Laetitia Roussel’s European experience as Junior Project Manager of Operations & Safety


“If you don’t dare, you won’t win” thought Laetitia Roussel from northern France and left for Germany to work for Transdev for two years. The 30-year-old has been employed for two years as Junior Project Manager of Operations and Safety in the Security Department of Transdev Germany and Transdev Hannover since March 1, 2020.

This was made possible by the French business exchange program “Volontariat International en Entreprise” (VIE), an international voluntary service for young professionals between the ages of 18 and 28. Transdev Group supports the program and organizes recruitment of VIE and their departure to our different entities  around the world. from the candidates interested by European countries can experiment international assignment in Germany for example, like Laetitia.

By studying logistics in Strasbourg with courses in German and French, and subsequent initial work experience in logistics and IT, Laetitia met the offer requirements, she discovered this opportunity when she participated to the VIE fair where Transdev was present.

After having handled all administrative and logistic aspects with Business France & Transdev Group, she packed her suitcase, loyal to her motto « Qui ne tente rien n’a rien » (who doesn’t dare, doesn’t win) and moved last year into a shared apartment in Hannover.

Before her first day of work with Transdev in Hannover, which is currently preparing to take over traffic for the Hanover commuter rail system, she was very excited.

“It was clear to me that the work culture here in Germany is different from that in France. I also asked myself whether I could meet all the expectations placed on me and whether my knowledge of German would also be sufficient for a business environment,” said Laetitia.

But her doubts quickly disappeared because she was warmly welcomed by the colleagues in the Security Department and thoroughly incorporated into the topic.

The new tasks are exciting and varied. « As Junior Project Manager of Operations & Safety Projects, I organize the safety audits with my colleagues from the Safety Department and support the development of safety management systems for the railway sector, » says Laetitia.

She also creates reports such as event and damage evaluations for buses and trains, translates “urgent reports” into English and acts as an interface to the colleagues in Paris.

In the meantime, she has well settled in Germany. But there are two small differences between the French and German work culture, Laetitia observes: “In France, we take significantly more time for lunch and eating. There was even a law that forbade eating in front of the computer or at the desk. »

The type of communication also differs significantly. “The people in Germany are much more direct than in France. That surprised me at first, for example when someone asked me directly: Do you understand? In France you would quickly find something like that impolite. But in the meantime, I’ve got used to it and I appreciate this way of communicating, because it quickly brings clarity, » says Laetitia.

She is personally happy to not only improve her German during her mission, but also to be able to acquire specific knowledge about mobility. « It is exciting to see how many new developments are happening and are being pushed. »

She is particularly enthusiastic about the fact that Transdev Group wants to make mobility possible for all and is also committed to new, clean technologies.

If the pandemic situation allows it again, Laetitia would like to use her stay to see more of Germany. “I think traveling by train is great because I love traveling through the countryside, relaxing and just being able to look at the surroundings. But until that is possible again, I’ll sit on my bike, so I’m flexible and keep myself fit, » ends Laetitia.

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