I moved to the Bay Area from Chicago where I worked for a non-for profit organization helping facilitate German American business cooperation. After settling in our new apartment in Menlo Park, I started to look for an opportunity for volunteering because I had to wait for my employment authorization. I knew how important a strong network is when looking for jobs especially for a foreigner.
Somebody recommended the German American Business Association (GABA) and their events. I checked out the GABA website and the event calendar pointed me to an interesting event where I met Stefanie Bastian, GABA, Project Manager. She was so friendly and nice and asked me for my resume and I sent it over the next day. I began volunteering a week after my arrival here. I felt very welcomed by the friendly GABA team. I met so many great other volunteers who gave me tips for my job search and in general about my new environment. I enjoy supporting GABA by preparing promotional brochures and programs for the events, along with assisting at those events.
GABA offers a wide range of events from different industry groups. From “Women in Business”, “Clean Tech”, and “Media and Entertainment”, there is something for everybody. Networking can be very expensive. All the interesting events cost money and when you are looking for a job you should constantly attend different events to meet new people who might help you. However GABA holds once a month a “Stammtisch” in Palo Alto, San Jose and Alameda without any fees. This is a great opportunity to meet Germans and other foreigners in a nice and relaxed atmosphere.
Through one of GABA’s volunteers I found a job but I keep volunteering for GABA to stay actively in the community and continue to meet nice people here in the Bay area.
Mandy from Germany blogging from Menlo Park