My life after studies in Germany: should I stay or should I go?

After her studies at the University of Stuttgart, Elizabeth asks herself: what happens now?

Whoever read my previous blog “From tropical paradise to Stuttgart” already knows a bit about me. And well, now the question arises: what happens now? To work, flat searching, free time management, holiday planning, when to go home, ... Well, as I mentioned I have now started working as a project engineer in digital planning. Sounds nice, but what does that mean?

It means that I work on the initial phase of project planning with the support of Building Information Modelling (BIM), relying on digitization for a more effective management of project information. It is also important to mention that my current work focuses on the redevelopment of existing structures, also addressing the issue of sustainability. In common terms I can say that I gather and organize project information and with this I process it into a model that is a digital twin of the existing structure, from which everything necessary for the management of the project is consulted.

But, has my master's degree helped me in my professional development? I am a firm believer that every piece of knowledge acquired influences our way of thinking and acting, consequently of course it has, the question is how. Well, in the realm of succession of events, if I hadn't done the master’s degree in the first place, I wouldn't have got the job offer, because a conversation with a lecturer triggered the series of events that led me to work where I do. Another aspect is that although in general most of the concepts I learned are not directly applied to what I do, they indirectly help me to understand the context of planning in Germany. And well, in a direct way with my daily tasks, the fact that an introductory course on BIM was included at the request of current and former students has been a great help, as it is my current field of work.

What is it like to work in Germany?

Some people say that work is work no matter where, and yes, but depending on the place, there are always things that come in addition. If I say that working in Spanish is the same as working in German, I would be lying. Having to get by in a different language is definitely a challenge. In my case, German is a language in which I still don't feel so confident in expressing myself, because of course I always have to think about whether I'm saying exactly what I want to say. I'm not a person who likes to make mistakes, so of course it's a bit of an added burden to have to manage everything in a language that, contrary to what those who know me tell me, I don't think I can handle so well or at least not so confidently and with such broadness. However, it is a good motivation to keep on learning.

As far as the working atmosphere is concerned, I can't complain about my colleagues. I have had a very good team of people who are open to support each other, if necessary, and who have welcomed me very well and adopted me almost instantly as part of the "community" that we form. The company also has a lot of very interesting projects, which is key for professional growth. Of course I have a lot of work and a lot of responsibilities, but as my supervisor says: a lot of work is always better than none at all, so for the moment it is a challenge that is also an adventure. For the time being, I think I am learning little by little to adapt to the way of proceeding here, because each culture has its own way of proceeding, and I think Germany is the best example of this, because they are very faithful to their processes.

Would I be willing to stay here, or do I want to go back?

The big question is, would I be willing to stay here, or do I want to go back to my country? It's a very difficult question, because it can be misunderstood. On the one hand I am very grateful for the opportunity to be here and to be able to develop professionally, I think Germany has a lot of good things to offer. But also on the other hand, I would be lying if I said that I don't miss my country, being with my family and friends there, the good weather, the beautiful landscapes and natural beauty, the warmth of the people, the food, the treatment, and so many good things we have there.

At the moment, I'm trying to figure out how much I'm willing to stay and if it's worth it in the long run, taking stock of what is most convenient at the moment, but I'm still in a process of adaptation that is not easy, so I guess a concrete answer has to be forged along the way. In the meantime, I plan to work hard and try to enjoy the experience of being here, seeing each day as an opportunity for growth and a gift that life gives me. So, until next time.




May 19, 2023 1:57

Congratulations! Excellent! You are great. Keep on getting awesome!



May 12, 2023 11:02

Congratulations, continue to develop with openness and gratitude, so that you can be a source of inspiration for those who wish to live your experience and do not dare. Never lose focus and always keep in sight the opportunity to contribute to the development of your country. I wish you success and professional satisfaction. Thank you for sharing your experience.


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