‘My main motivation for studying in Germany was the good reputation of German engineering. Back in Cameroon there is a high appreciation for German goods. If any device, machine or automobile was from Germany, it was of good quality and reliable. Moreover, I had family in Germany who were also ready to support me.
I did my Bachelor and Master in Information Engineering at HAW Hamburg from 2004–2009. Even though I studied in English, I learned German for seven months in Cameroon before moving to Germany and for a further two months on arrival. I was also a tutor for several tutorials at the university while I studied, some of which I conducted in German. I think it is always important to learn the language spoken wherever you are living. It helps you better understand the people and their culture, which I find very enriching.
Practical experience is key for studies and career
My studies at HAW Hamburg were very practical. I remember we had four lab sessions per course in a semester. This definitely had a huge positive impact when I started my career. Learning-by-doing always gives a better understanding of the concepts. I also worked during my studies for IT companies. I find this very positive about Germany. Companies here give students the opportunity to work part-time in their field of studies, giving them a great boost to start their careers. Because of my good performance, I was awarded an academic merit scholarship for three semesters by HAW Hamburg and my tuition fees were waived. This helped me a lot financially since my studies were self-financed by working part-time.
After graduation I started my career at SunSil A/S in Denmark, where I developed controllers for solar heating systems and photovoltaic modules. After three years in the solar industry, I moved to the automobile industry, where I worked for Brunel GmbH for about a year and a half. I then changed to Continental, where I currently work. In my first project in the automobile industry, I developed the Lane Keeping and Traffic Jam Assistants for the BMW 7 series 2015 edition. It is very fulfilling when I see that car drive past me on the motorway. Currently, I am a software architect for Lateral Control Functions at Continental.
A bit of advice for international students
My advice to international students: Firstly, learn German. You can, of course, get a job in an international company where English is the corporate language, but it limits your opportunities. Secondly, don’t study too long. This gives the impression that you are not focused and not capable of getting things done on time. So, aim to finish no longer than a year beyond the regular time of study. And finally, look for a part-time student job in your field of study or at least do an internship. This boosts your experience level, when looking for a job.’