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A Brazilian studying and working in Frankfurt
Master of Finance / 3. September 2019
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Alessandro is a Master of Finance class of 2020 student who represents FS as a student ambassador

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The first point that comes to mind when moving to a different country is the language. It is possible to live in Germany with English, but highly recommended to learn the language, as it is going to be a big difference on the job search. And let’s be honest, those who decide to move to another country should try hard to get used to the new culture and the language is only one of the aspects.

Another point that may scare some people is the bureaucracy but here I have good news: there is a bilateral agreement between Germany and Brazil and because of that students are not required to have a visa to enter Germany. Once here, we have three months to get the Residence Permit, which is not really stressful. Besides, the country is well organized, so it is not difficult to deal with other bureaucratic issues.

How is it as a Frankfurt School student?

The dynamic of the classes is not so different when compared to Brazilian Business Schools. However, at Frankfurt School there are much more group projects/assignments. During the second semester, almost 50% of the achievable points came from group activities. One big contrast in these two countries is the role of the grades. Straight to the point: in Brazil grades count much less than work experience. In the majority of  cases, the bachelor students in Brazil would spend 1 or 2 years working as an intern 6 hours (in theory) and then another 4 hours in  University per day. And almost everyone is focused on the job. In Germany it is a bit different. The grades play an important role and in order to find a good job you are required to have good results.

One really interesting advantage offered by Frankfurt School is the 3-day model, which means the students have classes 3 days per week (Saturday being one of them) in order to have time to invest in other activities, for example language courses or part-time jobs. In my case, during the first semester I attended German classes and in the second I worked for the Spanish bank BBVA. During the remaining two semesters I will be working for Commerzbank.

Frankfurt School also offers a range of different initiatives, in which it is possible to meet new people as well as to learn new things. It is possible to play football, learn python, go to the United Nations HQ in New York and much more. In my case I participate in the FS Buddy where I give support and advice to new students who are coming to the school.

Getting a job in Germany

Regarding the job itself, finance does not change between the countries too much. Many financial products operated are the same. The divergence is the cultural environment in the companies. As for job-hunting in Germany, I would say, it is really desirable to learn German to improve your chances. Only English is enough for some positions but once the applicant is able to speak the local language the opportunities increase significantly.

For me the biggest difference is the way an application procedure runs here. In Brazil I would say the employers invite more people to the interviews and filter during the conversations. Here, the biggest filter is done on the application documents (CV, cover letter, grades). Hence, when we have a chance to talk to the recruiter, we have to be well prepared in order to not miss the chance.

To wrap it up, I advise to really think about the decision of moving to another country, because there will be obstacles you must be willing to deal with and,  if Germany is your choice, I suggest you start learning the language before landing here, it will make a difference. Other than that, don’t forget to be motivated to learn and give your best when looking for a job.