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On May 2016 I joined Continental in the DRIVE Continental Automotive Graduate Program at my home location in Regensburg. As a part of this program, I had the opportunity to spend my second assignment overseas. In this post I want to share my experience with you.
During the course of my studies itself I went abroad twice for a longer period of time, focusing on Latin America. I have been familiar with the Asian region from personal travels, but I always wanted to experience living in this part of the world as well. During my first assignment I was involved in a project with one of our plants in India – Bangalore. The objective of the project was to come up with an optimal shop-floor layout concept for the location. Within this project the possibility arose to support the plant during the realization phase onsite as part of my second assignment. As I was involved in the planning phase already, I was very excited to have the chance to see both the realization, as well as to experience working and living in India.
Bangalore, often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India, is located in the south of the subcontinent. Many national and international companies located in the city attract India’s young talents. In Bangalore, I perceived a very modern picture of India, living at the same time the old traditions.
Once I arrived in India, my new colleagues welcomed me very friendly and took me around the city. Step by step they explained me everything I needed to know for my time in Bangalore. Very soon I realized the big differences between what I had experienced so far and what I could find in India – starting with food, what and how to eat, small talk, the way of working, communicating, addressing tasks, introducing and getting to know people, family and the way of living. Of course, I was preparing for these changes, but only once living them I could truly understand what they really mean. But not only me, also my colleagues were suddenly faced with an individual behaving very differently from what they were used to. In this way, every day was very exciting and I gathered an extremely valuable experience that brought me much closer to the country with its population of more than 1.3bn people.
During my stay in India I had plenty of time to get to know the diverse culture and to explore different corners of the country. I am truly happy for all the experiences that I made in India, both professional and personal. I hope to have the opportunity to go back one day.