Following the famous saying by Derek Walcott, “I read. I travel. I become”; I left Pakistan in the September of 2019 for pursuing my master’s education at Paderborn Universität in the land of “Kartoffeln”, Germany.
My name is Wahaj Ali and I joined SMAFO in the November of 2021 as an online marketing executive (working student).
The confusing cultural shocks for newly arrived expatriates in Germany
Relocating to a different country is rather a process than a destination, just like life. It surely takes a lot of determination, perseverance, and time to get familiar with the culture of a country.
Germany is no exception when it comes to cultural shocks. Be it the weird windows that come falling down on you when you twist the knob for the first time or the fact that there are seven different meanings of the word “You” in the German language, Germany is always full of surprises.
Another astonishing thing to see is the discipline that Germans show in their day-to-day activities. In the beginning of your stay in Germany, you'll learn a good deal of discipline yourself by getting used to throwing your trash in four different types of trash cans . For newbies, it's surely a bit of "Arbeit" to learn the whole distribution and what goes where.
As difficult as the German language may be; what I found more complicated is this conspiracy theory about the city of Bielefeld that is believed to be a facade of people trying to conceal something very unique. But then I read this quote of a famous Swiss-German author Carl Zuckmayer, "Wir sehen uns wieder - so Gott will. Und wenn nich in dieser Welt, dann vielleicht in Bielefeld." and my faith in German humor was restored.
Life at SMAFO:
The hyper-growth startup environment brings a new challenge to my desk every day, hence the learning opportunities and the feeling of accomplishment strengthen my personality as a professional. One of the benefits of working at a startup like SMAFO is the flat hierarchies and dynamic working environment. I can always go up and ask questions to the founders and learn from their experiences.
The team and leadership of SMAFO
Understanding the team is the first step to understanding the company as a whole.
The leadership of SMAFO is visionary, super communicative and has the ability to bring the whole team together on the same page. Sven, Christopher and André have been excellent at their work for a long and successful period of time and apparently it reflects in the team as well.
Working at SMAFO is a great opportunity for growth - whether it's personal or career growth. Getting to work on a product like SMAFO 3 cements my belief in my passion and making this world a better place.
Life at SMAFO is not just about work. It is about understanding and growth. We are a team of passionate people who thrive on knowledge. Our team members are always open to new ideas and eager to learn. We all love cycling and strive to make the world a better place by reducing CO2 emissions and allowing people easy access to modern and carefree bicycle mobility.
"Imagine the intensity of discussions circled around sales and profit in a startup that's on its way to scaling up. What surprised me, though, was that the focal points at SMAFO are product development, customer satisfaction, and achieving excellence as a team."
The location of SMAFO
SMAFO is situated in the vicinity of the city center of the beautiful and historical city of Paderborn which makes it a perfect spot for breaks. We can grab the best lunch and coffee or simply go cycling with our colleagues. We have a very flexible working schedule so working from home or as the Germans call it "Home Office" is always an option.
If you are looking for a peaceful working environment, an easy commute to work, a competent, friendly and sympathetic team, and an enormous chance to learn and grow personally and professionally, check out SMAFO's career page and hop on!