Jeffrey Reyes – The Man who thinks Outside the Box
„Guten Tag! Ich heiße Jeffrey!” Jeffrey Reyes, Cluster Engineer at AT&S, introduces himself in perfect (self-taught) German. A big grin peaks from behind his mask, eyes glowing with genuine joy. Even through a screen, his energy is infectious and you cannot help but answer his smile with your own. Born in the Philippines, Jeffrey has worked all over the place – from Singapore to Chongqing to Arizona, and now Leoben.
“I have a pretty optimistic approach to everything and whenever an opportunity presents itself to me I grab it.”
Jeffrey Reyes’ career began about 15 years ago when he was about to finish his bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering. Back then, he decided to jump the first rung on the career ladder – horizontally. Six years later, he was a quality engineer in Singapore. From there, he hopped over to AT&S Chongqing, which was followed by yet another horizontal leap: After completing his training there, he grabbed the opportunity to learn all about the customer’s side of things by training for half a year in Arizona. An eye-opening experience, he says. “Training in customer service molded me – understanding the customer’s work culture and their expectations for the delivery of technology development gave me a wholly different kind of experience to that of most.”
Due to the pandemic, he then moved back to the Philippines. There, he approached his previous managers and asked whether there were any open positions here in Leoben. Luckily, there was just the right job waiting for him. “I love that I found my way back in my own way, and get to contribute to this organization once again.”
By grabbing these opportunities, he truly learned to see things from a customer’s perspective, a valuable asset in his field. He is quite literally the definition of “cross-functional” with his work and background in a wide variety of departments. This is also a reason why he is so fond of mentoring young engineers, to show them that there are more career development options than just the standard vertical climb. Many of his previous colleagues see him as a “baseline model” for where to work, and so they have followed him here to AT&S, with more highly skilled professionals to come.
„We don’t sell pancakes, nor Schnitzel – we sell high-quality, high-technology products.“
After living and working in so many different cultures, the one thing Jeffrey admires most here is our work-life balance. “The weekend really is your personal time to spend with your loved ones,” he says, “In Chongqing my customers were sat in the US, which meant we had to work with their time zone. So, we were often sat in the office until 2 AM to be able to send our reports.” In general, he says there was a much stronger sense of urgency. “We don’t sell pancakes, nor Schnitzel – we sell high-quality, high-technology products.” This means that any customer complaint or issue needs to be addressed as quickly as possible, to show the customer why we should be the first choice for advanced applications.
“What I really like in this office is that everyone greets each other in passing. I guess it’s a completely normal thing here, but I find it really lovely,” he explains when asked what the main cultural difference is that he has observed in Austria.
His current hobbies mainly include taking 360-degree photos and learning about new things. Now that he is living here, however, he is determined to take up a few Austrian hobbies, such as hiking and, most of all, winter sports.
One piece of advice he would give his past self, would be “to learn, capture and adopt all the knowledge, experience and training you get along the way.” Jeffrey does this by setting himself concrete goals and listing down all the actions with which he intends to achieve them.
“Remember: There is always more than one way to achieve your goal, even if you don’t know it yet.” Judging by Jeffrey Reyes’ success and infectious energy, this is advice worth following.