Vinay, Principal Technology Coordinator (India)

"If you’re prepared to develop your professional skills, you can be successful in Germany."

© Make it in Germany
© Make it in Germany

Your wife followed you to Germany three years ago, and both of your children were born here: Do you call Germany your home?

Even though I’ve lived here since 2002, my ties with India are still strong as my parents and siblings live there. However, Germany is the country where I see my future – at least over the next few years. At the moment, we’re looking for a bilingual nursery for my son, so that he learns both English and German from the start.

How did you end up in Germany?

I wanted to do my Master’s degree abroad. Everyone in India goes to the US or to the UK. I wanted to do something different. I knew that Germany is very strong in engineering. In addition, its economy is very well-developed. That’s why I applied for jobs in Germany. As I got very good results in my Indian Bachelor’s degree, the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken gave me a schloarship to do a Master’s degree with them. From then on, everything was simple: The institute paid for my flight to Frankfurt. Somehow I then managed to buy a train ticket to Saarbrücken ...

...why “somehow”?

I couldn’t speak any German. But straight after I landed, I noticed that people in Germany were really helpful: the policeman who took me to the right platform, the elderly lady who showed me how to open the train door, and the gentleman who helped me lift my three heavy suitcases onto the train. When I looked out of the train window and saw the beautiful, varied landscape, I knew: I’ll stay here for at least five years.

And how did you learn German in the end?

I found a tandem partner. In addition, I tried to speak to as many people as possible, I read many books and watched films with German subtitles. Clubs were really helpful, too. In dealing with others, I tried to be open for new things, I took an interest and I was friendly. That way, I managed to interact with the people here, and I made many new friends.

Did your openness help you as you embarked on your career?

Definitely. If you engage with people, if you’re enthusiastic about what you do, and if you’re prepared to develop your professional skills, you can be very successful here. For a career in Germany, you need to be an expert in a specific field, though. In technology, for example, it’s possible to advance quickly. I was promoted four times in seven years. It’s because I made an effort, and because I was willing to learn. I think, however, that I wouldn’t have come this far if I hadn’t been an expert in my field.

How do you get on with your collegues? Did things go smoothly from the start?

My colleagues were always prepared to help. I’m in touch with many of them outside work, too. It is important, however, to be open towards the German mentality in your job. Germans can often be very direct. However, you should try not to take criticism too personally. If you see it for what it is, namely a way of working together more efficiently, it can really help you in your job.

Would you say that you have made Germany your home for your private life, too?

Yes, I think so. Germany is very open, in matters from cuisine to religion. For example, I was involved with Hindu temple associations for a long time, and I met many Germans there, too. In addition, Germany has a beautiful landscape, its medical system is excellent, and crime rates are low. We really like the fact that it is located at the centre of Europe. With my family, I have travelled pretty much everywhere from here.

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