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.
“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.”
"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."
Head of Processing of Collateral
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.”
Digitalisation is a highly topical subject. My master's thesis enables me to draw on my expertise in IT and finance simultaneously."
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!”
"I have always been convinced that integration needn't be a difficult process. Mr Darkoushy has given us emphatic confirmation of that."
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.