Meet Jakob, the Blind Applying Champion of Enterprise Rent-a-Car!

blindapplying_jakob_enterpriseinterview.jpg

Jakob is getting prepared for a rotational internship at Enterprise. With a variety of tasks comes a variety of learning experiences. He will be sharing his stories on his blog.

What are you looking forward to while working at Enterprise?
I am excited to get a thorough understanding of Enterprise's core business while rotating through the different departments in Frankfurt and to learn about the European strategy at the European Headquarter in London. I also look forward to pursuing my own independent project and presenting it to Enterprise administrators.

You have spent a year in Korea studying Business. Most interesting learning from your experience?
We had more group assignments than I was used to in Germany, and in the context of those projects it was interesting to learn about the differences in group dynamics and work culture between German and Korean students.

A book you will take with you during your internship?
It would be great if I find the time to read "In the World Interior of Capital: Towards a Philosophical Theory of Globalization” by Peter Sloterdijk

Meet Chloé, the Blind Applying Champion Of Bayer!

A new beginning! Chloé will be sharing updates from her time with Bayer in the US on her blog.

 

Would you ever have thought you could work for Bayer?

When I first applied through Blind Applying, I saw Bayer was one of the companies I could apply for but I couldn't imagine they would contact me for an interview. When I received an email from the HR Service saying I was hired, I was very happy to have the opportunity to be part of such a big company. Blind Applying gave me the great opportunity to start my career abroad. 

You have been a double champion for France in breaststroke. How has swimming helped you in your studies?

My past as a sportive helped me a lot to stay focused on my projects and never let myself down, even when I had challenging obstacles to overcome. The long and hard hours of training allow me today to have a strong resistance to stress and heavy workload. I also learned it is essential to be a team player, because even if swimming is an individual sport, I would not have performed this way without the support of my friend swimmers. Today I place great importance to teamwork and corporate culture. As a sportive coach, it is up to the manager to reveal each team member’s talent.

Have you looked up things you want to do in the US? What are you looking forward to the most?

Yes, I'm really excited to arrive to the United States. During my stay, I want to discover the atmosphere of a university town like Raleigh. I really want to live the american sport spirit by attending sport games. And why not be part of a swimming club! Finally, New York and New Orleans are two cities I hope to discover during my stay.

 

See you soon Chicago!

(by Anna Ahnert)

Madison, Wisconsin is one of the most popular college cities in the US and therefore Philipp, the other Blind Applying intern working for Fresenius in Chicagoland, some friends and I decided to go there for another road trip.

During the day it is a cozy, nice and calm city but appearances are deceiving! It’s getting crazy at night! We had a great time sitting at the student union on the riverside of one of the numerous lakes, had super Thai food and discovered the college bars.

But, also in Chicago there were a lot of things to do. We tried the famous ‘taste of Chicago’ food festival, went to free concerts in millennium park, played beach volleyball and never got bored.

The summer and with it my internship is almost over. I can look back to five months packed full of new experiences, challenging projects and a great team behind it!

I've learned from experience that it’s best to approach things without big expectations, so that it’s more likely to get surprised by great experiences. That’s what happened here as well. When I got the internship in Chicago I did not know at all what to expect. And now? I loved every single part of it!

blindapplying_deutschetelekom_chicagoskyline.jpg

I love Chicago! The city offers so much, especially during the summer and I loved my job. It was great to see how T-Systems North America acts as one part of the big Deutsche Telekom group within the agile telecommunications market. This internship was definitely a precious step for my future career and I’d like to thank everybody who made this possible to me. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back one day!

Auf wiedersehen,
Anna

Time to say goodbye….

blindapplying_sayinggoodbye.jpg

(by Yoshiki Fukuda)

My Merck adventure ended already end of June. Overall, it was a very instructive and interesting time. On the one side, I got an inside in In-House consulting work and the broad topics they are working on. I believe that the differences between In-House consulting and external consultancy are very small. On the other side, I got a feeling of Merck’s business and possible future topics and challenges in the chemical industry.

In my last blog entry, I was describing the beginning of a "process optimization" process with some basic research and the kick-off event as an official starting point.

What happened after the kick-off event?

In general, we were figuring out solutions for the process optimization and provided the best solutions to the department manager to select. But to start from the beginning...

First, we started to define a framework by identifying parameters which have an impact for the process optimization.

Second, we were identifying different solutions for the optimization and evaluated these regarding the defined framework.

At the end, we had two favorable solutions which were further worked out. The result was presented by the project leader in front of his manager for a final approval.

Unfortunately my internship ended at this point. It was a pity that I did not have the chance to see the implementation phase of this project. It was such a pleasure to work in this team and on this very interesting project.

The last day in the department

Since another intern of the department and me finished at the same day, we decided to bake some cherry muffins for the colleagues. Because our baking skills were very limited, we got help from a friend ;-) With her help we made very delicious muffins, which the colleagues enjoyed a lot.

blindapplying_merck_goodbyecake.jpg

In my first blog entry, I said that this internship is a once in a lifetime experience and I was right. During these three months at Merck, I learned a lot of new skills and met a lot of new and enriching personalities. Sometimes I am thinking back to the day when I submitted my CV for Blind Applying and wish that I could turn back time to submit it again.

But the world keeps spinning! Currently, I am going through another internship in a consultancy till end of September to start my Master’s thesis afterwards. Hopefully I was able to give you an idea of my great time at Merck and my work in In-House consulting. If you have further questions about Merck or my Blind Applying adventure, I think that the Blind Applying team might be able to arrange a way to contact me!

Thanks to those who followed my blog and were part of my Blind Applying story!

Best regards,
Yoshi

Passing the torch over one full plate

(by Tanja Niemczyk)

Hello hello everybody!

Back again and this time it’s me, Tanja. Yes you are reading correctly, after numerous interesting and entertaining posts Laura is retiring from her reporter duties at Coca-Cola …for now! So from now on, I am going to tell you all tiny little secrets of the life of an intern here at Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke AG.

But first of all, let me introduce you to my small team: Katja, Karsten and me. 

As mentioned in the last post, I am working in the marketing department – new ventures.  We have a special focus on promoting new brands, like for example our delicious coffee CHAQWA (and yes this is supposed to be hidden advertisement ;-) ). You won’t be able to buy our beans just yet, but you might know us from vending machines or your bakery next door.

I joined the team right in the middle of a product line change. The coffee bean line was improved, renamed and the packaging altered. As a result we had to create new promotion material and adapt old ones.

What do you think is the most challenging part in changing the portfolio? The production? The new promotion campaign? Nahhh, it is the adaptation of the internal processes. In such a big company, it takes some time to inform everyone from the logistic manager to the call-center employee. Until everyone in the company was on board, there were quite some e-mails sent and people called or informed during lunch.

Right at the beginning my colleagues revealed a big surprise to me. After just two weeks in the company, both of my two team members would already leave for their well-deserved two week holiday.  I had to fill in for all operational requests and take over some sub-projects. So a lot of responsibility right at the beginning of my internship.

If you are wondering what happened to Laura, well she was busy introducing me to the magical world of Coca-Cola. In her last few weeks she showed me all the hidden places in our building,

How to handle the tricky soap dispenser...

... how to pose in front of our newest family member ViO BiO ...

... and how to use our company coupons for free bottle crates.

(Help, I just can’t stop this urge to showcase  hidden advertisement!)

Sadly, Laura’s four months came to an end way too fast. But she left with a big bang of course. Usually people bring cakes for their little goodbye event, but for the chef de cuisine Laura that would not be challenging enough. So after standing hours in the kitchen she presented an amazing goodbye lunch to her friends and colleagues. Everyone, including myself, welcomed this new approach of making yourself memorable with enthusiasm and a full plate.

So now it is time for Laura’s final words to you. Get your handkerchiefs ready:

“Uhhhh, "final words" that sounds quite hard ;) But Tanja is right! Let's face it...It's time to say bye-bye, adios amigos, à bientôt, ahoi or as a German person would simply say "tschüssi"! But no time for tears! No, not today! It has been such a pleasure to keep you always updated with the latest gossip about our humorous and amazing time at Coca-Cola. I am not a fan of long and boring good bye ceremonies, so to keep a long story short: thanks to you guys for spending your precious time on following me! :)

And a big thanks to all my colleagues - from whom some have become good friends - for the unique and great working experience! Now it's time to get prepared for my next adventure...Paris it is! "Oui, oui  baguette" - here we go!"

Stay refreshed and excited about the next posts. Cheers!

IT and healthcare: A look back and a way forward

Looking back on my summer internship at Johnson & Johnson, I am surprised as to how much experience I’ve gained and how much I’ve learned. Not only did I not know Objective-C or Swift, but this was my first time ever doing mobile development or iOS development. I had never even been in possession of a Mac prior to this! If you are interested in IT and healthcare, this is an amazing and exciting field to become involved in. As long as you are prepared to take initiative and learn, you will be successful in IT. 

Work with a positive effect

The reason why I was most excited to get involved in this field was to use my technical skills in software development to benefit healthcare. As a computer engineering major, there are not many other opportunities to know that the work you do every day will positively impact the health of others. Johnson & Johnson gave me that opportunity this summer and I truly felt that my daily experiences were unique. 

From school to work is quite the learning curve

As a college student, there were many challenges that arose when trying to adjust to the corporate environment. In school, courses are more structured and you are directly given assignments and resources to guide you along the way.

While working in IT, work comes in waves and you are personally responsible for finding the resources to develop the necessary skills. It may be more difficult, but your ability to learn will be drastically improved as a result. 

In conclusion, I’m very pleased about my experience this summer. I got to work with a wonderful team, I made tons of new friends, and I learned more than I could have imagined. I would love to return to Johnson & Johnson in the future, but I know that I will be better off no matter where I end up. Thank you to the Blind Applying Program for making it possible for me to share my experience!

Variety of tasks & happy smiles. Sounds like a day at Coca-Cola.

(by Laura Kühn & Tanja Niemczyk)

Back again! This time it’s not all about traveling, food or boat races… Back to business it is – or to say back to freshness & starting with a new face & friend!

First things first! May I introduce to you my better half, blogging expert & coffee lover: Mrs. Chaqwa – Chaqa – Tanja. Yep, I got sophisticated support from the 2nd champion of Coca-Cola. What an incredible coincidence!

She is working in the New Ventures Marketing department, working on the lesser known brands of Coca-Cola. Or did you know that Coca-Cola sells coffee? No?! Well Tanja will work on that!

Luckily, she will keep you updated of whatever funny/ yummy or unexpected things will occur here at our Berlin hub. No worries!

So who are the people surrounding us, teaching us how to cope with stressful situations and who make us laugh even during tough working days?

First, there is one thing you should know before keep on reading…These supporting and humorous people, are a very shy species. So the outcome of lovely pictures you will see is just the tip of the iceberg of plenty of charming colleagues surrounding us.

From happy faces to a happy app! Thanks to our new “GetHappy app”  with which you can spot the hottest bars, cafes and other locations all over Germany, a delicious cupcake was waiting for us on Monday morning. What a lovely coincidence! Thanks to the GetHappy team! Very yummy!

Over the past months, we've been straight from university, Porter’s 5 forces & break-even points to practical applications during our daily work life.

WHAT DID WE LIKE MOST ABOUT IT?

That it is THAT practical. As you could see before we were able to directly support our field crews from delivering beverage castes to acquiring new clients. But also during our daily office job it’s never just numbers.

From
beverage tastings ...

... to shopping our most recent portfolio ...

... to working a day in a customer service centre ...

... to checking out our new advertisement concepts for hamburger stores ...

... to visiting client stores ...

... to planning a 2 day strategy meeting for 40 managers!

What did we learn?

Well we do not want to steal too much of your precious time - otherwise we would now start an endless list of valuable learnings. To put it in a nutshell, the 3 key takeaways so far are:

Be proactive no matter what!
There is always an opportunity to grasp!

Be motivating!
A person gets a task done because he/she is either forced to or motivated to do so. Meaning, find a way to motivate others!

And finally:

Meet, Call, Write!
Everything gets done the fastest  with a quick face-to-face talk. E-mailing should serve as a last option.

These 3 things were really key to:

  • Successfully complete projects while managing the challenge to fulfil demands & expectations of clients as well as our own colleagues
  • & to coordinate with restricted resources while getting the most out of it

Oh NO! We almost forgot a very important part of our team!!! How could we…
Our faithful companion who accompanied us during the last weeks of 38°C, our crystal clear & cool friend – Our mineral water –alias Vio! Sorry mate…:)

So, hear you soon & stay cool!
T&L

Time for a throwback

Two weeks ago my 2 month internship in LEAN Production Management at Siemens Power & Gas in Görlitz has ended - and I think that it’s time for a throwback now.

In the end I wish that it would have been longer, because there are so many more things I would like to learn more about. Anyway, it was a great time, finishing my own project successfully, getting to know the Siemens headquarter of steam turbine manufacturing worldwide and gaining a lot of knowledge in Logistics and LEAN Management.

Two months full of highlights

In my opinion “just” these two months were full of great moments and I’ll take along a lot of experiences.

After finishing this internship I am able to say that I’ve finished my first LEAN Project in the Logistics department and I’m very glad that it has ended successfully, because sometimes it was a path of trial and tribulation. In many cases the software did not do what I wanted it to do or my supervisors had different opinions on how to face upcoming challenges than I had.

Thanks to cooperative work with my colleagues and supervisors, we have solved all problems and there is an optimized tool in the logistic department to report stocks. That was the biggest challenge I’ve faced and it’s the one which makes me most proud of.

Another highlight was the 1:1 training in LEAN Methods I’ve received. One of my supervisors took a whole day off to teach me how to realize LEAN-Projects and which methods are most qualified to use for which kind of project.

What I will take along?

It was a great opportunity and a real career adventure. I have gained lots of experiences I will never forget and which are very useful for my future career.

For instance, I think the most important thing I’ve learned during my internship at Siemens is that no mountain is too high to climb. It doesn’t matter how difficult it seems in the first moment. What I want to say: You can handle every challenge, you simply have to work hard for it and believe in oneself. 

Get behind the wheel and drive your career!

How 3 Months At Enterprise Kick-Started My Professional Life In London.

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

Three months go by quickly, especially when you are having fun. It’s bittersweet, just when I started getting into my job and making new friends, my Blind Applying internship is over. The good news is I am off to start a new adventure!

In this final blog entry I would like to share my takeaways and advice for fellow career starters, jobseekers and students. Reflecting on the past three months, I see a major change in my attitude towards life, work and myself. I have a new found can-do mentality, something I can credit Enterprise for.

I joined the European human resources (HR) team as an intern in HR brand development for Germany, France and Spain. I had never done anything in that field before (aside from taking HR classes). So it is needless to say that I initially felt challenged as I was getting thrown in at the deep end. But the experience resulted in a steep learning curve. The new environment pushed me to grow and my team was there to assist me when I needed them.

What I loved the most about my internship at Enterprise Rent-A-Car was that I was not being micromanaged. At the same time, taking full ownership of my projects meant that I was solely responsible for the results. Right off the bat, I was considered an equal team member. My ideas were heard and most of them were even implemented. I had never had this kind of professional freedom as an intern before. Looking at the outcomes of my work here, I must say I am very proud of the end result and my contributions that will still show on the company’s German website long after my internship ends.

This internship presented me with so many opportunities to explore, find myself and ultimately start my career in a field I had not even considered before – HR marketing and employer branding. I have honed my existing skills – especially soft skills like leadership and self-confidence and have gained many new skills like project management. I got a chance to act as a consultant and obtained vast knowledge of social media and its importance in recruiting.

In conclusion I can say that internships are a nice transition into work life from university. Interning in the company or sector you potentially want to enter can help you find out if your expectations and hopes reflect the reality of the profession. It also gives you great exposure to the business and it can show you paths you did not consider going before.

I was very fortunate to join Enterprise at such an exciting time. As the business is expanding all over Europe tons of new exciting opportunities are created for students and graduates across the continent. If you are interested in driving your career and going places, have a look at Enterprise’s career opportunities.

To stay in touch with me follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @femaleJenY


Advice #1: Believe in yourself!

enterprise_blindapplying_jenquote1.jpg

Before I started my internship the prospects of securing a job after graduation in such a competitive and saturated global market were making me anxious. I saw friends take on entry level roles they did not particularly like simply to get by, while others were doing internship after internship in hopes of eventually being offered a permanent job.

When I was chosen to be the Blind Applying Champion for Enterprise Rent-A-Car it put things into a new perspective for me. Being selected out of such a vast pool of talent helped me realize the potential I have. As a result I have become more confident and learned to truly believe in myself and my abilities.

What were the odds that I would be selected out of over 10,000 applicants? Regardless of what people say or your circumstances, your actions ultimately shape your life and career.

Don’t be discouraged before you even try. Even when the odds seem to be against you, if you see an opportunity you like and you are passionate about it, go for it! Have a strategy and take action steps. If you are hungry for a new adventure and want to gain international work experience, I strongly encourage you to participate when the next round of Blind Applying opens later this year. You might become a champion by just uploading your resume!

enterprise_blindapplying_jenquote3.jpg

And please note that any company worth working for will hire you for what you can bring to the table and not where you are from or which school you attended. Luckily, Enterprise is one of those companies that believe in providing candidates with equal opportunities regardless of their background. If you are still looking for an interesting role, have a look at their amazing opportunities here.

 

Advice #2: Work on your personal brand

The good news is that you don’t have to be privileged in life; meaning coming from a wealthy family and having attended an elite university, to have a successful career or stand a chance on the “competitive” job market. I personally don’t meet any of the aforementioned criteria. You too can break what they call the "glass ceiling".

What matters a lot more is how you carry yourself -your attitude, your personality and your brand. Ask yourself this: What do people associate with your name? Your reputation is like your shadow, it follows you everywhere. You want to be someone people think highly of. So use your internship/social interactions/life to show that you are helpful, resourceful, creative, reliable, honest, enthusiastic, passionate, etc.

I cannot stress the importance of networking enough. Talk to people within the business you want to work for. Get to know your coworkers and what they do. Ask lots of questions and listen. I guarantee you they may know a thing or two you are interested in. But also make a good impression on people outside of the company.

 

Advice #3: Dare TO TRY new things

enterprise_blindapplying_jenquote4.jpg

Only a select few of us are born ready. The rest of us are on this earth to figure things out as we go. Getting out of your comfort zone and being open minded will help you find opportunities that might propel your career to new heights. Employers appreciate flexibility and mobility.

When you look for a new job, don’t solely look at the salary. Think about the company you want to work for and consider its size, the corporate culture, its people – this is probably one of the most important factors: people work with people in organizations, so make sure they inspire you to be great and that the working environment allows you to thrive as you spend the majority of your time at work. Make sure it’s a happy place for you.

From Paris to Shanghai and back. The tale of two cities.

(by Erran Yang)

After another month of working in Stora Enso, I am in the last month of my internship and I start to feel a little bit gloomy. On the other side, I feel excited that I will soon be back to Paris. It is really different to live and work in Paris and Shanghai.

Paris and Shanghai are both international cities, with branches of first-class enterprises in fancy buildings, top fashion, women elegantly dressed up and fast-speed daily life. They are hosts to different cultures and people from different countries.

Balanced Paris

Paris is a beautiful city with a lot of classical buildings and beautiful small gardens. Life in Paris can be a perfect combination of stress and relaxation. In the morning, there are plenty of commuters walking in a rush through subways and on the streets. They are efficient when working, but rest in time to have a cup of coffee and chat with colleagues and friends. They clearly separate working and daily life. When it's sunny, they always invite friends for a drink or to chat the whole day in a beautiful park.

Exciting Shanghai

Shanghai is more of a “junior” city compared to Paris, partly because there are more new buildings and modern skyscrapers recently established. All the megacities share the same characteristic: crowded transportations. It is the same in Shanghai! I feel it is more crowded here, or it just depends on the line I choose.

Shanghai-es are dedicated to work. There are less chats in the office and everyone volunteers to overtime if they haven’t finished their work. Some even bring their laptops home when they are on vacation. 

If you ask me which city I love better, unfortunately, it is hard for me to answer. I have been living in Shanghai since I was born so I definitely love my hometown. However, Paris has many elements that I am interested in; for example historical buildings and fashion design. Shanghai can be a warm harbor always calling me back and Paris can be extremely attractive with its charm.

Which city would you prefer to live in?

Learning Swiftly: How coding in a new language transformed my skillset as an engineer

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on an internal Johnson & Johnson application. Prior to this internship, most of the coding I had done was individual and never really dealt with user interfaces. When you’re coding with a team, you feel much more inclined to keep everything clean and follow good practices. It is important for any team member to look at any piece of code and know exactly what is going on.

Form has to follow function

Most of my experience in school and at home has been with Java, but everything that our team has been working on is in Swift. It can be intimidating to learn a new language, but it has been enjoyable. I’ve found that most of the concepts are the same with differences in syntax, but I have grown to like Swift during the time I’ve spent here.

The ability to work with user interfaces is one crucial skill that I’ve learned. Most classes in school are more concerned with concepts and less so with user interaction. Functional code is only half of the battle. If it isn’t aesthetic, then nobody will feel comfortable using it.

Learning through challenges

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced while working on the application is the lack of resources that exist in regards to Swift. Languages that I am used to such as Java or C++ have existed for decades and nearly every issue that you could encounter has happened to somebody else before. Swift is only a year old and still has a lot to work out. Not many people are using it at the moment, but it is likely to be very relevant in the future.

The way I have overcome this obstacle has allowed me to develop some important coding skills. I find myself debugging conceptually instead of syntactically. With other languages, it can be far too easy to find the same issue online and copy a line of code. With Swift, you might find yourself researching a similar issue in objective-C and applying it to your situation. While this may not solve the problem as quickly, I find myself developing a better understanding for why the problem arose and how it can be solved.

"A dragster themed stop light, a number of license plates, street signs, and even an area of wires and devices themed to be a wall of tools. These are just some of the interesting touches that make developers truly feel like they are in a garage."

The more you know...

My inspiration for learning and overcoming obstacles is the ease that comes along with it. Every new language that I learn is even easier than the previous one, and every obstacle I face is one that I’ll never need to solve again. All coding knowledge is cumulative, and the frustration that is involved decreases as your ability improves. The exposure to real world coding that I am getting at Johnson & Johnson has completely transformed my skillset as a computer engineer.

What is going on in the insurance business?

My new company, Munich Re, is one of the biggest reinsurance companies in the world. The reinsurance business is an old industry, so I had my first working day at their castle in Munich. The company is very interested in art. They have a big art collection in each building. The most famous one is the “Walking Man” right in front of the headquarter at Leopoldstrasse in the very center of Munich.

The “Walking Man” right in the very center of Munich.

I am working for the Green Tech Solutions team of the Special Financial Risk Department. We are an international team with colleagues in Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York. Our aim is to provide insurances for manufacturers, developers, owners and investors of renewable energy projects worldwide. We are not doing the classic reinsurance business. Our contracts are associated with the guarantees and warranties of the project's execution, so our department is established in the reinsurance division of Munich Re.

My team is providing insurances for photovoltaic panel manufacturers and solar park owners, for biomass, batteries and LED. My supervisor and me are especially working on insurance solutions for onshore and offshore wind projects as well as for the owners, developers and component manufacturers and suppliers of such big projects. The motivation and the benefit for coverage against serial losses, available and revenue losses is the better financial situation of the project execution, in terms of financing and reliability of the project.

A lot to learn and discover!

The corporate culture here at Munich Re is different to the one I am used to in the north. The company offers free lunch for all employees. Also it’s not common to go to lunch only with the colleagues from your team, as I was used to from previous internships. Rather you’re invited to ask colleagues from all departments to go for a lunch date. The cuisine here is different as well but I got used to it.

My new cuisine is a bit more pretzel- and beer- focused than it was already. Furthermore I discovered many sorts of beer, I did not know before. As seen on the picture, my favorite the “Augustiner”, the oldest beer brand of Munich. In addition I fell in love with the Bavarian cheese the “Obazda”. You eat together with pretzels and beer and is part of a typical Bavarian “Brotzeit”, as well as a good sausage :)

In Munich you will find so many beer gardens which all serve pretzels and obazda. In the Olympia park where I live now, you will find 4 or 5 just in one park. Munich is a great place to live. My Internship is over in a few weeks and then I will return to Hamburg to start with a master’s program. Thanks Munich Re for a short glimpse at the insurance business and the chance to become more familiar with all the German clichés.

The hurricanes blew me from the far North …

With a hurricane on my back, I arrived after 2 days in my car at my new home in Munich. This was the first time I came to Bavaria, except for the few hours job interview three months before. I was very excited to see how Bavarians are, because they represent everything the rest of the world is thinking of Germany - Beer, Sausages & Kraut and Leather trousers. The first days in Munich the weather was very uncertain. I have seen snow falling down, rain, sunshine and everything between.

What do an athlete from Olympia ‘72 and me have in common?

For the period of my internship, I found a small bungalow to live in. So I landed in the so called “Olydorf”. It is the old athletes' village from the Olympics in 1972. Nowadays it is completely restored and a whole village only for students. Here you can find everything you need for your daily life, like grocery stores, bakeries, a laundry, all kind of doctors, restaurants and the “Bierstube”.

The room is a bit small, but on two floors. I had my own bath, a “kitchen” – two plates to cook and a small fridge - and a balcony where the sun is always shining. The view is quite nice …not. They are all standing very close to each other, so you get to know your neighbors quite intense. There is always someone around who will take your packages from the parcel service and if you need milk, eggs, sugar or beer you won’t struggle to find someone to help you out. Furthermore you can nearly get or exchange everything with the village currency: beer.

The bungalow can be painted by the students. Everybody is allowed to paint their own bungalow in the color and pattern they like. Mine will be painted in two weeks, when my good friend Ben is visiting me here in the Olydorf – this was actually Ben's bungalow beforehand.

Some weekend activities in the US

(by Philipp Schodl)

Outside of work everything is going more than well! The last weekends were pretty exciting although all of them involved a lot of driving. Americans pretend that they are used to it, but they call you crazy if you drive more than 1600 kilometer just for a weekend ;-)

So I was one weekend away in Omaha, Nebraska, visiting some friends, who are currently studying there and who I haven’t met for a long time! They showed me around the city and we by coincidence saw that there was a big food tasting festival going on. The city itself and the campus of the university were nice although it wasn’t really crowded as most of the students are gone at the moment. As I’ve heard from several people that the cops usually know the best places to eat, we asked some of them and they recommended us to Stella’s and without any doubt that was definitely the best burger I had so far in the United States!

Another weekend I spent in Nashville, Tennessee, which was a huge surprise! I heard before that there a many bars with live music but the actual amount of live music stages throughout the whole city was just incredible! I was there one week before the Country Music Association Festival, one of the biggest country music festivals, took place, so a lot of preparation works were already ongoing and I could get a glimpse of an idea how crazy it would look like a week later. And if you ever get the chance to get to Nashville, go and visit the Johnny Cash museum!

By a lucky coincidence, I found a really cheap flight to New Orleans, so I could not miss out on this chance to also see a little bit of the southern US. Although it was probably the wrong time to visit New Orleans because it was extremely hot and humid. Nevertheless, it was an incredible experience to explore the haunted city of New Orleans during day and night. So go on a ghost or voodoo tour and learn about the rich history of this amazing town!

We are saving people’s lives on a daily basis at Fresenius!

Haunted New Orleans by night

As I moved to a new apartment for my last month here in the States I met my new neighbors and they randomly asked me to join them the next day on a road trip to the world famous Niagara Falls. Surprised by this invitation but with the idea of seeing these amazing waterfalls in mind, I accepted their offer right away! I’ve already seen the Victoria Falls on the border between Zimbabwe and Sambia and was pretty impressed but the Niagara Falls were even more impressive! Especially because you can get really close to the waterfalls but see for yourself on these two short video clips:

It seems like the directors of Game of Thrones got some inspiration from here ;-)

Right on the bottom of the falls… Absolutely incredible experience! Was definitely worth standing in the waiting line for about 2 ½ hours!

Another hint, everybody is telling you the Canadian site is way better than the American but I highly doubt that because you can’t get that close to the falls from the Canadian site and so you will miss out on the most awesome part of this natural wonder! So without a doubt this spontaneous road trip was a blast!

Time passes too quickly and I only have three more weeks to spend here in the US with Fresenius but there is a lot of exciting stuff coming along these weeks and I’ll probably have some kind of surprise for you soon :-)

The ABC of HR marketing

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesABC.jpg

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

I decided I wanted to major in International Management because I always saw myself working in (people) management: leading a team, motivating staff, training and the likes. Really I should have studied Human Resources Management (HRM) instead.

During my academic year in in the U.S. I finally took an HRM class. The intro class to the subject was rooted in labor law (Equal Employment Opportunity which is antidiscrimination laws, etc.). I soon realized that HR is more than just people management. It includes various functional areas such as planning, staffing, developing, compensating and appraising. Human Resources (HR) practitioners are becoming business partners in organizations and the role of personnel as source of competitive advantage is increasing.

My internship at Enterprise has shown me the strategic elements of HR in an organization that considers its people to be the most valuable resource. Implementing some elements of the HR strategy myself, I have learned the following HR ABC, amongst other things.

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesA.jpg

A for Analytics

HR is quantitative. Numbers seem to follow me everywhere. And though they seemed very complex at first when you export them into an Excel workbook, once I got the hang of them, it was clear why tracking candidate engagement online is so important. Analytics is crucial for e-recruiting as it helps take on a more targeted approach for recruiting online. Using free tools like Google Analytics helps identify which job boards, career networks, etc. bring in the most traffic and applications. In order to track how many people come to your website and where they came from, cookies are added to a URL link.

Analytics is also very useful for SEO (search engine optimization) as it allows you to identify the main keywords candidates search for and employers can then purposely place them on their websites to come up when you search for the keywords in Google. Other hieroglyphs that I have encountered related to analytics are CTR (click through rate), CPC (cost per click) and C/H (cost per hire).

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesB.jpg

B for Branding

HR is marketing. Just like companies market their products to appeal to consumers, companies market themselves to be considered an employer of choice (EOC). An employer brand is basically a company’s reputation and what candidates associate with a corporate name. Candidates commonly want to work for companies whose products and services they like and know of.

Blogging can be used as a tool of employer branding. Through storytelling candidates can get a better idea of what the company is all about and hear firsthand from people that already work there.

enterprise_blindapplying_humanresourcesC.jpg

C for community management

One of my tasks during my internship at Enterprise is to blog for the new social hub on the German website. As a social media community manager, my task is to find relevant content and put it in a format that is engaging and fun to read.

Social media has become so important and many new jobs are emerging because of this trend. There are many new career opportunities in this field. You should look into it if you love using Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Vine at work.

Corporate culture. People work with people and not organizations, so corporate culture is the most important thing within an organization. Some even say it’s a company’s DNA. One thing I love about Enterprise is how laid back everybody is. Upper management is very down to earth and approachable. To me those are the key qualities I look for in a leader. The company believes in employees being peers regardless of rank or time with the company. As an intern I have been treated as a regular team member. During my week at the German corporate office I even got a chance to have breakfast with the new VP of German Operations. We ran into each other at the breakfast buffet and he took some time to chat with me about Blind Applying.

From Selling to Buying – My adventure continues in E-Commerce at Fashion ID

After two weeks of experiencing the Selling perspective I have been part of the Buying team of P&C’s online shop Fashion ID for already four weeks. I am mainly working in the Young Fashion section, more precisely I support the team who buys items from brands such as Only, Jack&Jones, Replay, Guess or Tom Tailor. The Young Fashion team also purchases items from Review. A fashion label that belongs to the International Brands Company and is also part of the Peek & Cloppenburg Group. My other colleagues are responsible for the purchase of kid’s wear, premium clothing and shoes.

What I really like about my internship

I am not sitting at my computer all the time because there are several meetings every other week. There are for instance regular appointments with suppliers and designers.

So far I had the possibilities to take part in several big meetings where the designers present the upcoming collection to the buyers of both Fashion ID and Peek & Cloppenburg. I think it is super exciting to first of all have a look at the upcoming fashion trends and the designers’ fashion line. And the discussions about the collection itself may be intense but also very interesting.

For the girls I can already tell you that hippie and bohemian looks will be still a trend in the upcoming winter season.

The biggest challenge for me is the usage of different systems and the merchandise control system which are very complex. But I am becoming more and more familiar with it and there is always somebody in my team who can help me.

My current project concerns the analysis of Fashion ID’s return quotes. I basically have a look at the brands and actual items which are mostly sent back by our customer. The next step would be to find out the concrete reason for the returns and to decide whether to remove a certain item from the assortment.

Next week there’s going to be an internal outdoor event, a high rope course (Hochseilgarten) in Düsseldorf. I am sure that it is going to be lots of fun and I will have the chance to get to know other people from Fashion ID. I will keep you guys up to date if everybody survives this event :)

A few more details on my first Sharepoint application development project

“Sodala!” as we say in my home region when we finished something and are ready to start with a new task. As I’ve finished the first Sharepoint project last week, I’d like to provide you with a few more insights on the actual project. It’s already a little bit late, but I’m currently enjoying working on my next project, so it took me a bit longer to share my experiences with you.

This first Sharepoint project was kind of a training project for me to get used to the Sharepoint development environment but the cool thing about it is, that it was not only for training purposes. It is part of a bigger transition project and therefore it is actually now in use in a productive environment.

But let’s start from the beginning, why we had to redo this search tool. The search tool for specific certificates was already in place on the local intranet for a really long time and made use of several old fashioned methods and programming styles. As the local intranet is right now in a transition phase, it was the perfect moment to replace this outdated tool with an updated version.

So the first steps were to get all the necessary access rights to the development server and get familiar with the environment and its specific characteristics. The standard programming language we wanted to use was C#. As I was already used to the Visual Studio environment and VB.Net it was quite easy to get used to the programming language, as it’s quite similar except the syntax is a bit different.

After getting familiar with the existing code and the possibilities to improve the code and the functionality, I started working on it. As I haven’t developed anything on a Sharepoint server so far, the biggest challenge in this phase was to learn about the many methods on the Sharepoint server. There are always several equally good ways to come up with a solution to a specific problem and figuring out which method works well for which issue can be tricky. With a clear goal in mind and after a lot of troubleshooting with a tremendous amount of lessons learned, I finally managed to come up with the desired enhancements compared to the existing application.

The last phase in this project was the deployment phase. So this involved a code review and testing on the development server, as well as the deployment to the quality assurance server, testing again, documenting every step and every modification and getting all the necessary approvals for the implementation with the next change release to the production environment.

In the meanwhile also a fun event took place in our Fresenius headquarter in Lake Zurich, the Bean Bag Championship! Even though I’ve never played this game before we luckily made it to the second round but unfortunately we were defeated in this round without any chance :-( however it was definitely fun to play and I will introduce this game back home to my friends.

I know this was a text-heavy entry but I wanted to give you a little bit more insights in my actual work! But as one of the few well-known Austrians mentioned once in a while “I’ll be back!” soon with some more details about my exciting weekend activities!

Career meets adventure

(by Isabel Hertl)

Saludos de Chile,

In my second entry I want to give you some more insights into my daily work within EY Chile. After almost two and a half months working in the Assurance department, I am still more than excited about it.

I spent the first weeks of my internship analyzing the market of our client and preparing required data as preparatory work for the Limited Review. A Limited Review is a Service that provides some assurance to interested parties of Codelco (our client) as to the reliability of financial data. I am glad I started with this kind of work, because while doing the research I got a good overview of the branch our client is part of. The knowledge I gathered from my first task now gives me the advantage of a better understanding of my current work.

Primarily, I am supporting the audit team by preparing the Limited Review for Q1 2015. As I mentioned in my first entry my team treats me like a wholesome member, which implies that they trust me with more responsibility than I expected. I am more than happy about this and I learn a lot about the process of a Limited Review.

My biggest challenge is reading financial documents which were prepared in Spanish. But my colleagues always encourage me to keep on practicing and whenever I have a question, they don’t hesitate to help me.

And some travelling along the side…

I also used the last two months to discover more of Chile and South America. My greatest journeys led me to Rio de Janeiro and the Easter Island. Both places are so different from each other, but unique in their own way. Rio de Janeiro impressed me with its amazing sights like the enormous Statue of Christ on top of the Corcovado, the Sugar Loaf Mountain and of course the famous beaches, Copacabana and Ipanema.

Rapa Nui (Easter Island), in contrast, fascinated me with the incredible beauty of its landscape. Especially the mysterious Moais and the extinct volcanoes are breathtaking.

Next article is already in progress :)

Best regards,
Isabel

Berlin, Oxford & Co. - Some Insights From My “Berlin” Life

(by Laura Kuehn)

Hello, bonjour, Tach och!

Back again! The past 2 weeks were full of traveling, enjoying good  food&music. But have a look yourself!

Have you ever heard about the “Karneval  der Kulturen” (Carneval of cultures) in Kreuzberg? If not, it’s definitely worth a trip! There was delicious food from all over the world, stages with drummers, people dancing around. To make a long story short – it was a unique culinary & multicultural experience!

Speaking of culinary experiences – I really  fell in love with Berlin’s gastronomy. Fresh flavours with cinnamon, anise,  coriander, mint & lime leaves…Simply delicious!

Oxford calling! Felt as if Harry, Hermine, Ron & Co. were about to come by every second. With its lovely and historical colleges and the typical English lawn this lovely town is a  must see when visiting London & its surroundings! 

Aaand lucky me! Already heard a lot about the famous rivalry between Oxford & Cambridge boat races. This weekend I  was in the midst of an Oxford intern boat competition. Really impressive  & fascinating this old aristocratic tradition…

All good things come to an end…This time  from London Heathrow Airport…with this red lady walking in front of me…Perfect snapshot!

With a smile I passed this drink vending machine…Coca-Cola is really omnipresent! :)

Time to move…again!  I have to admit that I have stopped counting how many times I have already done this the past year. But this time I had a very warm welcome. My new “home” for the next 2 months was welcoming me with these gifts and a lovely letter from my landlords.

Finally!!! My first Berlin Döner for this year :) How I missed this! Honestly, if you ever want to fall in love with this simple dish, best chances = Berlin!

Apart from this “gourmet” intermezzo I discovered the best bread I have eaten so far! Really! I bought it in one of the only 2 self-baking bakeries in Berlin. No  pre-prepared dough, all homemade. My favourite: Coriander, anis-spelt bread!

Speaking of homemade!  I finally made my first self-made marmalade.  Strawberry-lime-rosemary :)

Time flies! Next weekend – next trip!

Home is where the “currywurst pommes” is!! The “Ruhrpott”!…and have a look!  My Coca-Cola colleagues in my hometown were as hardworking as we in Berlin & Leipzig…Coca-Cola Life everywhere! 

Weekends are always too short… back to  Berlin. But accompanied by 2 nice food magazines.

Having a relaxing dinner with friends and  trying out new recipe ideas that came to my mind :) Voilà – bruschetta with a sweet potato-goat’s cheese cream pesto  and caramelized salvia/ almond crunch as an entry. Followed by the main dish, a Moroccan coconut, chicken, mint, saffron served with lime-Madeira Bulgur :)

Culinary again! After work-dishes with some friends at “Markthalle 9"

Have you ever been to 5 cities in 2 days?

Well…until now I haven’t either… The menu for the weekend: A marathon!

Berlin - Mülheim an der Ruhr - Stuttgart - Frankfurt - Mainz - Frankfurt - Berlin

3rd train ride for the weekend: Frankfurt! What a lovely day with great weather, a  rhubarb drink, waffles & bagels!

Finally! After a busy but amazing  weekend, tired but happy to could have seen my family & closest friends… on  my way to Berlin.

For a change, the upcoming weeks I will stay away from planes & trains - I promise. Let’s see what Berlin is up to the next weeks!