I want to give you a practical report from Paderborn, Germany.
I have already told you that I have been supporting a program for foreign graduates at my employer GPDM for a few years now to assist them with their job seeking and entry into German work life.
In August we visited a former participant of my program at his employer. Arjya is working for the Paderborn software specialist FASTEC in the technology park Paderborn for more than one year. This has resulted in a press release which was published in the regional newspapers in August 2018. You can find this press release here now, as the articles were only published in the print editions, but not online. The most interesting thing is the feedback from FASTEC (I’ll tell you that he is very satisfied with his international staff ;-).
“Companies should open up”
Fill shortage of employees in medium-sized companies with foreign high potential graduates
Providing orientation to clever minds from abroad and accompanying them on their first steps in the German labor market. These are the concerns of the project “MINT – Making Your Career in Germany”.
Since September 2014, the Gesellschaft für Projektierungs- und Dienstleistungsmanagement (GPDM), supported by the Employment Agency , is counseling foreign students during the last phase of their studies and helps them find a job in Germany.
Absolvents from India
“These are not only very open-minded people thirsty for knowledge, but also highly-qualified talents with whom we are allowed to work in the project” reports project Manager Nicola Pilz.
Most of the 170+ participants who have participated in this program since 2014 are from India and had a veritable marathon of exams and project work behind them, in addition to learning German and getting used to everyday life in Germany. The direct contact into the (German) professional world had not been sought before and exactly there “begins our work,” says Pilz.
Individual Career Guidance for international students
Beginning with German social courtesies or writing a convincing cover letter for the job application or preparing for the job interviews, the GPDM is the contact person for the students during the last phase of their studies over a period of 8 weeks.
“In terms of time, you have to be flexible”, says Nicola Pilz, “because sometimes you meet in the evenings at 8 o’clock in the beer garden in order to reach the highly constrained participants.” It is precisely this individual support that is highly appreciated by foreign applicants.
“Ms. Pilz always came to us, we were able to meet her everywhere and thus save our important time,” says Arjya Shankar Mishra from India, who took up this offer a year ago and frequently met her at the university or in cafes.
Employment agency against shortage of skilled workers
Also, due to this flexible support system, 128 participants have already found a job in Germany as of now. “Unfortunately, in most cases, however, in other regions of Germany,” explains Rüdiger Matisz, Managing Director of the Employment Agency in Paderborn, “in East Westphalia, companies have to open up further for this topic in order to counteract the shortage of skilled professionals.”
International software specialist FASTEC in the Paderborn Technology Park
The internationally active software specialist FASTEC, situated in the Paderborn Technology Park, has been proving this way for several years now. There, foreign employees are seen as an indispensable asset to the 60-strong team when it comes to competitive solutions for optimizing and digitizing production processes. Since 1995, FASTEC has been developing modular software to increase overall equipment effectiveness, increasingly in the context of the dominant topic Industry 4.0.
International growth requires international employees
“For us, opening up means opening up to other cultures, respecting differences, and above all discovering similarities,” says marketing manager Andreas Freund, describing FASTEC’s Approach.
If you want to grow internationally, you need different cultures in everyday business life. It is important to achieve normality in terms of integration of foreign employees. And therefore English is spoken spontaneously at meetings in order to avoid misunderstandings.
German employees improve their English skills
The fact that many applicants only speak elementary German and that they have to communicate in English with their colleagues in everyday life is an exclusion criterion for many companies in East Westphalia.
“At the same time, it is with us that the change to English at the meetings improves the level of foreign languages for all the employees,” reports Andreas Freund.
And as far as the qualification of international graduates is concerned, they are already among the best of their schools and universities in their home countries and bring great know-how, but also the willingness to continue learning and developing themselves into the profession.
Indian software developer Arjya Shankar Mishra decides in favour of Paderborn
Arjya Shankar Mishra also started as a software developer at FASTEC after having created a tailor-made application for the company as part of the MINT project.
“Everyone here has taken me very well,” he says enthusiastically, “the job is just as done for me. The open atmosphere at FASTEC is the perfect environment for personal development over the next few years,” says Arjya confidently.
With his degree and his qualification, his potential job market is the whole world. Nevertheless, he decided for Paderborn, which he has learned to appreciate during the course of studies and where he could quickly find a connection.
International Sales Manager Sarthak Sharma
International Sales Manager Sarthak Sharma also made a straightforward impression on FASTEC after his employment with his unconventional work methods. “It is now common to send an e-mail for every request,” says Andreas Freund, “but Sarthak prefers to pick up the phone and call our customer. And they appreciate that because it’s direct, straightforward, fast and solution-oriented.
For most companies, speaking in English is not a problem on the phone anyway.
“I like the directness of a telephone call, especially with German customers! The Germans are always direct- If a company has no interest, they tell me directly. I can handle and work with such a behaviour very well, “reports Sarthak Sharma about his experience in sales.
FASTEC provides information on employment of international employees
FASTEC wants to be a good example in the region. Especially smaller companies from the region could benefit from international employees. Andreas Freund is quite sure: “Companies from the region, who have questions on this topic, can always contact us!”
Open Jobs at FASTEC
Candidates interested may visit the career portal: https://www.fastec.de/jobs/
The MINT program continues in 2019
The program “MINT-Making Your Career in Germany” of GPDM GmbH will probably be continued at the beginning of 2019.
International graduates of the University of Paderborn, who are about to graduate in a EIM-degree and want to participate in the program, are requested to contact Nicola Pilz at GPDM – Gesellschaft für Projektierungs- und Dienstleistungsmanagement GmbH at firstname.lastname@example.org.