While studying in Austria when I was asked would I like to work in Munich with MAN Truck & Bus AG over the summer, I worried a bit initially, due to the various hassles involved, to get a work permit, insurance, accommodation….. I was already planning another move which was due in end of September which was my Erasmus exchange semester to Malta.
But after giving a deeper thought I saw this as an opportunity to enhance my knowledge, learn from a new place, enjoy summer in the lakes and gardens of Munich and more over gain some valuable experience. In this post I will try and cover my experiences in Munich.
I still remember the day of my interview which was in Feb and I was on my vacations to Venice and came to attend the interview just the next day after my trip to Venice. It was winter then and Munich was covered with snow which was not an issue for me since it was similar in Austria.
I had initially booked my hotel for a day but then I extended it to 2 more days where I visited places in Munich since I wanted to see Munich in the winters too. I was so impressed with the culture and traditions here that I made up my mind that I had to any how come here to learn more from Bavaria.
Being an Electronics and Communication engineer with specialization in mobile communication engineering in my bachelors, I really had a very vague idea about the truck industry. My master that I pursue is in Innovation and Product management which is a very different field and it applies to every industry, so my supervisor said it would be the best chance to learn from the industry. During the whole procedure for the work permit and clearance to my surprise MAN and specially my supervisor Dr Kreimeyer went out of their comfort zone to help me.
Let’s jump a few months ahead
June 30 2013
My first day when I shifted to Munich, after a 3 hours’ drive from Wels in Austria I finally arrived in Munich when it was still summer. My first day of work was on 1st July where I was debriefed about the company and then about the departments. It was a lot of information which I had to grasp in a short period. Explaining everything in the company would be difficult so I will try and make another post explaining this may be before I leave.
Except work I got an opportunity to attend a lot of events and this helped me to network with a lot of people. Some events and places engraved in my memories:
1. The first one was the Inter nations Summer Terrace Party: Wow! What an experience in itself, this was one of the best expats events I had ever been to; around 1000 expats attended the event who were from all over the globe. The party was on the terrace of Sky lounge which gave us a view of the entire city of Munich.
2. Lakes and Parks around Munich: As already mentioned the day when I arrived it was already summer and this is considered as one of the best seasons in Munich, as everyone is out enjoying the Sun. I love the lakes around Munich, the English Garden, Hirshe Garden, the wisewurst and the barbeque all will remain as an unique memory. One thing I loved is the open mindedness in everything unlike what you generally hear that Germans are cold is all false I would say, if you speak to them and get adjusted well they are the most friendly people with a non-judgmental attitude, an example would be the nude culture where you find most of the people naked on a sunny day in the parks and lakes. They don’t judge others and do their work efficiently, which proves why Germany is so successful as compared to other countries. Not criticizing Indians but what I observed with Indians is they tend to judge everything and try to impose their ideology on others instead of improving themselves.
3. Museums and Historical Places: Munich is filled with Museums like the Deutche Museum, the BMW museum and you will find a lot of castles around Munich which gives it a different touch. One suggestion would be if you are visiting Munich to see the castles, do come here in winter as the castles looks like wonderland when covered with snow.
4. Live Street Music and Concerts: Munich is the capital for Music and culture I would say, you can find people playing on the streets and there are live street and park based concerts organized by the city council. I got an opportunity to be at many of them. A typical British concert that I attended was in the Town hall where Frank Turner and the breaking souls had played, it was interesting to see frank sing a German song too.5. Trams, S Bahns and U Bahns: MVG, the Munich public transport system is the easiest way to travel inside Munich; it connects almost every street in Munich. This transport system is one of the oldest in the world and is still the most efficient and punctual system I found out of many countries I have visited and stayed, I would say the best competitor to Munich MVG could be the Vienna transport system which is also pretty good. Though during the peak times the U bahn gets crowded but it still remains really organized and clean.
6. My trips to Austria: At MAN, employees are allowed to take paid vacations and one of my first trips back home to Austria was in August to give an exam in the University, I went by train through the villages in Austria and Germany which was an experience in itself. I drove back from Wels in the white BMW which is considered as a typical German Stereotype car (white colored BMW). You may view a few glimpse of my trip in the video below.
Munich would not have been so special if I would not have met so many wonderful people who became my friends so fast, and cared for me, it was a new culture, new atmosphere but I think frequent shifting of countries has made me adapt much faster.
Let me quote a friend of mine who said ‘Manish you adjusted and became family to us so fast that we never realize when you came and now you leave. It feels as if we know you for many years’.
Working at MAN Truck & Bus AG has given me a deeper understanding about how an Automotive Industry works, it gave me an opportunity to learn from many of the best mentors in the industry and this has helped him to understand how a company like MAN, with more than 55000 employees functions, it has given him a deeper insight into product management, variant management and product architecture and final 114 pages report that I submitted has helped me to warm up for my Master thesis due in Feb 2014 once my Erasmus Semester in Malta gets over.
Now that the time left in Munich comes to an end, I hope I can make my last few days memorable, I will be lucky to attend the Oktoberfest which is held once a year which I missed last year and I have planned to visit Austria on 25 th and will be back to fly to Malta, looking forward to the experiences I will be gaining in Malta, though I will miss Munich but as it is said
Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about people and places anymore. It's just realizing that you really have control over yourself and we need to keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because as humans we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths and innovations and if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
To Read what the Managers at MAN think about my performance at MAN please click on the Picture below -
I look forward to such great experiences during my Erasmus semester in Malta, and am also looking for opportunities with companies and organizations to do my master thesis from Feb 2014. You can have a look at my life story by going through the presentation by clicking the picture below titled Is this my resume, or you can even view my video resume.