5 questions for Ahmed

Frontend developer at AUTO1 Group. In Germany since 2015

AUTO1 Group is a car trading platform — and one of Germany’s few ‘unicorn’ companies

Hi Ahmed, nice to meet you. Who are you?

Ahmed Hassanein
  • I’m Ahmed, I am 31 years old. I grew up in Cairo
  • I have a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from Modern Academy

What do you do now?

  • I am part of the frontend team that builds web applications for AUTO1 Group

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

  • I had some German in high school, but had forgotten everything about it ever since. When I came to Germany, some of that came back!
  • Finding a job in Germany is actually not that hard — if you try hard and persist for many months. Funnily, I don’t consider myself a very disciplined man, but for this opportunity I pull it all together, and it was worth it! If I can do it, you can do it as well.

Why did you move to Germany?

I was happy with my job in Egypt, but I thought I had nothing to lose. If it works out, you will work and live in Germany. If you don’t like it in Germany, you can always go back. In that case you will have had a great trip to Europe and many valuable life experiences.

What advice do you have for our Imagine Fellows?

  • Know who you are and who you want to be. In my case, I could have applied for PHP positions, but I chose to apply for Javascript roles only. Focus helps you learn faster because the questions you will hear in interviews will be — at some point — always the same.
Ahmed’ s collection of 50+ rejection emails.
  • Organize yourself, it’s a “life of death” necessity: After you have applied to more than 10 jobs it starts to get confusing. Where did you already apply? What’s your status where? I used calendly.com to manage my calendar and booked all interviews for Fridays (weekend in Egypt, working day in Germany).
  • Never give up: It took me about 6 months of applying like crazy. It really sucks if you make it to the last interview and you are told “sorry — you were number 2 in our ranking”.
I made sure that I always had at least two interesting applications in my pipeline. So that whenever I got rejected for one dream opportunity I had great chance.
  • Learn from each trial: After each application, after each interview and after each rejection I asked myself what I learned. This helped me get better over time
  • Always be honest: Do not lie in interviews. Too many people do that. Your interviewers can tell. Once people asked me “do you know React?” I said: “Not yet, but I hope I can learn and use it with you.” I got the job. :)

What was the biggest surprise for you?

  • Its not as hard as you think. But you need patience and persistence
  • Getting a visa is quite simple IF you have a job offer
  • You don’t need to know German, but English is very important!
When I got hired for my first job in Germany, people said they chose me because “we could clearly understand you.” Practice your English now, not your German!

Want to learn more about Ahmed? Check out his Linkedin profile. Also take a look at Ahmed’s CV.

— Your friends at Imagine.

This post is part of a longer series. For more visit us here: https://medium.com/imagine-foundation