“I’m very sorry, but I’m afraid I have to fire you.” I don’t think I understood at the time what would happen to my career and my projects. I got to a whole comfort zone where I had a good job, rented a nice house, car and plenty of free time every weekend, but somehow I stopped trying, I stopped developing and I was hiding from new challenges. Today I can say I’m grateful to my ex-boss for that punch. Sometimes we need a shock to wake us up and remind us that we are meant for greater things. It was then that I began to seek for something bigger, something with a higher purpose: a challenge that not only confronted skills and knowledge, but also personality, determination and courage.
As they say, when a door closes, a window opens. So, after a GMAT test, VISA bureaucracy and a 13-hour flight, I went for my opportunity at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. I believe that many Mexicans; including myself, live surrounded by certainty and confidence. We are happily surrounded by family and friends because they nourish our souls, but when you think of going abroad for an educational or professional purpose, the idea or just the concept of being far away from them terrifies us in so many ways. Then to this formula you can add the lack of your mother tongue, the long, dark and cold winter and the troubling question, will I really make it in Europe? Am I good enough? Sounds like a long shot…
Precisely that’s the focus of this blog post. After 1 year living in Frankfurt, I can share with you some answers to these questions:
Frankfurt is “Latino-friendly”, salsa parties, Colombian nights… I’m sure you will find yourself speaking to people from your home country. The long and cold winter is easily managed with the heat of the Latin spark. It’s never been difficult to relate to other people at uni. It’s really very easy given that there is a wide open and friendly international community. This warmth and FS Spirit will provide you with an international family for life.
Will you make it in Europe? You will. The 3-day model allows you to gain relevant job experience while rocking your studies. Will you get a job even if you are not a local? Frankfurt has a growing power and fame as an international hub; a huge number of startups and big companies are acquiring international talent every day. Even FS offers a great career day and they help you with your job hunt. It might be tough at the beginning, but not impossible. In my case, it was that “Latin spark” that gave me my first opportunity as a working student at PwC Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services. Outside of protocol and official procedures, I went straight to talk to a partner who gave a speech at the university. After an interesting talk and without really knowing about German manners, I asked the question “Do you think you have a position for me within your team?” The rest is history and after 9 months, I found a new challenge thanks to an FS cooperation program, which landed me a new job in the Investor Relations team at Commerzbank.
If you want something different, to undertake a new challenge in your life and to explore opportunities in the financial center of Europe, Frankfurt School is the place to be. This might be the first step of your international career. The beginning of a life changing experience, part of the process to get you closer to where you are supposed to be. Never underestimate your chances.