Welcome to the „Employee Spotlight“. This series introduces us to employees from all around the world as well as from all different job functions within our company. We get the opportunity to gain insights on their work life and to learn the variety of job options that are available within the company. In today’s spotlight: Joe Gessler, Account Manager for the Japanese Automotive Customers at Freundenberg Sealing Technologies.
I am an Account Manager for the Japanese Automotive Customers. In my role I work closely with NOK engineering to support the Japanese OEM and Tier customers. I operate as the main contact for our customers to address any open issues, help answer questions/concerns about current and future projects, and identify new opportunities to continue to grow the FNST brand in the North American market within the Japanese customers.
How has FST helped you in your career development?
FST has done an incredible job of providing both product and internal company training, as well as personal development trainings such as sales trainings, effective communications, and Personal Energy Protection. All of these experiences have helped me develop and grow as a professional.
What do you like the most about FST?
The thing I like most about FST when compared to other places I have worked would have to be the group of people I get to work with. Everyone within the FST community whether it be at the lead centers, upper management, quality, etc. are extremely helpful and great people to be around. The level of interaction and involvement of the employees at all levels is a noticeable difference from the previous companies I have worked for.
What is your favorite thing about working for FST?
My Favorite thing about working at FST is how exposed I am to different cultures. Learning how to operate and adjust to work with different cultures, most recently the Japanese business culture, has been a great experience and has broadened my overall perspective. The opportunity to learn about and from the different backgrounds and cultures of the people at FST is something I truly value and enjoy.
What do you enjoy doing on your days off from work?
It certainly depends on the season considering the weather we are subject to here in Michigan. In the winter, if I have some time off I am trying to find a way to travel somewhere warm. In the summer, whether it is playing sports, hiking, or being outside in the sun with my dogs , I like to enjoy the weather and try and stay active.
Before you began working at FST, what was an interesting job you had?
I was a lifeguard while I was in college which wasn’t always the most interesting job but it had its days. After 3 years of working as a lifeguard I only had to actually make one save, which consisted of me just diving in and helping a toddler out of the deep end who probably shouldn't have been there in the first place. The best part about the job was being able to be outside and enjoy the sun in the summer.
How has FST changed since you have been here?
I have only been here two years but one thing I noticed about FST is people are always changing roles and being provided opportunities to learn and grow within the company. The amount of employees who are promoted from within FST is a great example of the efforts and investment that FNST puts into training/developing its own employees.
Do you have a nickname at work? If so, how did it come about?
I actually have a pretty funny story about that from when I started at FST. I was hired on in June of 2017 and I had already planned a couple vacations in the months July and August that I couldn’t reschedule. One of the Account Manager’s I was supporting, who shall remain nameless, decided he would nick name me Josef Summerov.
What is your hidden talent?
I guess you could say my hidden talent is that I can complete a Rubix Cube in around two minutes but A. I don’t think that is much of a talent and B. I learned it here in the office from a co-worker (Mike Blake) so it’s not all that hidden.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Most children when they are young want to be something exciting, an astronaut maybe a professional athlete even, but for some reason when I was around seven years old I told my dad I wanted to be a criminal lawyer. I’m not sure if I was watching a lot of law and order or something, but I never did quite see that one through.