The story of Antonio Mangiapane the protagonist of the mobility story we are going to tell you takes us from Palermo, our young engineer’s birthplace, to Germany. After graduating and obtaining some work experience (including the launch of Yam Tech), Antonio begins to feel the desire for new stimuli, challenges, and experiences.
He learns about the EURES TMS project in this way: “At first, I got the chance to learn about the YfEj project and the EURES network in general. When I decided to look for a new career, I started to inform more thoroughly and methodically about the prospects that European programs provide and that I show I met the EURES TMS project. I registered on the new platform and provided the necessary information, including my education, employment history, and the position I was interested in.” Antonio saw in EURES TMS an opportunity to reach a further pool of job opportunities, the result of a careful and precise selection.
In the same period, Maria Megna, a EURES adviser in Cremona, published a job opportunity on the new platform, looking for three “Composite Development Engineers for Space” at Blackwave, a young start-up that was growing quickly. “I found out about this opening vacancy through the EURES TMS platform. That’s a fun fact: I was based in Palermo at the time, while Maria Megna was the EURES Adviser for Lombardy. In my opinion, this reveals a lot about the significance of this European network. A network of professionals, “Antonio tells us,” that really connects all of Europe, and in which I felt welcomed, guided, and facilitated in my choices, despite the distance between Palermo and Cremona. I looked for a job for 4/5 months, attending several interviews, but then unexpectedly, a job found me. A position for which I had not applied, was offered to me from the outside. So as you know I decided to take it.”
From Sicily to Germany
The interview continues with Antonio’s account of his experience in Germany, in Taufkirchen, a German municipality in the Land of Bavaria, not far from Munich. “Honestly, I don’t feel as though I’m far from home or abroad. I feel very at home. I’m aware that it sounds odd because Palermo, the city I’m from, is undoubtedly a unique, large, and vibrant city. Moving from there to a region in southern Germany could seem like a significant change. However, I got the impression that much of what is told and thought is simply based on stereotypes, as it often happens. Of course, I won’t say that the alleys of Munich are like those of the Ballarò market in Palermo, but I believe that when there are common values and a shared history, like the one in Europe for the last 80 years, the relationships among people tend to be very similar. So yes, I don’t feel like a stranger/foreign.”
In short, Antonio feels and defines himself as a European citizen, beyond the concept of borders or linguistic and cultural differences. He believes in a united Europe. “My relationship with my colleagues is good. I work mainly by communicating in English, but at the same time, I try to improve my German because I would like to be able to communicate with everyone. The environment is fantastic, the company (link) I work for is very young and the employees are on average about 30 years old. Blackwave is specialized in manufacturing carbon fiber components, and thanks to national funding, the company is beginning to automate several production processes by using robots and custom-built machinery. This is my main area of expertise, the automation of industrial operations.”
About the financial benefits
EURES TMS is not only an opportunity to find a new job and have a mobility experience in a state of the European Union, it means also services, benefits, and a network with partners in 13 EU countries. Antonio has applied for two benefits, the first one is offered for in-person job interviews. A benefit that aims to support candidates who are selected for an interview in another country, covering travel and accommodation expenses, plus a daily contribution for up to five days.
“I applied both for the interview and the relocation benefit. I could also request financial benefit for the language course, but I’m trying to understand if I can simply get better on my own as I already have a good basis. In fact, in just over a month my German has improved a lot. Although I can’t communicate as easily as I do in Italian or English, I don’t have any trouble carrying on conversations thanks to my intermediate level of German. In any case, I’m considering taking a language course to accelerate my progress and may even schedule it for the evening.” Regards to his job, he says, “In this first period, I’m trying to dedicate myself completely to it, because I’m still on trial and I’d like to persuade my employer. I want to focus entirely on my work.”
Luckily for the European Union
“Luckily the European Union exists,” says Antonio when we ask him three thoughts on EURES TMS, mobility experience and Europe, “I don’t mean to be rhetorical, but I feel like expressing it because it’s something I frequently think about. Wherever you arrive in UE, you are a citizen of Europe, not of Italy, Germany, France, or Poland. In my opinion, it would be a mistake, in a world like this, not to take advantage of the chance to explore different realities, civilizations, and customs.”
“In a Europe that offers opportunities of this kind, not opening up to different cultures and remaining closed in one’s neighborhood, city, or state, makes one miss the opportunity to become more open-minded people. I smile every day at the cultural differences I see among my colleagues. They amuse me, and I’m glad to have learned all that. A work experience abroad is worthwhile, in my opinion, for this reason alone! ”
Last but not least!
“Get out of your comfort zone and give yourself the opportunity to grow and improve. I don’t want to feed the “brain drain” narrative. My point of view is different; an opportunity presented itself, and I seized it. I think everyone should do the same, and most importantly everyone should have the chance to do so, which is given (the chance) by initiatives like EURES TMS.” EURES TMS does all that: promotes cross-cultural and inter-personal exchanges of work and skills.”
We express our sincere gratitude to Antonio for sharing his wonderful experience with us and end with his words: “It was a pleasure to share my perspective with you, and I’d like to take this chance to express my gratitude for the existence of EURES TMS project, and for all the support I was given. I was accompanied by an excellent organisational expertise and human presence.”