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Harish Babu, B.Tech Graduate from Jawaharlal Nehru, India. He moves to Europe in 2015, did a MSc in Product refinement, and he is currently a research associate affiliated with Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin, Germany. Before moving to Germany, he worked as a trainee in Mechanical, Electrical and Plumping, and worked on CAD Software, Calculations, design of pipes. In this interview we talk to him about his career journey.
In the beginning, it is difficult. We need to calculate and plan our time. The main problem is related to language barrier, especially if you move to Europe, in countries like Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, and Netherlands. The language is the main barrier. Once you cross the language barrier, and if you are talented enough and you know applied skills, then you will be successful in Europe. But if you don’t cross the language barrier, I would say, it would be very difficult. That’s actually what I am struggling. I already completed my language up to B1 German level, it means that I can speak, but coming to technical thing, that I should express myself technically, that’s the best part to learn and worst part of my experience.
I told you I worked in Fraunhofer Institute for one year; there everyone speaks English, that is cool to have such an environment. But after getting out of those academic environments, it is getting harder. I tried myself to get a job for 6 months, but it getting harder as the time goes on. Then I recognized I have this language backlog, and I have to clear that thing and now I am working on it. Language is not an issue at research or academic, especially if you have skills. But once you come into industry, you should speak to your clients, you should speak to your colleagues, and everything is an interaction. There you need a language. The same if you go to another country. With better language, you have a better communication, that’s my experience so far.
Untill you get a kickstart to get a job, it is difficult. I did my academic and job experience in India, before coming to Germany. I did my academics in India and I had one and half years of Job experience in India, but taking that 1.5 years of job experience to Germany, it doesn’t helped me anything, it doesn’t worth me anything to get on.
In India, I did my academics and there we had college-level recruitment, it was easy to get into a company as internship. I went through piping designing. But, after doing the job for 6 months, I was bored. I also started learning German before coming to Europe. But in Germany I started with working as internship with Schaeffler, and from there I applied over 6 month until I got the Job interview from Fraunhofer.
At home, back in India I was working as a Pipe Designer with CAD Software. In Germany I had an Internship with Schaefller, they make bearing design and use to work with polymers and material testing according to standards. From there, I applied over 6 months for different institutes, until I got the Job interview from Frauenhofer. Here I am working with the design of polymers for 3D Printing, and it will change the manufacturing industry. Meanwhile I also learnt how to work with different software, like Origin, ChemCAD.
It takes time to become friends with People. In the beginning, they acting like friends, but finally you become friends. At first everything is like spoon-feeding. They help you with the software, design. They help to use it from basic level to an intermediate level. The Tools are there. Once you get your own project, the pressure comes at that time. You get some assignments, assessments, you have to finish these design within one week, next week you have to finish the testing, the week after the analysis of the results and these kind of things.
Yes, I got offer to do PhD with 1200 EUR per month, but it won’t be enough for me. Especially if you live in Berlin, the Money is not enough. To live, your basic expenses would be 600 to 700 EUR. I planned my life, and I should get 2000 to 2500 EUR per month, so you can sustain your life. It is difficult to understand why some student get almost few times more salary than others.