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Name: Dr. Iris Wangermann

Business: Intercultural training & consultancy, a counseling service aimed at spreading awareness of cultural diversity

Industry: Coaching & ConsultingOther — Intercultural training

Location: Cologne, Germany

Reason for starting: I am an intercultural psychologist and have been self-employed as an intercultural trainer for managers in big companies and students in soft-skills classes at universities since 2004. I also work as deputy professor for Intercultural Business communication at the University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg. I am German/Austrian and therefore have a history and inheritance of insane racism. Growing up in Germany, I spent 8 years abroad (1 year in the U.S., 5 years in Austria, 2 years in Italy) working and studying education and psychology. Having had many great experiences but also culture-shocks myself, I decided to write my master’s thesis about intercultural trainings, to put theoretical background and structure behind my personal experiences. Right after finishing my studies I became self-employed as intercultural trainer as I wrote my PhD thesis. My aim is to make people aware of the beauty and necessity of cultural diversity. I help people to gain intercultural competence which allows them to include and use all strengths of mixed-cultural teams, to successfully prepare for a work-stay abroad or to root and include into a foreign culture.

Related: How one woman’s personal financial difficulties became a case study for her new business. 

How do you define success? Looking into the happy faces of my training-participants after a colorful training day. The feeling of having created a constructive learning atmosphere where people were able to connect with themselves and others is priceless.

Related: One woman’s journey to connect Latin America through online learning. 

Biggest Success: The respect and positive feedback of a group of very professional trainers and coaches in an international company, after an intercultural awareness training.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? When a challenge arises, I keep breathing.

Who is your most important role model? I met many inspiring people on my way. Most of them simply had the courage to walk their own unique way to serve the world with their special gifts.


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Edited by The Story Exchange