What would be your expectations if you were to mentor a young expert from Africa as part of the AGYO exchange programme?
A lot of the expectations I just mentioned would apply to a young expert from Africa too. What I imagine is that someone from Africa would come for a placement and accompany me in the swim centre. Of course, I would try to integrate that person. So they’d have to be inquisitive and open towards new things and other cultures. They’d have to be dedicated and willing to try new things. And, of course, they’d have to want to learn. They’d have to be able to judge what they could take back to their home country but also what wouldn’t be possible. But it’s also my job as an expert to help them. You have to work together and rethink established approaches.
Where would support from SES experts be necessary - both at and outside the workplace?
SES experts are their first port of call and should be open to everything that the young expert asks and wants to know. For example, contacts could be important. For the young expert, it would be great if their time on assignment wasn’t only related to work, if they had an opportunity to explore the town and the country – a cultural exchange, in other words.
What would you like to learn from the young experts from Germany and the African partner country?
To me, what’s important is rethinking how I do things. Breaking free of old patterns of behaviour and structures because I always feel that routines can be both positive and negative. A young person from a different country and a different cultural group brings a completely fresh perspective to certain things and a breath of fresh air to my work. That can definitely be enriching. I think that’s positive.