Alumni Questionaire: Nicole Michel
Name: Nicole Michel
Years attended GESS: 6 years in the late seventies
Current location: Germany, Potsdam
Current occupation: Team Leader Industrial Design Interiors
What do you miss most about your time at GESS? What is your fondest memory? Save
The international classmates and teachers, Pfadfinder, the acting and chorus groups.
What do you miss most about Singapore and your life there? If it has been a while, what do your remember most about your life in Singapore?
The friendly mentality of Singapore people. Good weather. Beautiful culture and landscape. Intelligent people. Green city
Do you think your time in Singapore and your time at GESS had an impact on your future life? If so, can you describe it?
Until today I feel at home in multicultural teams. Leading my international design team in Germany fulfils my life with great pleasure. I love to understand the different ways of thinking and guide this in an effective work process and result.
Is there any piece of advice or any experience you may like to share with current GESS students of fellow alumni, e.g. choosing the right university, finding a job etc.?
It is important to pay attention in school an repeat the studies at home. This is the most effective way to keep the workload low and the mind steady.
Tell us a bit about where you went after you left GESS and what happened to you.
Returning to Germany after the time in Singapore was quite a cultural shock. I expected to “come home” and feel at home, but I felt like a stranger. German kids identified me as a foreigner. I would have appreciated very much my teachers at the time teachers to make my classmates understand my situation.
What are you currently doing and what plans do you have for the future?
I am working as an Industrial Designer at Bombardier Transportation in Germany (Hennigsdorf near Berlin). Together with my team I design trains for the various parts and cities of the world. We design metros, regional trains and high speed trains. This includes the interior, exterior and the driver’s cab.
The Singapore Downtown line for example has been designed by my team, together with an external British consultant design team. I enjoy traveling to the different countries for which we design the trains. It brings me great pleasure to to find solutions for what is to design to meet various mental settings of specific cultures and to meet the regional requirements and specifications.
Furture: I am looking forward to design the next metros for Singapore and with my team.