inside
The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Employees

Adventure in Beijing

Bünyamin Aksu from the Kassel plant is fascinated by his year abroad 
at Volkswagen in Beijing. The 26-year-old is a qualified foundry mechanic.

You are currently on a year abroad at Volkswagen’s import company in China. 
What exactly are you doing there?

I am currently working in the Human Resources department. There I’m responsible for recruiting people with disabilities. To do that, it was not only necessary to test our office for accessibility, but also to find suitable positions for these candidates. Another area I got to work on was the e-Golf here in Beijing. To simplify the market launch of our electric cars in China, the Human Resources department has tried to create an attractive offer for our employees to get the e-Golf on the road.

From Kassel to Beijing: Bünyamin Aksu feels at home in China.

Why did you decide to take a year abroad?
I have been fascinated by the size of our company ever since my apprenticeship. The year abroad has enabled me to benefit from its size early on in my career and to develop as a person. My goal is to understand the relationships between different locations and to build friendships with colleagues in other parts of the Volkswagen world. In this era of globalization, I think it’s important to understand other cultures better. This will enable us to communicate better with one another throughout the Group. I have no doubt: it was the right decision for me to come to China.

What were your first impressions of China?
I was expecting this country to surprise me – and it did! In no other city have I experienced as much motion as in Beijing. And I have never shared the bus and the subway with so many people at once. The diversity is a special gift, and because of it every day holds a different adventure in store for me.

What are the cultural differences compared to Germany?
As an experienced globe trotter, I was prepared for the cultural differences. But that doesn’t mean nothing surprised me. The surprises were not obvious things, but hidden in the detail. For example, communication: in Germany, we communicate in a very direct way, while the Chinese tend to express themselves in an indirect way to maintain their friendships. In the working world, tact is often needed to obtain information. The Chinese also value family cohesion across multiple generations. And in restaurants – unlike in Germany, where each person orders an individual dish, people order many different dishes that are shared and eaten by everyone together.

You seem to be enjoying your time in China. Are you looking forward to returning to Germany?

Of course! My time in China will always be a very special memory to me and I will miss many of my colleagues. But my roots are in Germany and I’m looking forward to being home.

Out with Chinese friends: Bünyamin Aksu (right) skiing, which has become one of his favorite hobbies.