#Story
#Career
#Digitalisation

Role models: Anas Darkoushy

An ex­traor­di­nary sto­ry 

The good life Anas Darkoushy enjoyed was sud­denly inter­rupted in 2015 when he had to flee Syria. Today he combines his duties as a parent with a job at Helaba and a place on the MBA course at the Frank­furt School of Finance & Manage­ment. His journey from then to now has been greatly aided by his remark­able drive – and by people he met along the way who recog­nised his po­ten­tial. We met up with them in Frankfurt to discuss the extra­ordinary story and hear what an en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ence it has been for every­one in­volved.

There is no mis­taking the pride in Anas Dark­oushy’s voice as he talks about win­ning the “Out­standing Per­son­al­i­ties with a Mi­gra­tion Back­ground” award 2019, which was pre­sent­ed to him by the city in the Kaiser­saal, the elegant centre­piece of Frank­furt’s Römer city hall building. “I just wish people could hear more positive stories about im­mi­grants,” says Anas Dark­oushy at the begin­ning of our con­ver­sa­tion. Every­thing about him speaks of a man who pursues his ob­jec­tives with real gusto. The skill he has de­vel­oped with German since ar­riv­ing here only re­in­forces the im­pres­sion: he isn’t just on the right track, he’s in the fast lane.

Lan­guage is the key

“When I arrived at the German Red Cross (DRK) reception centre in Mann­heim in 2015, I didn’t belong any­where any more. My old life was gone; I had to leave my wife and two daugh­ters behind in Aleppo,” he recalls. Despite being parted from every­thing he had known, Anas Dark­oushy, who studied busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion in Syria and had worked as a key account manager in the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions sector for many years, im­me­di­ate­ly found his pro­fes­sion­al feet again as an IT coor­di­na­tor and English-Arabic trans­lator for DRK. He at­tend­ed German lessons in the even­ings. He still does too, because for him it’s quite clear that “lan­guage is the key for my new life.”

„I saw the great po­ten­tial in Mr Dark­oushy and am glad that we could win him as an em­ploy­ee. He has been a real asset for Helaba right from day one. I am happy to see that my initiative opened the door to Helaba for Mr Dark­oushy and that it helped him achieve an im­por­tant mile­stone in his life in Germany."

Sonja Nink, Group Manager CRM REF Nordwest/München at Helaba

Anas Dark­oushy first came to know Sonja Nink in 2018 when pur­su­ing his ap­pli­ca­tion for a place on the master’s course at the Frank­furt School of Finance & Manage­ment and a scholar­ship to help fund it. Ms Nink, who was helping to sup­port the se­lec­tion process as an alumna, soon spotted his po­ten­tial – not just as a scholar­ship student, but also as an em­ploy­ee for Helaba. “He mentioned in the inter­view that he would like to start working in the banking sector again. His out­stand­ing moti­vation and col­lab­o­ra­tive out­look im­pressed me greatly, as of course did his very moving story,” reveals the Group Manager Credit Risk Manage­ment Real Estate Finance Nordwest/München. “I am still as pleased and proud as ever that we were able to bring him aboard with us at Helaba. It was wonder­ful to meet him again in 2019 at the award cer­e­mo­ny at city hall and see that his wife and daugh­ters are now also com­plete­ly in­te­grat­ed into their new life here.”

Sonja Nink, Group Manager CRM REF Nordwest/München at Helaba
Sonja Nink, Group Manager CRM REF Nordwest/München at Helaba

"For us, hiring Mr Dark­oushy paid off from the very outset. He's not exactly an oddity here at Helaba either: almost all our teams have an in­ter­na­tion­al line-up."

Mike Schipper
Head of Pro­cess­ing of Col­lat­er­al

Such a good fit

Mike Schipper, Head of the Pro­cess­ing of Col­lat­er­al group and Mr Dark­oushy’s line manager, re­mem­bers his new report taking his first steps with the or­gan­i­sa­tion: “Mr Dark­oushy ini­tial­ly helped us with a project as a tem­po­rary student em­ploy­ee. He con­tribut­ed so much and proved such a good fit with our team that we had to take him on. It may be that in­te­grat­ing staff from other back­grounds initially takes a certain amount of effort up front for smaller com­pa­nies, but that was never the case for us: for us, hiring Mr Dark­oushy paid off from the very outset. He’s not exactly an oddity here at Helaba either, as almost all our teams have an in­ter­na­tion­al line-up.”

Mike Schipper, Head of Processing of Collateral
Mike Schipper, Head of Processing of Collateral

Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion is a highly topical subject. My master's thesis enables me to draw on my ex­per­tise in IT and finance si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly."

Anas Darkoushy
member of the Credit Operations Pro­cess­ing of Col­lat­eral team

His master’s thesis on the highly topical subject of “Robotics / dig­ital­i­sa­tion in the fi­nan­cial sector”, which he is writing in co-operation with WIBank, also promises to pay div­i­dends for Helaba. Thomas Görge, Vice Pres­i­dent IT and Or­gan­i­sa­tion at WIBank, who is as­sist­ing him with the work, welcomes its highly practical nature: “Mr Dark­oushy’s master’s thesis is laying foun­da­tions that will enable us to com­plete several im­por­tant steps in the dig­ital­isa­tion process with even greater pre­ci­sion.” Thomas Görge re­mem­bers their initial en­ well: “When we met for the first time to discuss robotics, he already knew exactly what tech­nol­o­gy WIBank had in place. He had even done an online training course to fa­mil­iarise himself with the specific material concerned. His preparation was ab­so­lute­ly first class!”

Anas Darkoushy, member of the Credit Operations Processing of Collateral team
Anas Darkoushy, member of the Credit Operations Processing of Collateral team

"I have always been con­vinced that in­te­gra­tion needn't be a dif­fi­cult process. Mr Dark­oushy has given us em­phat­ic con­­fir­­ma­tion of that."

Thomas Görge
Vice President IT and Or­gan­i­sa­tion at WIBank

His ability to absorb knowl­edge and drive him­self and each new project for­wards has cer­tain­ly impres­sed all three col­leagues. Anas Dark­oushy, for his part, is grate­ful to have hit upon people and a job that give him stability – and the feeling that he has found some­where to belong again.

Anas Darkoushy and Thomas Görge of WIBank talking about his master’s thesis which he is writing in co-operation with WIBank.
Anas Darkoushy and Thomas Görge of WIBank talking about his master’s thesis which he is writing in co-operation with WIBank.
Thomas Görge, Vice President IT and Organisation at WIBank
Thomas Görge, Vice President IT and Organisation at WIBank

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