We often talk to job seekers from international backgrounds and try to understand their perspectives. In the process we often are able to connect them to better opportunities for jobs.
Bluebilities: Hi, Shardool. It’s very nice talking to you. Can you please tell about yourself?
Shardool: Yes, sure. I came to Germany three years ago. I did my BA in Berlin, and now I’m working in Berlin. That’s how my journey has been so far. I’m working through my studies and internship and now I’m happily working in Berlin.
Bluebilities: Okay. Can you tell about your roles and responsibilities and what you do in your company?
Shardool: I work in KPMG right now. We support alliances that happen between KPMG companies worldwide. We are a support team which support them all before they happen and go with them. That’s what my team does.
Bluebilities: What was your bachelors? What did you do after your bachelors? How many years of work experience have you had?
Shardool: I did my bachelors in business administration in Pune. After my bachelors, I worked for four years in the areas of sales and marketing, and distribution. After four to five years of work experience, I came to Germany to do complete my MBA, which was also in business administration. During my time here I would say that professors are pretty skilled. They knew what they were talking about. They helped me formulate a vision to know where to apply. Once I finished my MBA, I did my thesis also in the area of marketing. Like any normal student would, I applied for job opportunities and one of them materialized.
Bluebilities: How did you find your job and what was the process when you were actually looking for a job?
Shardool: Initially, I did an internship. After an internship, it did not materialize into a full-time opportunity. I started again applying for opportunities for jobs and relevant applications and interviews that was happening. One of them, let’s say it happened to align on similar topics how every interview is. I got the opportunity to work with KPMG because they wanted someone with my experience.
Bluebilities: Did you use any other portals? How many applications did you submit?
Shardool: I went through the normal process of any job application for any student. I run through portals like LinkedIn, XING, StepStone. I searched for relevant opportunities. I made my CV. I made my cover letters accordingly. I applied to these opportunities through these portals. If I had a company that I like, then I went to the company website. I just went to their job site. Then, I applied through the websites if a job was interesting for me. With enough applications, with enough relevant applications I got a couple of interview calls.
Bluebilities: How do you define the term relevant or irrelevant job?
Shardool: What I mean with relevant job is: if I have worked in sales and marketing, if I have worked in operations and I have tool experience, tool knowledge of something I’ve worked in, it would make sense that I apply in a similar work area. If I’ve done marketing and I go and apply for medical in a hospital, it won’t make sense because I don’t have experience in it. It’s highly unlikely that I will get called for an interview there. It’s common sense. That’s what I mean with relevant that I looked at applications that made sense for my profile before applying them.
Bluebilities: You had mentioned that you spend time in making application. Can you just roughly tell how much time did you invest in each of the application? How dedicatedly you had sent, just differentiating one application from the other?
Shardool: The CV template which I had was pretty common. The CV would not change a lot, but the cover letter would definitely change for each company, each application. It would never work in a way as there’s just one set of CV, one set of cover letter with which I applied for 300 jobs. No, it would never do.
Bluebilities: As a foreign student in Germany, why did you choose Germany?
Shardool: I had been in Berlin before coming to Germany. The second reason was that I had friends already who had studied in Germany and were working in Germany. This had a big impact on me. My family has business in the UK, I had always wanted to go to the UK to do my masters. But UK did not attract me as much as Germany did on a personal level. This is why I chose Germany as a country.
There were not many management courses in Germany. I found out there was one in Berlin, in the capital. I thought the integration would be easier for me in Berlin than in other parts of Germany. That’s why I choosed this option.
Bluebilities: You already had B1 or B2 level of German. Did this preparation from India had helped when you came here?
Shardool: Yes, it did help. The fact that I knew how to speak German right or at least I had a knowledge of how to speak German, definitely works in your favor because it is the language of the country. If you know how to speak it, even in my interview process, there was a point at a time in every interview where they asked me how good my German was.Then, we switched the language of the interview into German for a while. That would help them to find out how good my German was. In every interview that I did, I had been asked that question as to how good my German is. I have made the point to switch to German to make them more aware: “Okay. Yes, I do speak German.” If you have that skill, it is a pretty basic skill that you must have.
Bluebilities: Did you face any problems when you were actually doing your studies?
Shardool: Well, as every student, every student has problems in survivability. Every student has economic problems once they go through the student phase.
I did those odd jobs which are supposed to be done by students. I had no worries in doing that because it’s a way of life. Everyone does it. Then, you have to also concentrate on your education while you’re doing it. As long as you balance both of these things, I don’t think you should have a problem. If you are ready to compromise yourself, your time, and to manage your time well, then your studies, and doing these odd works or all-intensive job, I don’t think you should have a problem.
Bluebilities: KPMG did you work in a full-time contract? What was your feelings about that?
Shardool: I would like to believe that worked in my favor, that I was a working student. They saw me performing, and then that brought into a full-time opportunity. It was easier, I would say, then to apply for a full-time job at KPMG and get an opportunity.
Bluebilities: It was very, very nice talking to you.
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