Hellmann Globetrotter: Jonas Gehring
Hi Jonas, what motivated you to move to Miami?
I think in our industry it is important to be multi lingual because logistics is by nature a global business. So I thought it would be a great experience to work in another country and asked Hellmann if it is possible to go abroad to write my bachelor thesis in English.
Back then, Stefan Pfeiler, Head of Global Customer Implementation, said that there was a similar Team for Customer Implementation in North America. I contacted the colleagues and Philip Schön from Miami immediately told me that they offer internships. That´s seven years ago – and I am still living in Miami.
Great fit, I would say!
Has it been easy for you to integrate into your new work environment?
To be honest, it was easy for me – despite the fact, that the people and also their mentality are totally different compared to Germany, especially at Hellmann America.
I don’t mean that in a bad way, but in Germany people like to exchange their thoughts and ideas, you go to the canteen together and ask each other things like how the weekend was or what the kids are up to. Whilst people have a great interest in each other and share private things, at the end of the day, everybody goes back home into their own private environment.
In Miami this is different. At least this is how I perceived it: Many colleagues here are also seeing each other in their free time – for example to have a BBQ party at the beach. This made me feel integrated straight away. Also, back then, many other interns at my age started at Hellmann and I was living with them. We spent a lot of time together. Not being the only new one made it also a lot easier for me, too.
What do you miss most from home?
Of course my friends and family. I missed them immediately. But also the food. I am really open-minded – I like to cook and try new food. Nevertheless, the dining culture is really different in America, especially here in Miami because the food is influenced by Latin America. I also really miss the German “Curry Wurst” (curry sausage). When I am in Germany for vacation, I eat countless Curry Wursts!
What I also miss are Christmas markets. Because it is so warm in Miami, I don’t really get into Christmas mood. Putting on Santa clothes and drinking mulled wine while it’s 25°C is just strange. I am also a big soccer fan. However, in America it sadly does not have the same quality as in Germany (yet).
What do you love most about living in Miami?
The sunny weather! I like it when it’s warm, so it’s definitely the weather. While there is also a rainy season here in Miami, I don’t mind as long as it is warm. Thinking back the past year, I think 19°C was the coldest temperature I’ve experienced in Miami.
How does a perfect day-off look like for you in Miami?
Probably, I will get up early and take a walk with my dog. Afterwards, I will have breakfast on the balcony without any stress. At the same time, I will maybe watch a German soccer game (which is always in the morning hours here in Miami due to the time difference). After that, we will go to the beach to have a barbecue. Maybe even bounce into the water or go boating.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! Is there anything else you would like to add before we say goodbye?
In the past, I already read many Hellmann Globetrotter stories and some are even my friends like Ignacio Barrenengoa who I first met in Miami and later during some work assignments in Hong Kong.
Hellmann provides a lot of opportunities in general but also during the dual study program. I think this is great. I even had the chance to visit Shanghai, Hong Kong or South America!
I hope that Hellmann will never lose this global approach and will continue to support such programs. Giving people the possibility to stay at Hellmann but at a different company site, not only within Germany but also globally, has been incorporated since many years and I think this is something that makes us unique compared to other companies.
Thanks a lot for sharing your story with us, Jonas!