Training at Daimler: “You have to have goals in life”

May 08, 2018 - Adham Alkhatib is in the second year of his vocational training as a craftsman working on metal. He started at Daimler as an intern. He came from Syria and run from there before the war started. We have had a brief interview with him about his goals, his experiences at Daimler and his work in the engine assembly department in Untertürkheim.

What do you like about Daimler?

You learn how to make contact with other people and integrate yourself into the group, together with the others. Various different cultures came together during the “bridge” internship. There were people from Syria, Afghanistan, and Africa, and other employees who were refugees and have been working in production at Daimler for some time. I like being at Daimler very much, because so many different people work here together in peace. That was missing in my homeland. This sense of community and solidarity between people from various nations in a situation like the “bridge” internship — that gave me strength and motivated me to become part of this country, together with the others. I think it’s a good thing that Daimler watches to make sure people are punctual and reliable. You simply have goals and a certain path that you’re taking. You say, okay, I’ve more or less lost everything, but Daimler has given me a new opportunity. It’s not an option for me to say, I’m not going to do anything. Instead, I have to get up and go to work, take other people as my models, and continue along my path at Daimler. Here I’ve also got the opportunity to continue my self-development. I definitely want to get my master craftsman certificate.

How did you find out about this training program at Daimler?

The human resources department talked to us about what comes next. It was the first time that Daimler looked for trainees this way from among the people doing the “bridge” internship. I simply kept saying that I want to do a traineeship. I was punctual and I did a great job, according to my colleagues and my foreman. Toward the end of the two-week “bridge” internship, I was offered a traineeship at Daimler. The initial message was that they would look at the situation and let me know the result, but ultimately it worked out in my favor. During my traineeship I also did a three-month internship to improve my German language skills. My foreman, Mr. Heisch, finally gave the green light, and I was ready to start the traineeship. At the moment I’m in my second year as a trainee. I also attend classes in the work-study program, and that’s going quite well. I received my half-term grades not so long ago. I got a grade of 1 (excellent) in four subjects and a 2 (good) in the other four subjects. I’m proud of that.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Typical Arabian dish.

I now live in my own apartment in Oberesslingen. But I don’t spend a lot of time there, because I’m not a very good cook. I simply go to my mom’s place for my meals. She cooks typical Arab dishes, with lots of rice, spices, and some meat and yogurt — like on the picture. I visit my parents often. There’s always a strong urge to go back home again. Five months ago I also played soccer and went to a fitness studio. I did both of these things in parallel. I really like to spend time with my friends. We sometimes play soccer or I go for a walk. I’d like to invest more time in my training program, so I no longer do so many things in my free time. I need the time to study for my work-study program. Thanks to the “bridge” internship at Daimler I was able to make valuable friendships. The group we formed back then still meets occasionally. My goal was to get into contact with people and to learn German. I got to know lots of people. We still get together sometimes, even though I no longer go to the gym. I want to be in touch with the people here and to continue improving my German. Learning German grammar is easy for me. I wouldn’t say it was especially difficult to do. I could also explain German grammar, but you don’t have to use it that much in daily life. Editor’s note: Adham is laughing as he says this.

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