Jason Scagell, Director Europe.on decided to take up German lessons when the opportunity arose within Powergen. He sums up his experiences: “I have really enjoyed learning German and would recommend language training for any aspiring international business people or anyone generally seeking to broaden their horizons.”
Jason’s experience of learning German
Jason started learning German at E.ON Westwood in 2004 (then Powergen) and was one of the first to take up the option of learning in a group environment during lunchtimes. He will be shortly awarded the Open Studies Business Language Certificate from the University of Warwick.
There were some changes in his group over the years, but Jason has remained focussed and continued with his lessons. However, he does admit that it can be an interesting juggling act: “without a doubt the biggest challenge has been trying to achieve a continuity of attendance and practice, with a senior role and a young family.”
Despite the challenges of learning grammar and vocabulary Jason still finds it “enormous fun.”
Jason uses his German on his visits to Germany. At the moment he uses it in a variety of waysways: “mainly in non-working situations – getting taxis, ordering food and drinks in hotels and airports.” As he is able to be more independent when he travels he stands a better chance of building the relationships necessary to do well abroad.Jason’s reasons for learning German
Jason wanted to learn new skills and thought that learning German would help him “to feel more comfortable during international trips.”
In addition Jason feels his training is likely to benefit his future career opportunities: “learning a language has been seen as a positive commitment within the company and a good indicator of a desire to learn and progress – this has resulted in subtle but nevertheless positive response to my career aspirations.”
Many transferable skills can be gained through learning languages. Jason sometimes found himself out of his comfort zone but learning German has helped him dealing with “the difficulties of not knowing something and feeling less than competent.“ Also he believes that ”you are never too old to learn.” Jason also coaches his own staff and feels that his coaching skills have been improved by observing his German tutor. He explains: “understanding the importance of a coach and the encouragement that a coach can give, helps in dealing with and encouraging people at work.”
His learning also has a positive impact on his family life too because he will encourage his children to learn another language.