As always, Frankfurt School is not leaving any stone unturned to help its students advance in their career. There is always something interesting going on in the school; right from cultural festivals to the highly invaluable company events, that not just allows the students to get in touch with representatives from top companies in Germany but also helps instil a feeling of camaraderie amongst the FS family. That, I believe, makes Frankfurt School so special.
Recently, I attended another one of these valuable events organized by the FS Career Services Team: “My German Success”, a recurring panel discussion.. The idea behind this event is to connect international students to international alumni, who have achieved career success despite certain challenges along the journey. These alumni have earned an eminent position in the Global Market and inspire the current FS students to build their own German Success story.
In this latest instalment of “My German Success” – the second one that I have personally attended so far – we had four dazzling speakers hailing from four different corners of the world, namely Italy, Russia, America and China. They are currently working in different places such as London, Mannheim and Frankfurt in fields including Venture Capital, Consumer Goods, International Business and Consulting.
This interesting and thought-provoking talk reaffirmed my belief that it is an excellent networking platform, motivating students by emphasizing the importance of learning the local language – German. Besides this, the fact that these insightful speakers all had such diverse backgrounds and journeys – culturally, academically, and now professionally – yet under one nurturing alma mater, they were able to carve their German Success story, which made the event extremely relevant to the diverse audience.
The session started with an interesting quiz to develop the connection between the panellists and the audience. There were questions such as – Where are you from? How many federal states are present in Germany? How many neighbouring countries does Germany have? What do you miss the most from your home country? That is what helped to break the ice.
Hitting straight to the learning bit, here are my key takeaways from the event:
- Pay key attention on developing your professional network
A professional network or “Vitamin B” (as it is called in Germany) is one of the most valuable resources to gain an exposure to the professional arena. Every time you apply for a job, figure out what you liked about the company, the profile, the position and if you believe you fit in, think about creative ways to connect with the people around in the company.
- Be sure to constantly strive for self-improvement…
…and add value to your personal network. As per psychological studies, people often tend to change their attitude towards you when you try to talk to them in their local language. The alumni had different levels of German fluency while seeking a job. Some were near native level while some were mere beginners yet all of them believed in the importance of the local language and highlighted the same in the talk. So, find a place, no matter how busy you are, to learn German. Moreover, be brave to speak and be motivated to learn.
Finally, here are some wise words from our speakers
- “You don’t have to be perfect, you must show that you’re willing to learn and that’s all that matters”
- “It’s much easier to get a job through personal connection than just applying in the usual way, e.g. via an online portal.”
- “Für alles kommt die Zeit” – one panellist talked about having to be patient. When you continuously work on your career goal, you will achieve it at the end.
- “I learnt a lot of my German while being on the job.”
What I personally love about events like “My German Success” is the post-talk networking session, which provides the students a professional yet enjoyable environment – in presence of good food and drinks – to get the much-needed dose of “Vitamin B”.