Getting started in Madrid: HR topics and bread with tomato

(by Kevin)

¡Hola a todos!

A few days after my last exams I moved to the vibrant capital of Spain in mid July. Despite knowing I was coming here for quite some time (since April), it has been a bit hectic and chaotic in terms of preparation regarding all the formalities. Especially with the overall coordination, as it has been the first time taking part in Blind Applying for everyone (TÜV NORD Group, TÜV NORD Spain, my university, the Erasmus+ office, and of course for myself). However, I must say it has been quite an enriching experience so far. Maybe even partly due to the challenges we had to overcome? ;-)

Other than these administrative issues, there have been several pleasant experiences so far. My colleagues are very nice, the atmosphere is friendly. People usually have some breakfast together in a café downstairs around 11am, coffee and some bread with tomato. This half- hour break helps not only to alleviate the stress but especially to socialize as well. Currently everyone talks about planning their vacation and as I am not going to have any, well… that’s the only thing frustrating but that’s not what I am here for and I will definitely still enjoy the weekends!

The break time helps to alleviate the stress and especially to socialize.

Other than bureaucracy and timing of meals (breakfast at 11am, lunch around 3pm, siesta and no dinner before 9pm) as well as the heat and the drought, which I am now getting used to, I’d say there haven’t been any other difficulties in particular.

At work I am fully integrated and working on organizational topics in HR, internal communication, as well as on cultural awareness issues and now getting started with a project on e-recruiting. In particular that means that I have been working with the executive committee to update organizational charts, and that I have been working with both Spanish and German staff to get started on to two guides: One on how to get started in the city of Madrid (as I have told you, formalities have been challenging) and another one on business etiquette and life in Spain. I am not so sure how to write such a thing without stereotyping, but I’m on it!

Regarding the e-recruiting tool, we are still in the preparation phase, meaning I am mostly gathering data among employees to determine the needs as well as to check the feasibility.

Well, that’s it is for now! I’ll keep you posted.

All the best from sunny Madrid,