turkish city of Samsun on the Black Sea and has lived in Hamburg since the age of 17. He has visited tesa in China a total of three times to train colleagues on a machine at the production plant in Suzhou.

3,000

square meters

comprise the cleanroom unit at the tesa plant in Hamburg. It covers the entire development and production process and features adhesive compound processing, coating system, assembly, packaging, and material storage.

Source: tesa SE

A machine operator in three months

After only three months at the factory, Yazici became a machine operator (see box below) in adhesive tape production, among others, tesafilm®. To date, on site he has supervised six major plant constructions and promoted many technical developments. His current location is the ultra-modern cleanroom unit, where he controls, among other things, the production of the thinnest tapes in the world. These measure only 2 micrometers (µm) and are used for bonding electronic components, for example in smartphones. As a comparison: A human hair is about 50 µm thick. “My job here never got boring because there were always new challenges that I eagerly accepted. Work is great fun,” says Yazici looking back.

I still learn something new every day. Tackling challenges and understanding processes together with colleagues inspires my creativity.

Metin Yazici, 
Process Technician at the tesa plant Hamburg

Job Move: to China as a supporting technician

His strong commitment and expertise were the reasons why his superiors offered him the chance to help build the tesa plant in Suzhou, China, in 2005. For three months, his job was to train his colleagues in China on a coating line for adhesive tapes. The only downside: Yazici had to leave his wife and two kids at home – just like during two other missions in China, once more in 2005 and then again in 2015. The experienced specialist is grateful for the chance to export his expertise to the Far East for a total of seven months: “We have so many great employees at tesa. It was a huge honor for me to be selected among them.” He would agree to another assignment abroad at any time, says Metin Yazici. Not only because tesa supported him impeccably, but also because of his personal experiences in China: “I gave the Chinese colleagues the feeling that I was there for them, let them try things, gave them the freedom to do it. Thus, they welcomed me warmly.” Despite discovering many parallels between Chinese and Turkish culture, Yazici still cannot get used to one thing: eating with chopsticks.

What does a machine operator do?

As a machine operator at tesa, you professionally monitor the production of adhesive tapes in a system. Among others, you’re responsible that the production runs on a technically perfect system, the work performed by the employees meets the quality requirements, safety regulations are observed, processes are documented, malfunctions are professionally resolved and documented.

Lifelong learning

Learn and let learn – this motto runs like a red thread through his long career. I was not truly aware that I had a very special type of career at tesa, Yazici says modestly and at the same time amazed. Much more important for him: “I still learn something new every day. Tackling challenges and understanding processes together with colleagues inspires my creativity.” Accordingly, he advises young professionals to tackle tasks seriously, patiently and curiously, and to be open to errors and feedback. And: “Don’t think about leaving as soon as you arrive!” For Metin Yazici, the contrary applies, as becomes clear at the end of this morning conversation: At 9:45 p.m. he starts his night shift as a machine operator – from time to time he helps out during staff shortages at his old place of work. “I like to do that for my people,” says Metin Yazici affectionately and, even after 37 years at tesa, he is still as motivated as on the first day.

FACES AND STORIES

tesa offers not only vertical but also horizontal career paths. Who are the employees that have successfully moved forward on alternative paths? What motivated them? What tips do they have for others? These and other questions will be answered in an article series on tesa.insights. In loose sequence, we’ll portray protagonists from the diverse job world at tesa. General information about tesa as an employer:

career at tesa