True to the motto “lead and follow”, Thomas Reininger designs innovative, customized network solutions to meet customer requirements. As someone interested in technology and a career change, after completing his studies in journalism he came to Kapsch as a Solution Designer, where he now works 30 hours a week. The motto “lead and follow” does not come from nowhere – Thomas Reininger is a successful ballroom dancer in Class S of the Austrian national team and has already enjoyed some success thanks to his 125% dedication: Austrian champion of Class A and B and third place in the Austrian championship of Class S. When his older sister asked him to be her dance partner at her graduation ball, the then 17-year-old strongly protested. Dancing was definitely the last thing on his mind. After much persuasion, he came round to the idea and was soon in a beginners’ class at a dance school. In his first lesson it all became clear: “THIS is what I want to do!” Two years later, he became a member of a dance club and today he and his dance partner Kristy Puusepp are one of six couples that make up the Austrian national team that take part in international competitions. Both are currently set to be in the top 100 in the world ranking. To this end, they train six days a week, four to six hours a day and take part in two to three Europe-wide tournaments a month.
Firstly, physical condition and a certain musicality. Then there is creativity, since you choreograph each dance yourself as an “artist”, and assertiveness. You have to stand out from competitors and impress the judges. People’s judgment is always subjective and you have to be able to deal with it. Being creative, and thus thinking outside the box, is extremely important when it comes to designing solutions for customers. They must match the customer requirements exactly and be state-of-the-art.
Dancing also helps to put myself in the position of others in order to get a different perspective. For one thing, this is important when it comes to customer contact and, for another, dancing is also a way to learn about life in general. To me dancing is the highest form of communication - I immediately recognize the mood of my counterpart, which means that you cannot hide anything while dancing.
Freedom! Even if outsiders do not relate to ballroom dancing at all, for me, dance means that I can express myself as freely as I like and as I am. It sounds cliché, but dancing is like flying to me. Intensive training sessions and long journeys to tournaments are all worth it.
I have suffered a few emotional and physical setbacks. For example, my dance partner once bailed on me just before the championship after I had qualified for the European Championship. However, these very setbacks have spurred me on in recent years. I always think “The time is now!” and never about stopping.
I am aware that my career may not appear too logical at first glance, but I have always felt very comfortable with it. I have been interested in network technology for a long time, and spent a lot of my private time digging into this topic. During my initial weeks at Kapsch, I naturally had a lot of learning to do, but I quickly got the knack of it. In our daily interchange within the team we continuously learn new things from one another as well. For example, as a “newbie” I take a different approach sometimes, and find solutions that others hadn’t thought of. And vice versa, naturally I benefit from my colleagues’ experience and know-how who have been with the company for a very long time and always provide great support to me.
It means a lot to me. 125 years is unbelievable and really great! Kapsch has managed to preserve 125 years of tradition and still drives and even determines developments. My mother worked at Kapsch for many years. When I was nine years old, I randomly marked a job advertisement by Kapsch in the newspaper which she then applied for. As a result, Kapsch has therefore always played a major role in our family.