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Stories from graduates

Rutwik Hrushikesh Godse about his way after his studies

From Mc Donald's via Siemens to the start-up

Rutwik Godse, best graduate of his class in the Master's programme "International Technology Transfer Management" 2019 at bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences, reports on his career start

"As the best graduate of my year in an exclusive course of studies, I thought: Now you've almost made it. "The sky is the limit, anything is possible." But it wasn't like that. Out of 30 applications, I received 15 telephone interviews, four job interviews and the offer of an internship for 230 euros a month. That was definitely not a career start with an annual salary of 42,000 or even 52,000 euros, as I had calculated... You have to put that behind you for now.

Of course I wondered what went wrong. Do I go right back to India or do I stay? There are many excellently trained engineers there, but only few with international experience. And the earnings prospects are much lower than in Germany. I wanted to go back at some point, but not yet. And here in Berlin, our professors and the job advertisements in various portals said that engineers are being sought in the capital region, preferably with an international background...

I studied mechanical engineering at one of the leading Indian universities in Pune and as an engineer I deliberately came to Germany, the land of engineers, to study for a master's degree. Of course I also came because I saw that Siemens buys engineers from us in India. So I thought I'd look for an exclusive master's degree that would open all my doors, and then go into the automotive industry.

After a lot of research, a course of studies was the right one for me, which I found much more exciting - English-speaking, unique and innovative, perfect in terms of content - ITTM - "International Technology Transfer Management". For me, Germany has always been a beautiful country that I wanted to get to know and to study there - a dream. That's why I had already learned German at school for two years and later three years at university. My choice was not Munich, but Berlin. This city was unbeatably cheap: bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences looked nice on the Internet and had just launched a new technology transfer course in 2016, one year earlier, especially for international students. I really wanted to be there for the second round. I'm very pleased that it actually worked out and I've never regretted it. We had fantastic professors and learned a lot in a small study group of 20 international students, which is something you don't find at many universities in the world. It was not about sucking technologies from somewhere and transporting them on a one-way street to somewhere else, but to understand that ideally, through technology transfer, new innovative solutions are created that can trigger developmental impulses. That is a fascinating thought for me. I wanted to experience how it works in practice in a Berlin-based company with an international market orientation and started applying right after graduation.

Rutwik Godse

When I look back today, I am very grateful that we had so much support at our university - even in the last few metres before starting our careers. If I hadn't had my German friends and such good contacts at the university, former colleagues - from the Carreer Service to the Chancellor - and professors who encouraged and encouraged us internationally, I might actually have returned to India much too soon. They have helped me to understand what is important here. A 1-A degree is obviously not enough. It was only when I understood this that I was able to accept the internship and the 230 euros a month at a software-developing start-up. Today I am grateful for that. I still feel very good there today. After half a year on the job, I was actually offered a management position there. So I did everything right.

The turning point in the application marathon came with a change of perspective. We had often talked about this during our studies. It is often the way to simple solutions. After several unsuccessful applications, I began to ask myself where the catch might be in my applications. I also asked the HR people who didn't want to give me a management job right after graduation. And I asked my Indian and my German friends. Those with HR management experience said: "Clearly, there is a lack of business practice for a management position. Of course the company internships are welcome - Mc Donald's and Siemens are good names - the whole course was very practical with many study cases on concrete company topics, many teachers even have managers in companies parallel to their job at the university. These were plus points, but, first when you think about it, it becomes clear that nobody can give a university graduate a management job in his company immediately if he does not know the company, the processes and products in detail. No matter where the company stands. This means that for a management job you have to work your way up. My Indian friends had advised me: "Don't cut back on your salary expectations, you'll get there eventually." The German friends said: "You can't go to a job interview with golden rings and jewellery like maybe in India. Go with a suit - a little more sporty than you'd like to do." Objectively speaking, there was something useful in every tip. Sometime between application nos. 10 and 20, I noticed that those in my study group were getting jobs who had tried to be "less the Indian" who applied, but more the international graduate of an English-language tech and management course at a Berlin university trying to understand the German economy and application culture. So I changed my course. For example, I flew to Barcelona - not just to see the city there, but to learn something new and see the city. Although I learned a lot about agile project management in my master's degree, I hadn't chosen the advanced course for it. That's why I wanted to make up for it now and get an extra certificate for it. Afterwards I rewrote my CV and cover letter and applied in German instead of English. From now on I wanted to start at least in German during the job interview. Even if the company language was designated as English. Everyone who sees where I come from knows that I can speak English. I rather had to show that I can switch between cultures at any time. That was a step that worked. Surprisingly, my applications were better received from that point on. I realized that my internship at McDonalds and the master's thesis for Siemens were great on my CV, but for an engineer with ambitions for a management position, it was far from being enough practice. That's why I decided to be more open-minded and think less about the 42,000 or 52,000 euros gross per year that I had to earn in less than 18 months after graduation in order to be allowed to stay in Germany, at least for the time being. I wanted to give myself more time, despite the pressure that every international student who wants to work here in Germany after graduation feels. In retrospect, I think: In addition to the technical aspects, a very good degree and internationality, you also have to show a willingness to apply for a job as an engineer in a German company in order to continue learning and get as deep into practical work as possible".