Paths Are Made By Walking


(by Kevin)

Hey everyone!

Despite still having a very pleasant sun, summer is over and so is my time in Madrid. I guess it’s time for my last blog post. I loved Madrid, the atmosphere on the streets and all its squares, rooftops and patios after sunset, especially in Malasaña but also in other neighborhoods!  I really don’t want to get cheesy and make you drown in stories of my memories. Anyways let me tell you a bit about my work and life experience for the last time on this blog.

The BlindApplying experience has been very enriching. It has been an interesting way of matching with a company I knew about, but that I maybe would not have considered as an employer. The internship has sometimes been demanding but that has also contributed to it being as enriching as it was. I remember my first day here as if it was yesterday. However, thinking of all the things I have done and what has happened, it seems to be more than only three months.

The internship was demanding but that contributed to it being as enriching as it was

For anyone planning to join this initiative, I would highly recommend to give it a try. It’s an experience full of surprises and you have to be willing to take your chances and be open for new experiences. This doesn’t mean just saying it but also feeling it! Other than that I would just repeat the skills I have mentioned in my last post, if you don’t care about meeting and working with people but find it satisfying enough to having a lot of desk work, then a position like mine would probably not be the right thing for you.

Paths are made by walking – And I don’t regret to have walked the way I did!

Well, there are definitely some things that I'm looking forward to when going back home: Finishing my last seminars at the university and getting started/done with the thesis, tea, real bread, meeting some of my friends again and many more. However, I already know that there will be plenty of things that I am going to miss as well: the sun, my colleagues, walking around the city without knowing where you going to end up (life is a journey, not a destination!), the daily breakfast with colleagues. Well, at least there are some parts of this experience that I am not going to miss at all such as my lovely landlord ;-)

Breakfast with colleagues

As the quote that I chose for my self-introduction says: paths are made by walking – And I don’t regret to have walked the way I did!

Well then, goodbye Madrid, goodbye Cualicontrol, goodbye dear readers. See you soon!

All the best,


The key to a great work experience: People skills!

(by Kevin)

Hello again!

Summer break is over. After having spend 2-3 lonely weeks at the office, all colleagues are back from their vacation and work rhythm has been increasing constantly ever since.

Although it has been rather quiet at TÜV NORD Cualicontrol, especially during the second half of August, I was still able to advance some projects and had the chance to mingle with colleagues from other departments, which I really enjoyed.

In my last post I told you about having some issues adapting to the heat, mealtimes, etc.  The heat is a bit less of a problem now but still continues. However, as of September 16th working hours are going to switch from summer working hours back to the normal ones, which are similar to the classical 9 to 5 model (Yep – changing working hours depending on the season due to the heat! No lazy afternoons anymore ;-) )

Summer night life at a cultural center

Enjoying the weather on a rooftop terrace

I can’t believe that there is only a few weeks left. Time both at and off work has been passing extremely fast! Time to reflect a bit!

The organizational charts are updated, plus we created a new internal directory helping employees to find the person that they are looking for instead of calling one the offices’ receptionists. The guide on how to get started in Madrid is about to be finished, the international etiquette one still takes some time, as I am interviewing people (both expats and Spaniards) in order to find out what is most important in terms of the guide’s content. Regarding the implementation of a TNG wide e-recruiting platform we have concluded the data gathering so that our colleagues in Essen, Germany may now analyze the project’s feasibility as well as potential costs, building upon experiences with a pilot project they conducted with another TÜV NORD company.

TÜV NORD-approved elevator!

I wanted to talk about skills that have been useful, as well as lessons I've learned, and these two are definitely overlapping, so I’ll just go ahead.

Probably one of the most important points is organization of work itself: Setting priorities, having an overview, and not losing track of anything as I am working on a variety of tasks simultaneously. Everyone knows this but it is definitely still worth mentioning: People skills are indispensable as every task I work on ultimately aims at improving someone’s experience at the workplace! A third but not less important skill/lesson learned is about patience and trust, although I am not sure if that is the appropriate wording. Things here are sometimes organized and handled differently (in relation to how I am used to). Still, everything just works out fine and by now I have found a good middle way, adapting the way I work.

People skills are indispensable as every task I work on ultimately aims at improving someone’s experience at the workplace!

Other than work, I’ve had the opportunity of getting to know this lively city better as well as some other places in its surroundings. Also, I had the chance to spend a long weekend at the beach close to Valencia. Some friends of mine came over to celebrate my birthday, we rented a car and made a little road trip! Here are some pictures from Valencia and Salamanca.

Well then, more news on my internship at TÜV NORD Cualicontrol and my life in Madrid next time!

All the best,


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,

Meet Kevin, The Blind Applying Champion Of TÜV NORD GROUP!

Kevin is studying Intercultural Human Resource Development at the University of Jena. He is joining Cualicontrol in Madrid to help with the cultural training and development of the Group’s international employees. He will be sharing his stories on his blog.

Were you expecting to be matched with the TÜV NORD GROUP when applying for Blind Applying?
Nope, I actually didn’t. And that’s one of the reasons I applied: to get matched with a company that I would not have expected, to a place I would not have expected.

What are you most excited about to do in Madrid?
Probably it won’t be easy to deal with the heat I’ll encounter in Madrid, so I am very looking forward to jumping into some cool swimming pool. Well I am excited to go out, enjoy the nightlife and live music. Aaaand of course to get a great work experience :)

You are speaking 8 languages, 4 of them fluently. What have you taken away from your language studying?
Learning a new language does not only provide you with the opportunity to communicate with more people but also opens up a whole new world. Even the way one behaves and interacts changes when using another language (e.g. the tone of your voice, gestures etc.).