How people and companies in Jena live interculturality
Every year, the i-work Business Award recognises companies in Jena that are exemplary in promoting intercultural openness in the business environment. The many practical examples from the i-work competition present the companies where integration succeeds in everyday working life and show how people at the workplace and beyond are committed to the cooperation of cultures. Would you like to learn more about how arriving in Jena and in your new job can be a success? Our blog series presents mans interesting examples.
Meet Firas and Anis here
Firas comes from Syria and works at GÖPEL as an application engineer.
Anis was born in Tunisia and is now also an application engineer at GÖPEL.
Dear Firas, dear Anis, where are you from and what brought you to Jena?
I come from Syria. I wanted to finish my Master’s degree here in Jena, where many students live in a beautiful city.
I come from Tunisia. I came for a new challenge.
What do you like most about your company and your work?
At GÖPEL electronic GmbH, what I like best is the atmosphere. We are not just colleagues, we are a family. We have many different events such as team events and Christmas parties. I feel integrated in my team and I can openly address problems. I also have the impression that my opinions and ideas matter.
I like the professionalism at work, everything is well organised, both in the relationship with our agency and in my work environment. Everything is planned, the working hours are flexible. The relationships with colleagues are good. They are cooperative, professional, respect each other and the atmosphere is excellent.
What challenges did you face when arriving in Jena and/or onboarding at the company? How were you able to overcome these challenges?
The biggest challenge was the German language. When I arrived in Germany, I didn’t know any German. I not only attended the language courses, but I made new German friends myself, which helped me improve my German.
I went to different events that provided a space for language exchange, lectures on different topics, discussion groups and much more.
The biggest challenges were the bureaucracy, the language and the initial set-up. I overcame these challenges with the help of my company, from top management to work colleagues.
What has your company been particularly good at supporting you with?
The valuable support I get every working day is that my colleagues take an interest in me as a person. There are also many other supports. It is important to me that I am constantly supported and encouraged in my professional development. As a result, I have recently received recognition and praise for good work.
Our manager was understanding and helped me with registration, preparing all the necessary documents (national insurance number, bank account, rented flat, …), registering for a German course and preparing for the renewal of my driving licence. I also received support from work colleagues. Since my work requires travelling and my driving licence is no longer valid after six months in Germany and the procedures take a lot of time, the company planned customer visits with my colleagues.
What are the biggest differences in everyday work and life between your home country and Jena?
I moved to Germany because of the war in my home country, so I can’t compare the work here in Jena to the work in my home country. But what I like is that all staff members are equal, regardless of nationalities. I feel safe in Germany because I have health insurance. I also have to say that the working conditions in Germany are very good.
The work is well organised, both in terms of tasks and working hours. Jena is a beautiful city with a nice view, clean, green and quiet, with a good transport network, but a bit far from the major airports. I would recommend people to move to Jena, especially for the work and education, as there are many universities.
What is typically German / typically Jena for you?
For me, typical Germany is reliability and bureaucracy.
But for me, Jena is a city with a beautiful landscape. Jena has the most beautiful hiking trail. I also have to admit that you can spend some nice time in the Paradiespark. I often barbecue there in the summer or go for a walk. If you feel like doing sports, you can go jogging or do other sports in the Paradiespark. Another thing that is typical of Jena for me is bratwurst and dumplings.
Professionalism at work and respect for people’s privacy as well as for the environment are typical of Germany.
Jena is a medium-sized, quiet and green city where you can find all amenities such as transport, universities and entertainment.
Thank you for the interesting interview and all the best for you!
GÖPEL electronic GmbH: About us
GÖPEL electronic GmbH develops and manufactures electrical and optical measurement and test technology as well as test and inspection systems for electronic components, assembled PCBs, industrial electronics and automotive electronic systems as a leading global supplier. The business areas are Automotive Test Solutions, Embedded JTAG Solutions, Industrial Functional Test and Inspection Solutions (AOI, AXI, SPI, IBV).
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