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Working in Germany: how to build your personal network

Working in Germany: how to build your personal network


Germany is one of the world’s most vibrant, exciting and innovative places to work as an international professional. Yet many of those who come to work in Germany find it a challenge to create the kind of professional networks that allow them to flourish. 

The consequences of pandemic restrictions, as well as differences in workplace culture, can make many international professionals feel isolated and out of touch with peers.

Together with the Quantic School of Business and Technology and their mobile MBA and Executive MBA programs, we discuss how global programs such as Quantic’s can help professionals network and thrive in Germany and in German-speaking nations.


Practice your German

While English proficiency in Germany has improved greatly over the last two decades, you will find that some of the most interesting and fruitful connections can be made if you have at least a basic understanding of German.

There is a bustling ecosystem of apps such as Duolingo and Babble that can help you improve your German, yet one of the most effective ways to develop proficiency is through practice. 

Quantic’s alumni network offers students the opportunity to identify users close to them who they can not only build a professional relationship with, but also practice the kind of conversational German that will allow their career to thrive. 

Additionally, while a student, you’ll connect virtually on group projects and case studies, with the option to meet at our exclusive MBA conferences hosted in major international cities (with an upcoming conference in Berlin this October).

In 2021 Quantic held over 300 virtual events and multiple events in Germany where students can connect with peers and practice their German language skills. Even before graduation, you’ll get the full power of our alumni network, connecting with thousands of the brightest minds around the world.

Use Quantic’s English-language learning platform to make professional connections today as part of their mobile MBA and Executive MBA programs. Enrol by March 10 for the next intake

Target your efforts

Choosing where and how you connect with others in Germany is crucial to success when networking with other professionals.

The German federal government’s Make It In Germany website is an invaluable resource for those who want to make professional connections. There are always new events and opportunities to connect through the site and it is updated frequently.

Websites such as Xing also serve as German equivalents to LinkedIn, helping professionals connect with one another. 

On another level, location matters. Different regions and cities have very different specialities in terms of industry, business and research.

If you’re a media professional, for example, Dusseldorf is the place to be. Berlin’s startup scene is one of the world’s most exciting. Frankfurt is the centre of not only business, but publishing. Munich is a scientific and educational powerhouse, and if engineering or automotive technology is your focus, then Stuttgart is the place to be.

With Quantic you get a head start with direct access to hundreds of highly successful professionals all over Germany and German-speaking countries Berlin is the major metropolitan alumni centre, while the states of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hesse, Rheinland-Pfalz and Baden-Württemberg are all represented by hundreds of students who work for such industry leaders as Google and Amazon. Meetups and conferences in Berlin have also proved to be a success for networkers thus far.

On another level, knowing the kind of organisations to follow on a local level is also important. Every major city and town will have an IHK, or ‘Industrie- und Handelskammer‘ (Chamber of Industry & Commerce) that hosts meetups, conferences, hackathons and discussion forums, bringing local professionals together. Such events are a very valuable resource for any new arrival. 


Know the culture

Every country has its own distinct culture – some of which give rise to exaggerated stereotypes abroad. In this regard, Germany is no different.

However, it’s important to understand what German-speaking professionals value in their networks. This will allow most effective communication and smoother relationship-building.

Organisation, punctuality and plain-speaking are, generally, more highly-prized by German professionals than showiness or over-friendliness.

Being direct and clear about your expectations in establishing new professional relationships is by far the most effective way in face-to-face meetings.

Gain an insight into German professional culture through Quantic’s award winning mobile-first MBA and Executive MBA programs, and their ever-growing alumni network. Discover more about the programs now – applications for the next cohorts close March 10th

Quantic students at a recent conference in Copenhagen. Photo: Quantic
A glimpse of Quantic's alumni network. Photo: Quantic

Try Quantic

Quantic’s highly-acclaimed mobile MBA and Executive MBA programs allow you to skip many of the challenges associated with building professional relationships in Germany.

The smartphone-based program not only gives students a world-class education in modern business thought, but utilizes ‘Active Learning’ to make sure that students are engaged and working with the content in real-life contexts. 

Many online educational tools rely on traditional lecture-based learning and video presentations by professors. If you feel this isn’t what you need to boost your career in the 2020s, you’re not alone.

Interactive app-based learning is different. You’ll be prompted to engage with the material about every eight seconds, plus you’ll get instant feedback to help you learn from any mistakes you make.

Quantic’s innovative program has demonstrated that it supercharges the careers of participating students. 66% of students see a salary increase within six months of graduating, with an average salary increase of 23%. Furthermore 94% of students say that the course helped them achieve their career goals.

Quantic’s Executive MBA also unlocks an ongoing series of online and virtual events in Germany, bringing like-minded professionals together to meet, build connections and collaborate. Upon completion, students can even be recruited by leading companies that are a part of the program’s ‘Flipped Learning’ approach.

Toyosi Odukoya, Head of Business Intelligence at the Mastercard Foundation speaks about her experience with the Quantic network: “We have many opportunities to connect and learn, and build the right relationships.”

Most importantly, Quantic students gain access to an alumni platform that allows professionals to establish connections quickly and efficiently across not only Germany, but the world, for life. Users can understand at a glance the skillsets of various alumni, and communicating with past students couldn’t be easier – everyone appearing on the platform is open to connecting, more so than on LinkedIn and other professional platforms.

Tom Adams, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Quantic states: “It’s not enough for a program to offer flexibility and mobility; the students must be talented and ambitious and there must be tangible positive outcomes for graduates.”

To learn more about how students find value in Quantic’s MBA programs, read about the experiences of Katja Smith of Google, and Luciano Bottoni of Capgemini Englneering

Quantic’s mobile-first MBA and Executive MBA programs are your key to developing powerful professional networks across Germany and the world. Enrol today and access one of Europe’s most effective alumni networks – apply by March 10 for the next cohort



Brexit: Brits in EU feel European and don’t want to return home

The majority of Britons who live in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland and are protected under the Brexit agreement feel European and intend to remain in Europe permanently, but many have concerns about travel problems, a new survey reveals.

Brexit: Brits in EU feel European and don't want to return home

The research also shows that problems exist and “travel is where most issues relating to the new status currently occur”. For instance, border officials are still stamping passports of UK citizens with residence rights under the EU UK withdrawal agreement, even though they shouldn’t.

“There is constant confusion around passport stamping. I was ‘stamped in’ to France on a short trip… but could not find anyway to be ‘stamped out’ again. I think I can only spend 90 days in other EU countries, but have no idea how anyone can check or enforce that – until someone decides to try. It’s a mess,” was one of the answers left in an open question.

“Every time I go through a Schengen border control, I need to provide both my passport and Aufenthaltstitel card [resident permit in Germany] and watch to check that they don’t stamp my passport. As I am currently travelling a lot that’s been 20-odd times this year…” another respondent said.

The survey was carried out by Professor Tanja Bueltmann, historian of migration and diaspora at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, between October and November 2022. About 1,139 UK citizens replied.

Of these, 80 per cent found acquiring their new status easy or very easy, 60.7 per cent feel their rights are secure, while 39.3 per cent have concerns about their status going forward.

Staying permanently

More than three quarters (76.6 per cent) of respondents said they plan to live permanently in the EU or the other countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. In fact, 65.7 per cent said that Brexit has increased the likelihood of this choice.

For some, the decision is linked to the difficulty to bring non-British family members to the UK under new, stricter immigration rules.

“My German wife and I decided we no longer wanted to live in UK post Brexit referendum. In particular, we were affected by the impact of immigration law […] We cannot now return to UK on retirement as I cannot sponsor her on my pension. We knew it was a one-way journey. Fortunately, I could revive an application for German citizenship,” was a testimony.

“My husband is a US citizen and getting him a visa for the UK was near impossible due to my low income as a freelance journalist. We realized under EU law, moving to an EU country was easier. We settled on Austria as we had both lived there before… we could speak some German, and we like the mountains,” said another respondent.

Professor Bueltmann noted that the loss of free movement rights in the EU could be a factor too in the decision of many to stay where they are.

Citizenship and representation

Among those who decided to stay, 38.2 per cent are either applying or planning to apply for a citizenship and 28.6 per cent are thinking about it.

A key finding of the research, Bueltmann said, is that the vast majority of British citizens do not feel politically represented. Some 60 per cent of respondents said they feel unrepresented and another 30 per cent not well represented.

Another issue is that less than half (47.5 per cent) trust the government of their country of residence, while a larger proportion (62 per cent) trust the European Union. Almost all (95.6 per cent) said they do not trust the UK government.

Feeling European

The survey highlights the Brexit impacts on people’s identity too. 82.6 per cent of respondents said they see themselves as European, a higher proportion than those identifying as British (68.9 per cent).

“Brexit has really left me unsure of what my identity is. I don’t feel British, and I certainly don’t identify with the mindset of a lot of British people who live there. Yet, I am not Danish either. So, I don’t really know anymore!” said one of the participants in the survey.

Professor Bueltmann said the survey “demonstrates that Brexit impacts continue to evolve: this didn’t just stop because the transition period was over or a deadline for an application had been reached. Consequently, Brexit continues to shape the lives and experiences of British citizens in the EU/EEA and Switzerland in substantial, sometimes life-altering, ways.”

Considering the results of the study, Professor Bueltmann recommends policy makers in the EU and the UK to address the issue of lack of representation, for instance creating a joint UK-EU citizens’ stakeholder forum.

The report also recommends the UK government to rebuild trust with British citizens in the EU introducing voting rights for life and changing immigration rules to allow British-European families to return more easily. 

This article was prepared in cooperation with Europe Street News.