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Our high demand on quality starts with recruiting the best employees and results in customer satisfaction way above average.Frederik Weyer – Recruiting
Salam Aleikum ("Peace be upon you") and inshallah ("God willing") are the words and greetings most commonly heard in Egypt. This is how I was greeted when I arrived in Egypt at the end of May 2016.
Arabic culture and Islam are not new to me; after all, I worked for years in Turkey, Algeria and Morocco. As in all countries before, however, Arab courtesy and hospitality surprises me again and again.
On the plane I already thought about what would await me at my new job. The first employees were already working on the construction sites and 15 more (partly local forces, partly international specialists) had been announced and were expected to arrive in the next few days and weeks. However, we had no office on site and I had to arrange private accommodations for myself. Fortunately, my Egyptian colleague Alaa Kamal helped me. Without him I would certainly have been lost. So, right from the start, we prepared a detailed schedule to prioritize what needed to be done most urgently.
A company owner and friend of Alaa Kamal gave us a room that we could use as a transition office until we found our own. This allowed us to start with administrative tasks such as creating contracts, applying for visas and conducting interviews. We also searched intensively for a new office. It ultimately took four site visits before we eventually found our current location. The office is located in New Cairo, close to our customer's premises and, coincidentally, close to my apartment, which is very convenient.
After only a few weeks, we were proud to inaugurate our new office. Currently, we employ an accountant, a secretary, a cleaning lady, a human resources assistant, as well as a driver and about 25 employees on the construction sites.
But renting a new office was not the only thing that was important to us. We also wanted to visit the construction sites, for example the one in al-Burullus on the Mediterranean Sea, near Alexandria. The time expenditure was very high, which is why sometimes our entire weekends were scheduled for work. Speaking about weekends, in Egypt Friday and Saturday are considered the weekend. This is quite an adjustment at first, especially when you try to accomplish something on Fridays, but cannot reach anyone in Egypt. Other countries, other customs!
Despite my experience abroad, there are always special cultural traits in each country that require adjustment and adaptation. Most recently, I learned the following: At an office showing, the female manager entered the room with a headscarf (Hijab) and I instinctively offered her my hand as a greeting. However, instead of the hand, I only received a nod. Afterwards, Alaa explained to me that it is customary to always wait for the reaction of a woman wearing a Hijab. She will decide whether she will greet with the hand or with a nod.
Even the fasting month of Ramadan is a completely different experience for us Europeans. During this time, we shortened our office and working hours on the construction sites, because the nights are turned into daytime, which reduces productivity in all other areas. Add to that the incredible summer heat in Egypt. Temperatures are almost always between 38 and 44 degrees Celsius (100-111 degrees Fahrenheit). There is no rain until October.
In summary, the countries in which I have worked so far for INP have impressed me with all their advantages and disadvantages. South Africa: South Africa is a beautiful country with a great landscape and breathtaking wild life but also a high crime rate. Egypt on the other hand: A country steeped in history, with pyramids and countless museums, but unfortunately, a country where, in certain no-go areas, terrorism is not a foreign concept.
Both countries have their own magical charm and I am delighted to dive deeper into the Arab culture.
In this spirit: As-salamu alaykum!
4 years ago I still lived in a big house with my parents and my smaller sister in Kochi, Kerala/India. In my home country, I worked as a project engineer for almost 5 years for an Indian metal manufacturer. At that factory we had some machines from Germany, which ran perfectly for over 40 years. This impressed me so much that I decided to conclude my master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Darmstadt. But, as it is habit in India, I first obtained permission from my parents.
I have always wanted to go to Germany because it is one of the countries with the highest expertise in technical engineering. But my unrestricted enthusiasm was curbed at first because I had to overcome a big hurdle: The German language!
I first encountered it in Darmstadt, but I learned the majority of the language during my internship in Augsburg. Every Sunday, I went to church there because Indians are very religious and also open towards other religions. This way I met many warm-hearted people, and by interacting with them, I learned to master the language almost in passing. This is how I learned German - and Bavarian. Even today, I feel very connected with Bavaria.
But I also had to get adjusted to the cool weather, German punctuality, and eating habits. For example, in India we eat warm steamed rice rolls for breakfast with a type of curry or sometimes a flatbread with beans. This gives you a strong start for the day. That being said, I have adjusted very well to my new home and I love this country, especially during the holidays when Christmas markets seduce with their fragrant scent and everything glows and glitters.
Therefore, it quickly became clear to me that I would like to remain in Germany after my studies. Thus, I applied to about 50 engineering firms and decided in June 2016 for INP Germany. In my opinion, you learn much more in a medium-sized business, because you can get a real feel of many different areas and gain a wide range of experiences.
The most interesting part of my profession, in my opinion, is learning new technologies in electrical engineering, working with different machines of the manufacturers, the customer contact, and also the accumulation of practical experiences. In India, for example, this is not the case at all during studies, since information is only taught theoretically.
My current project includes the parameterization and commissioning of protective devices and the subsequent safety tests. Various documents have to be reviewed for this process and the plans and drawings of the old devices have to be adapted for new ones. In the future, I would like to not only work on medium-voltage switchboards but also on high-voltage switchboards, because that is precisely my specialty and represents a new challenge.
My work and the life here in Germany are a lot of fun and soon I will not be alone anymore. In November, I am getting married in India and my wife will come back with me to Germany. As soon as the Advent season starts, I will show her the beautiful Christmas markets and I am sure she will enjoy them as much as I do.