My name is Helena. I’m Portuguese and hold a master’s degree in Management from Nova School of Business and Economics in Lisbon. Roughly 100 days ago I decided to relocate to Central Europe after having worked for four years in Madrid at Deloitte Spain. Specifically, I grasped an opportunity to work at DHL Consulting in Bonn, Germany. Here, I share my experiences of what it is like to work in Germany as an international consulting professional.
What DREW me specifically to DHL Consulting
For me, accepting the offer from DHL Consulting was a ‘no brainer’ – I’ve always had a passion for supply chain and logistics, and I really enjoy working as a consultant because of the variety of problems we are facing and solving every day.
Something that drew me specifically to DHL Consulting was seeing how the CEO establishes comfortable, trust-based relationships even with applicants at the senior professionals recruiting event I attended. Also every single partner took the time to guide me through the interviews and to provide detailed and valuable feedback. I understood clearly that the company is driven by personal development, and this has been reaffirmed since day 1 of my employment.
You don’t necessarily notice it on a day-to-day basis but, now that I’m looking back over the first 100 days, I recognize that I’ve already grown a lot, personally as well as professionally. In particular I have found the international experience really enriching – I have been able to get to know different people from different countries with different cultures and diverse ways of thinking.
International Exposure from day One
On my first day at DHL Consulting for example I flew from Germany to the UK for a kick-off meeting with a client. It was nice to immediately feel appreciated and to experience the level of trust the company put in me. From that point on, it has been just great to have such international exposure and to work every day with fantastic colleagues at DHL Consulting.
I If you ask me how I would describe the organization as a person, I would say DHL Consulting is someone who travels a lot, picking up and assimilating the experiences and values of different countries and cultures.
My personal recommendations for working as a consultant in Germany
If you are curious whether working in Germany as a consultant would be something for you, I have a couple of recommendations.
Most importantly, you don’t need to speak German. DHL Consulting is one of the few companies belonging to the largest corporations of Germany that does not require any knowledge of German. The work environment is so international with every single colleague speaking and switching to English so easily that I always feel part of it.
As regards my actual relocation DHL Consulting provided me with all the support I needed, which made my life so much easier since they guide you through all the bureaucratic requirements to register in Germany as well as all the important things you need to settle in (internet contracts, visit flats, guide tour in the city,…)
For me, the 2 most difficult topics were getting it right with the health insurance system and finding a flat, so for that I leave you more specific advice. My first piece of advice is to ask your DHL Consulting colleagues about health insurance – talking things through is very helpful as the way it works in Germany is very different to Portugal and Spain. My second piece of advice is to search intensively for your living accommodation – DHL Consulting provides a place to stay until you find your own home, but bear in mind that the market is highly competitive so you need to be ready to put in extra effort. My decision was to settle into life in Cologne, with 1 million inhabitants the 4th biggest city of Germany. It is a great city with a lot of things to do! My favorites are exploring the city, going to flea markets on Sundays, and trying new restaurants.