‘English business teachers are in demand’

In this week's My German Career Ian Towers, a business professor in Berlin, tells The Local how he came back to the capital, via Montreal, after having lived there as a student before the wall fell.

'English business teachers are in demand'
Photo: DPA

Where are you located and what do you do?

I’m in Berlin and am Professor of Business Administration and director of the English language BA programme at SRH Hochschule Berlin, which is a private university at Ernst-Reuter-Platz.

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

I came to Berlin six years ago, after living for many years in Montreal. I’d just finished doing a PhD over there, and wanted to get away from the cold winter weather! I’m originally from Preston in England, and my first degree was in German, during which I spent two semesters at the Freie Universität in Berlin – before the wall came down. So I already knew Berlin, having also been here for work in the meantime, so it seemed the obvious place to come to.

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

I first worked as a consultant and then took up some contract teaching jobs at various universities in Berlin in order to gain experience. I already had a contract at SRH, I liked the place, so when the opportunity for a permanent job came up, I applied and was delighted to be accepted. There’s a great demand at all universities for native speakers of English who can teach business subjects.

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

I sometimes teach courses in German, so I would say yes. On top of that, while all the staff can speak English, administration is done in German. And then you can really only appreciate the culture if you speak German.

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

It’s a stereotype of course, but sometimes the authorities are a little bit too bureaucratic and inflexible. On the other hand, I really appreciate the openness and straightforwardness that are important parts of the culture.

Do you plan on staying?

Of course. I’m married to a German, my job is great and Berlin is such a tremendous place to live – so I don’t see myself moving at all.

READ MORE: ‘I fell for a German and started my own dating site’

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