Servus instead of namaste: changing jobs from India to Bavaria

August 18, 2023 – 8:16 am

Joice John is the first colleague from Design Center Bangalore to move to a German region: since June, she has been working as a design engineer in DB E&C’s Region Southern Germany. In this interview, she tells us how this opportunity came about, what hurdles she had to overcome to move to Germany and whether she likes it in Bavaria.


DB E.C.O. Group

DB E.C.O. Group
10829 Berlin
Joice John - working at the office for DB Engineering & Consulting
Joice John at her desk at DB E&C.

Joice John has been part of the DB Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C) team at Design Center Bangalore for six years. DB E&C’s Design Centers support the company in its mission to offer technically sophisticated, customized infrastructure, mobility, and transport solutions for railways around the world.  She has now made a bold move by changing jobs from India to Germany. Since June 1, the 30-year-old has been working in Design Munich/Nuremberg – as a design engineer in Structural Engineering Design.

Ms. John, how did you come to move from India to Region Southern Germany?

Joice John: This has been imminent for the last few years. I joined Design Center Bangalore in 2017 and have worked from there on various projects in almost all German regions, including for Region Southern Germany. My first visit to Germany was in 2019 when I spent two months in Hanover. From the beginning of 2022, I then worked permanently with Region Southern Germany, including a three-month stay in Munich and Nuremberg.

I have always been motivated to improve my professional skills. In discussions about my professional future as a design engineer, the opportunity opened up for me to work in Region Southern Germany for a longer period of time. Here I can contribute to the good working relationship between the German region and the design center and train as a quality inspector. I am looking forward to exciting and challenging projects in the next two years.

How were your first days in Munich?

My time in Germany last summer helped me a lot, as it gave me the opportunity to become acquainted with many colleagues in both regional locations.

When I came back in June, it felt like I had only been gone a short time. I was received very warmly and openly. My colleagues support me in everything, even if it is unrelated to their work, e.g. accompanying me to apartment viewings. Whenever I have a problem, I can ask for help. That is really amazing!

How did the job change from the design center to the German region go? Were there any particular hurdles that you had to overcome?

In my case, it was quick and easy – perhaps because I am the first colleague to move from the design center to Germany. But I know that a lot of people worked in the background to make my stay in Germany possible. Our HR department took care of the employment contract and labor law issues, Deutsche Bahn’s Global Mobility Service took care of other formalities such as contacting the authorities, taking out insurance, and so on. My new colleagues also made time to help me, for example, they went through documents with me that were written in German “officialese”. Without everyone’s great support, it would certainly have been more difficult for me and therefore I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved.

What projects are you working on in Munich and what is your workday like – do you speak German with your colleagues?

I am currently working on upgraded line 38, a large-scale project. Before that, I worked on smaller projects, such as the new-build projects for the Waldershof road and rail overpasses. I also provide coordination and additional quality control for our Indian colleagues in the design center working on the projects of Region Southern Germany.

As for the language, I try my best to speak German at work or to respond in German when someone addresses me in German. But I often speak English with my colleagues too. Many of them want to improve their English by talking with me.

Moving on to cultural matters, will you visit Oktoberfest?

During my stay last year, I actually visited Oktoberfest together with my German and a few Indian colleagues. I don’t usually like big crowds and don’t really drink beer, but the music and atmosphere at Oktoberfest were great. We had a really nice time – and I did try the beer. Now I’m looking forward to joining my colleagues to pick out a dirndl for this year.

Is there anything you miss about India?

My friends, family and also a few colleagues. And Indian food! I enjoy German food, but when I go back to India, the first thing I will do is go to a restaurant and eat biryani, for example.

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