I’ve never been able to stay in one spot for too long. When I moved 900 kilometres from Galicia, Spain to Zaragoza in 2011, I once again found myself in a foreign city. Previously, I had been putting in crazy hours as an auditor in Galicia, spending more than 12 hours a day – plus weekends – at work. I didn’t want to do that anymore. So the advertisement for the Financial Graduate Programme at MANN+HUMMEL came at just the right time.
This programme is aimed at graduates from around the world who have already gained some professional experience. It lasts between three and five years and covers not just professional training, education and responsibility, but also intercultural experiences, as the three segments of the programme are spent at different MANN+HUMMEL locations worldwide – perfect for a globetrotter such as myself!
And so my husband and I moved to Zaragoza, where the programme began and where I spent one and a half years working in MANN+HUMMEL’s controlling department. The tasks were similar to my job as an auditor, but the working environment was very different: we had plenty of events, regulated working times and a generally friendly atmosphere. I was attracted to the Financial Graduate Programme because it includes stays at international locations. I have always been fascinated by the prospect of living abroad. In my case, I started in Germany – Ludwigsburg and Sonneberg – and finished in the Czech plant in Trebic. Of all my roles so far, I most enjoyed working in plant management in Sonneberg.
Settling in is always difficult at first. Before my placements within the Financial Graduate Programme, I had not been to Germany or the Czech Republic. But my colleagues have always made it very easy for me. There is plenty to experience in and around Ludwigsburg as well as many international colleagues from countries such as Mexico, Spain and India. I also had great fun with the other people on the graduate programme.
Every country has rules that you need to observe. In Germany, for example, I noticed that once a decision is made, that is it. The office environment is one of great concentration and quiet – very different to Spain, where we are louder and more spontaneous at work. I do miss that a little bit. In the Czech Republic, I travelled a lot at weekends to places such as Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Italy.
And after my many stays abroad, I can definitely say that mastering the language is very important for integration. After completing the programme, I decided not to return to Spain, but to make a fourth fresh start at MANN+HUMMEL’s location in Marklkofen, Lower Bavaria. This is a very informal and warm-hearted place, and I have quickly settled in. However, I still have my problems with the Bavarian dialect. To understand my colleagues’ conversations at break times, one of them recommended that I watch a Bavarian series with German subtitles. 🙂