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'Many universities teach classes in English'

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16:36 CEST+02:00
In the latest instalment of My German Career, The Local spoke with Arpan Kava, who, after coming to Berlin to do a Masters degree in engineering, stayed for the career opportunities.

Originally from India, Kava arrived in Germany in 2010 and has been here ever since. Lucky enough to be offered a job in his desired industry at steel giant ThyssenKrupp, he is now based in Bremen.

Where are you located and what do you do?

I live in Bremen and work as a project engineer and site manager at ThyssenKrupp.

What brought you to Germany and how long have you been here?

Germany was not my first choice for studying abroad because of the language barrier. Initially I wanted to do my Masters in Mechanical Engineering in the United States. Later on though, I discovered through a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) seminar that Germany would be best for my career because of the huge opportunities in the field of engineering and that its universities offer courses in English.

I started applying to various universities in Germany and was accepted by a few, one of which was the Technical University in Berlin. This is how I ended up in Germany back in 2010. The two years and six months that followed have been the quickest and most important period of my life.

How did you land your job and do you have tips for anyone seeking similar work?

As part of my Masters I had to do a compulsory internship for at least three months outside my home country. And as I was quite certain that I wanted to pursue a career in Germany, I started learning German -- in my third semester. If you want to work, or have a social life, in Germany you should have at least basic language skills.

Is it important for you to be able to speak German in your position?

It is important for me to communicate in German in my company, because it is a German company. Although most people here do speak English, our internal and common language is German. As a Project Engineer, I have to deal with various departments responsible for different tasks, a role in which it is absolutely necessary for me to speak German.

What are the key differences between practicing your profession here and in your home country?

The major difference between practicing my profession here and in my home country is the lack of a truly professional culture. Here in Germany, people are well organized and plan well. They are punctual and more productive in a team here than in India.

What are the best and worst parts about working in Germany?

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The best part about working in Germany is the friendly working atmosphere, freedom of expression and the transparent management system. People don't interfere in others' jobs and everyone is aware and clear of their role and responsibility. The worst part, well there is no real worst part. Except that we have to face a lot of bureaucracy and pay high taxes.

Do you plan on staying?

Yes, at the moment I'm planning to stay in Germany. As a young engineer I can learn a lot, gain good experience and enhance my career here.

The Local/jcw

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