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 many interesting examples.All articles on the i-work Business Award
Get to know Xiangrong He here
Xiangrong He comes from China and now works as a Lab Engineer in Optics at Laser Imaging System GmbH in Jena’s Göschwitz industrial estate.
Dear Xiangrong, where are you from and what brought you to Jena?
I come from China and a few years ago I had the opportunity to take part in an exchange programme between my home university in Xi’an and the Abbe School of Photonics in Jena. This led to me completing my Master’s degree in photonics in Jena, the city of light.
What do you like best about your company and your work?
I really appreciate the co-operative, innovative and open-minded atmosphere in my company. This environment not only encourages effective teamwork, but also promotes the development of new ideas. In addition, this dynamic atmosphere encourages continuous learning. My day-to-day work is full of challenges and I never feel bored, I am always learning new things so that I can keep up with high technology. I also really appreciate the inclusive and diverse culture at my company. Especially as a woman in the STEM field. This environment makes me proud to work here.
What challenges did you face when arriving in Jena and/or onboarding at the company? How were you able to overcome these challenges?
When I arrived in Jena to officially settle here and start my studies, there was a lot of paperwork and administrative work to do. Managing these tasks proved to be the biggest challenge due to my limited German language skills at A1 level. Fortunately, the International Office of the University of Jena offers a mentoring programme to help new students deal with these things and integrate more quickly into their new life in Jena.
Where did your company provide you with particularly good support?
I started at Laser Imaging Systems GmbH in August this year, and as a new employee here, everything is new to me. I receive continuous support from both my company and my team. My company offers many learning and development opportunities, such as training courses and seminars. In addition, as part of my induction process, my line manager arranges one-to-one meetings twice a week to answer any questions I have and support me with my tasks. These meetings help me to deepen my understanding of our technologies.
What are the biggest differences in everyday life and work between your home and Jena? What tips would you give people who want to settle in Jena?
The first difference that comes to my mind is supermarkets and shops here are closed on Sundays. Posts remain one of the ways to communicate with and reach people, and from there I developed a new hobby of “Postcrossing”. The flexibility in working hours here has allowed me to achieve a better work-life balance.
For people who want to settle in Jena, I would recommend acquiring some knowledge of culture and language, being open-minded to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, and taking advantage of outdoor activities.
What is typically German / typically Jena for you?
Typical German in my mind is punctuality, professionalism, and direct communication. My impression also includes typical cultural elements, such as “Bier”, “Wurst”, “Fußball”, “Weinachtsmarkt”, “Bretzel”, etc.
Before arriving in Jena, I had a deep impression of natural beauty. However, my real experiences have expanded my impression of what characteristics define Jena. For me, typical Jena represents “light and optics”, “nature and hike”, “universities and research”, and “festivals and celebrations”.
Thank you for the interview and all the best for you!
Laser Imaging Systems GmbH: About us
KLA is a leading global provider of diversified electronics for the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem. As a KLA subsidiary, Laser Imaging Systems GmbH develops laser direct exposure systems for the semiconductor and PCB industry in globally networked teams. At its technology centre in Jena, Laser Imaging Systems GmbH develops, designs and manufactures laser direct imaging systems for the PCB industry and is responsible for the entire product life cycle from brainstorming to customer service.Visit Laser Imaging Systems Website
We will advise you individually on arriving and settling in Jena, show you where to start on your career path and find further contacts for you together with our cooperation partners. We look forward to hearing from you!