Time to say goodbye….


(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.


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,

What goes into consulting work?

From what questions to ask during strategy development to learning the process behind the beginning of a consulting project. And improving PowerPoint skills along the way!

(by Yoshiki Fukuda)

Hello again, my time at Merck in Darmstadt passes by so fast. I already completed 2 months out of my 3 months internship in the In-house Consulting department at Merck and so far it was a very exciting and instructive time.

Even though the workload has increased during the last weeks, I am enjoying the life in Darmstadt as well. I am still joining the weekly events organized by the interns such as the “Praktikantenstammtisch” as introduced in my last article. Furthermore, I had the chance to join the interns for partying during the weekend.

Just last weekend there was the biggest open-air festival in the German state Hesse with a lot of national musicians which took place in Darmstadt with a lot of stages allocated within the city center.

In the pictures you might get an impression of how crowded this festival was

Current interns from the Inhouse Consulting department. Starting left, David, Adithya, me and Luoxia

Since I described my first impressions about work and life in Darmstadt in the last article, I want to give you a small insight into what I’ve learned so far during my internship. I cannot go into details because some projects are highly confidential and therefore not intended for the public. However, working on such projects shows the appreciation and trust towards interns in the company.

I am basically supporting consultants by preparing presentations, doing research (Market, Competitor, etc.) and evaluating information. In most of the projects a trainee from the Global Graduate Program is also involved. You can say that 3 people are usually working on one project which makes it even better for me to learn new things. So far I could really improve my PowerPoint skills!

I am currently involved in 2 projects and I want to share my learnings with you.


First project: Strategy Development

The first project deals with strategy development and implementation for a business unit at Merck. It was the first time that I saw how such a process looks like in reality. Basically you have to conduct workshops where you try to collect the required information together with certain employees for developing the strategy.

The challenge you are facing when you conduct a workshop is:

  • Who are the relevant employees with the relevant information?
  • What kind of questions you need to ask them to get an appropriate answer?
  • Which strategy tool is appropriate for the strategy development stage?

At the end you need to summarize and evaluate the results of the workshop. In general, more than one workshop takes place within a strategy development process. My duty after a workshop is to digitize the written answers which are sometimes hard to decode due to bad handwriting. After the digitization of the answers, these answers are going to be summarized, conclusions are made and the results are presented in front of the customer. The time between the workshop and the presentation in front of the customer is always very challenging, but it is always a very interesting time.

Things to consider during strategy development

Second project: Process Optimization

This project deals with process optimization and compared to the first project I was lucky to be involved from the very beginning. My first task was to prepare a state of the art presentation on the topic in hand. I needed to find all relevant information and gave a small summary on this topic.

In the second step I analyzed the current situation and thought about possible solutions. Meanwhile, the consultant was thinking about the framework of this whole project and how to structure it the best. This always happens together with the customer.

Because I was involved in this project from the very beginning, I had the chance to participate at a kick-off meeting. At this meeting the line manager is handing over the project to the project manager. Even though it has a symbolic character, it is still important to show the project team who is holding the responsibility for the project.

Preparation of a process optimization project

Hopefully, the question mark will be replaced through new learnings about the process in the upcoming weeks. In the next weeks I am looking forward to working on this project and to learning more about the stages of optimizing processes.

Thanks again for reading my short article and I hope to see you next time.

Warm regards from Darmstadt, Germany.


Welcome to my Merck-Experience! – My start in a once in a lifetime experience

(by Yoshiki Fukuda)

First of all, thanks to those who are interested in reading my Blind Applying story. My story started on a day in October, when I saw the Blind Applying advertisement as a suggested post on Facebook. I was very fascinated by the concept to “blind apply” to all participating companies with only one CV - no cover letter, no certificates and no transcript of records. This uncomplicated way to apply was my reason to give a try and upload my CV. Not too long after that, I was invited for a telephone interview which I successfully passed. I was really looking forward to start my internship at Merck. When I uploaded my CV in the first place, I have never thought that I would be chosen out of ca. 13,200 applicants. As you can see, nothing is impossible!

After I got accepted for the internship, I got a call from Merck offering me support for finding a place where I could stay during my internship. Even though I found a nice flat-share through a popular German website, I really appreciated the support from Merck which showed me how much they care about new employees. My flat-share is located only few minutes from Luisenplatz (see picture above) which is the heart of the city. I stay together with 3 flatmates who are studying computer science and electrical engineering.

At Lusienplatz there is a big public transportation hub and plenty of grocery stores and shops.


On my first working day, everything was exciting because the environment was still new for me. After finding the right street railway, it took me seven minutes to arrive at Merck. While waiting for a short welcoming from the HR at the visitor center I had a chance to meet other interns who were also starting their internships. Afterwards I was struck off to find the building section where the Inhouse Consulting Department was sited. The secretary gave me a tour at the office and introduced me to colleagues. It was a very warm welcome from everyone. I am sharing an office with two other interns who are also joining the Inhouse Consulting Department currently. In general the professional and educational backgrounds of the people within this department is widespread which makes it even more interesting to work with them.


Even though my first two weeks are already over, I had the chance to learn new things and work on interesting projects. Since day one, I am an active member of the project team with my own responsibilities and also opportunities to participate within all activities. Nevertheless I am still looking forward to all the new experiences in the upcoming weeks and months. Besides the professional experience, there are plenty of opportunities to meet, share and discuss about our new experiences with other interns from different departments. For example, at lunch break, I am joining a little group of interns having lunch together. Also, there is a “Praktikantenstammtisch”, which is an event organized by Merck and interns, taking place every Wednesday. At this event you will have the chance to meet interesting personalities from all over the world. Even during the weekend the interns having activities together like traveling to other cities or partying. However, the major language here is English due to all interns coming from different countries. I want to join the weekend activities in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully, I could give you a small idea of how my internship at Merck looks like.

See you next time!

Greetings from Darmstadt,


Meet Yoshiki, the Blind Applying champion of Merck

Yoshiki has been studying Chemistry and Management and is now getting ready for his internship in Inhouse Consulting in Darmstadt, Germany.

Which prospect of working at Merck seems the most exciting to you?

I am excited to get an insight of how Merck is developing drugs to fight diseases such as cancer, MS, etc.

You’ve been in a professional swimming club for 10 years. What is your most valuable learning from this activity?

I learned how to deal with failures and how to improve myself constantly for becoming a better swimmer.

Which book/ movie will you take with you?

“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.