(By Philipp Schodl)
I got to know Blind Applying late in 2013 (actually I heard about it for the first time a few days after the application deadline 2013!). It was like love at the first sight! I loved the idea of applying with one comfortable process for several internships at global companies. Seems like I’m just lazy but don’t get me wrong. Most of the current application processes are just cumbersome, for the applicants as well as for the recruiters.
Blind Applying was the first completely new approach companies took to bring recruiting onto the next level and create a win-win situation for all parties involved in a hiring process. In my opinion there’s no need for further discussion about the success of this program, especially if I compare it with other current approaches (e.g. the tinder-like job matching apps etc.). After discovering Blind Applying my only thought was: “Without a doubt… I’m going to apply for it in 2014!”
At the time I was preparing my CV for the application, I was in my third semester of my master’s programme in lovely Innsbruck, Austria. I was already excited because our university announced that we will do a study tour to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area in early April. So we’ll get the chance to visit companies, universities, startups and accelerators and experience their (working) culture.
When I received the first email from Fresenius HR in Bad Homburg (their HQ), I expected the internship to be based in Germany. Until then I only knew that Fresenius was a huge healthcare company, but I’d never really thought about applying there directly. Luckily I’m now freed of this limiting mindset, to already reveal something about my upcoming experiences ;-)
The first surprise was when I was told that the video conference has to be in the evening because the internship will be in the United States! I was like “This sounds too good to be true…”, but two weeks after the interview I got a call from HR that they are more than happy to welcome me as their new intern in the IT department at Fresenius in Lake Zurich, Illinois! As my student life will be over soon, visiting Silicon Valley and working abroad in the United States seemed to me like the perfect end of an exciting period as a student!
Due to the special circumstance that I would be in the States right before the internship starts, obtaining the visa was quite a burden, but with the help of Fresenius we’ve found a way to address this issue. The first part of this exciting journey lead me to Arizona, California, Nevada & Utah visiting several National Parks (Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope & Bryce Canyon, Zion), Las Vegas, Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe before we were headed to the study-tour in San Francisco.
The two week long study-tour with the university was mindblowing (I usually don’t like this word, but in fact, there’s no other to describe this experience!). We discussed with executives from established global players as well as we talked with entrepreneurs who just started their companies. This chance to learn about their views on innovation, entrepreneurship and the special mindset in the Silicon Valley was really a take-away no lecture could ever provide you with!
One of our last visits were at Cogswell College where I found the following interesting poster. I thought that it fits perfectly to my next adventure, the internship with Fresenius at Lake Zurich!
After this exciting opportunity I went back home for one week to pick up my visa and settle everything for a good start with Fresenius! I arrived in Chicago on the 1st of May, but I was a little bit exhausted because of several farewells the last days. However, everything worked out fine, the flight was on time, picking up the car was no trouble and also finding my apartment was an easy task, so I could enjoy the rest of my first weekend with perfect weather.
On my first day at work I had a very warm welcome by Fresenius! I got introduced to my colleagues, showed around the huge building as well as I got a little tour in the surrounding area and I was invited to a nearby restaurant for lunch. I really appreciated all their support and want to thank you all because after this first day I didn’t feel lost anymore!
The next few days I went through an official orientation programme, was introduced to all the systems in place and already got an impression on which projects I will be working during my internship.
Soon, I will reveal more details about my actual work. I’m looking forward to it! Until then I want to stick to Steve Jobs motto and hope you do the same: “Stay hungry, stay foolish!”