Hanifah Az-Zahrah is an affirmed Muslim and has only been part of the Transdev team in Germany for a few months. Originally from Indonesia, the young mother completed her master’s degree in industrial engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) at the end of 2019 and is now working as a Management Trainee for Transdev Germany in Bad Kreuznach and Idar-Oberstein. Recently we sat down with Hanifah to learn more about her experiences living in Europe and working for Transdev.
Hanifah, you haven’t always lived in Germany, how did that come about?
Exactly, I am originally from Indonesia and was born and raised in the city of Yogyakarta. In 2011, I came to Germany, started studying in Karlsruhe where I did my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering. After graduation in 2019, I flew back to Indonesia, where my little daughter was born in March 2020. Since August 2021, I am now back in Germany and work for Transdev. I also have two brothers who are both studying in Kaiserslautern, which was also a reason for coming back to Germany.
As a Muslim, is your religion of great importance to you, and what influence does this have on your work and private life?
As a Muslim, I always wear a headscarf, except at home. The headscarf is a symbol that I am a good Muslim and believe in my religion. So far, I have never had any problems because of my religion or because I wear a headscarf. Even back then at university, as a student trainee, and even today at work, all my colleagues respect my religion and my decision, which is why I also respect them very much.
What is the situation in Germany like for women with your background?
In general, I think Germany is a very tolerant country. There are a lot of people of Turkish origin living here, almost all of whom are also Muslims, which is of course also an advantage for me. I am very happy to live here in Germany as a Muslim.
Hanifah, what made you decide to work in the mobility industry and for Transdev?
I have done several internships in my life. One of them was at Daimler EvoBus in Mannheim. There I was able to gain some experience in public transportation, and it makes me very happy to now work and contribute to this area. I also keep asking myself whether the German transportation concept could not be transferred to Indonesia. There is still a lot of catching up to do. I feel that working for Transdev is a great opportunity. I really enjoy working for an international group.
What are your current tasks at Transdev?
As a Management Trainee, I’m currently getting to know different areas such as Service Planning, Dispatching, Customer Service, Recruitment, Services for the Disabled and much more.
What happens after the trainee period?
The trainee position lasts for two years. After that, my supervisor will decide in which specific area I will continue. Of course, it depends on my strengths and abilities.
What challenges does the job present?
Since I come from Indonesia, the biggest challenge for me is the German language. Having a good command of it is the key to communication. However, through my studies, my internships, and my work as a student trainee, I have been able to practice and learn a lot of German.
What are your hobbies?
I like to travel, read a lot and love Netflix! I also have an online meeting with Indonesian girlfriends every Sunday, and we study the Islamic religion together.
Finally, what advice do you have regarding your profession and Transdev?
It would be nice to see even more diversity and variety within the Group. Not only among the driving staff, where people from different nations already work, but also in Management.