John Man (MSc in ITM 2011) stepped out of his comfort zone working overseas
|Study Programme||MSc in ITM (2011)|
|Place of Birth||Hong Kong|
|Current Location||Munich, Germany|
|Current Job||Auditor, BayWa AG|
Q1. Could you briefly describe your current job scope or responsibilities?
I'm working at BayWa AG as an internal auditor. My primary task is conducting compliance and process audits at the internal departments in Munich, the offices and warehouses across Germany, and overseas offices. There are different teams in our internal audit department and my team focuses on national and international agricultural trading. In addition, I also perform IT and information security audits for the group.
Q2. 3 words to describe your life in your residing location (the country/ city), followed by a brief explanation.
German - Quite a lot or even most of the well-known German icons - Schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle), Würstelteller (sausages), Oktoberfest (beer festival), FC Bayern München and its stadium Allianz Arena - are actually from Munich or Bavaria. Living in Munich enables me to have real German cultural experience and living style, that is not the same as in other German cities which are more international.
Work-Life-Balance - The workers here are well protected by German labour law and they enjoy a weekly maximum working hours of 48. Many companies lower the hours to 40 or even 38 in order to retain talent. Overtime working is not usual and is not highly welcomed, and must be mutually agreed. People like to enjoy their after-work time with their families, doing sport or getting their hands dirty in the gardens or workshops as hobbies, or participating in different kinds of volunteer opportunities. In some areas of Bavaria, even firefighters are well-trained volunteers!
Meinungsäusserungsfreiheit (Freedom of Expression) - It is not only about the human rights which are protected by the constitution, but also about the mentality of Germans in expressing their opinions, that is one of the major cultural differences in my opinion. Germans are not afraid, and even being encouraged, to express opinions to their seniors and management, which is quite unusual in Hong Kong. Children are trained in their early age on how to formulate their questions and ideas rationally, and say them properly. This is also a challenge for me that I have to step out of my comfort zone to speak up to my experienced colleagues and my management, of course in a professional way!
Q3. Which industry do you see strong business potential in your country and any reason?
Renewable energy has a long history in Germany. The German government decided to shut down all the nuclear plants in 2022, different kinds of infrastructure and services will be in high demand. Besides building solar panels on the rooftops, many farmers are transforming their farmland to a hybrid usage including smart farming and energy harvesting (usually with solar and wind). Examples of businesses with high potential are building services, plant operations, engineering works and energy trading.
Q4. What is the one thing you miss the most during your study in CUHK Business School, and that you look forward to doing it/ making it happen again?
The field trip to Silicon Valley was definitely the most valuable experience. It was a great pleasure and excitement to visit the birthplaces of the most used technologies in daily life and learn about their culture and history, not only by visiting their museum or visitor centre, but by talking to staff. The time hanging with my classmates was also precious and wonderful. I would like to go again with my own classmates and other current students.