internship

Managing change - a digital internship in a new continent

Change is a given in both life and work. Chloé got the opportunity through Blind Applying to be involved in a unique project at Bayer. As for personal change, Chloé had to relocate to the US. What has she learned from the experience?

What is your internship about?

I’m currently working in the Marketing & Sales Roadmap Program, which is a collaboration between IT and the business units to provide new capabilities through IT tools. I’m supporting one of the 12 Roadmap projects including Reference Architecture, Digital Asset Management and Customer Relationship Management. I’m involved in meeting facilitation, gathering requirements directly from the business partners and I also participate in formal project methodology including documentation, processes and procedures.

What do you like the most about it?

As the program is connected with Marketing, Sales and IT, I’m working with people from different fields and have a perfect overview in Project Management support. I’m particularly involved in Change Management, working on the communication plans, the business readiness, coaching and training plan. This internship allows me to develop my soft skills and to learn a lot from the Change Manager. It also confirms my strong interest for preparing and managing change in companies.

I was very surprised to realize the diversity of tasks in this field.

One example would be assisting the training for the stakeholders in a given project, or preparing a meeting called “lessons learned” from the last project in order to improve our performances for the next one. I also understood something we don’t learn at school: our society is changing and it has a big impact on employees. Companies constantly change. Tools and people move quickly from position to position, so it is crucial to communicate openly.

How are your days like in Raleigh, North Carolina?

Example of a week in Raleigh: I worked from 7:30 to 4:30 and I’m usually going to the gym or to the swimming pool. I have so many choices here to practice; sport is embedded in daily lives of the Americans. I also love to go to downtown Raleigh; there are always events such as live music concert. As North Carolina is very convenient to travel within the US, I plan something different every weekend. For example I did hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and went by the beaches to visit Wilmington. My next trip will be in Miami to celebrate the 4th of July like a proper American!

Cyber security, football and macarons - Paris is a world

(by Oana)

"Oops!"

Bonjour la France!

Almost a month ago, life and Blind Applying brought me to the city of light!  I arrived like a force of nature only to find that here, nature was doing a bit of a brute force attack. The weather was pretty bad, raining 24/7, storms were taking over the city and the Seine eventually got a bit out of its banks. A small cold and several metro strikes didn’t manage to get my spirits low so I arrived to La Defense and was ready to start the internship at Engie!

The “bad luck” went away and only interesting and exciting things have happened ever since

The team I’m working with is just great! Besides answering any questions I have, they are also set on helping me improve my French to the max. We have a big lunch together every day and they are making sure I am integrating in the company culture and into the French way of life.

Actually my first task included spending a bit of time with each of the team members in order to see what their main tasks are and what tools they are using. The most exciting part was a trip in Paris to one of the company’s operation center, which is basically the front line when fighting with threat actors. Currently I am also testing some of the cyber threat intelligence tools in order to get a more practical insight and to be able to correctly cover the company’s needs with my market research. Moreover, my knowledge in cyber security is growing exponentially every day. I was very interested in the topic way before the internship but now I feel caught by the information, from the technical aspects to the strategic level of cyber crime.

My knowledge in cyber security is growing every day!

Another thing that I am very than excited about is the location of the internship. La Defense is a business district that reminds me a lot of Tokyo. Business people are roaming around all day long, skyscrapers are making your neck hurt and awesome shopping malls are there in case you want to relax after work. As you can see, my favorite after work activity is of course eating giant macarons between the skyscrapers. Yes, life outside work is a bit overwhelming. Following Euro 2016 and also visiting museums, cathedrals and palaces is not easy. I hope that soon I won’t be such a tourist buff (visited the Louvre 4 times and basically all the other major museum and tourist attraction) and I will start enjoying this amazing city more like a local. Indeed “Paris isn't a city, it's a world"!

All in all, I am holding to my initial thought about the whole experience (and maybe expand it a bit). Getting the internship at Engie was not only the best professional move at the moment, but also the best personal development move possible. The people I have met have already inspired me to do so much more and to evolve as much as possible. We will see in a few months how the world will look then! Until next time!

Bonne journée!
Oana

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!

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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

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!

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!

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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!

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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

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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?

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!

Overcoming challenge and loving what you do

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(by Erran Yang)

It has been one month since I joined Stora Enso and everything is going perfectly. I am able to deal with the sales orders independently and participate in team brainstorm sessions as well.

As one of my jobs is to prepare paper sample for our customers, it is really a good opportunity for me to get to know better about the grade and specifications of our products, as well as the user function of them. Speaking of this, one of our product lines is used for brochure designing and it is really amazing. Once again, I feel proud of working in Stora Enso.

One of the challenges I encountered was the first time I had to make a phone call to a customer. I felt a little bit nervous and prepared for several minutes before I picked up the phone. But now, I am quite used to it.

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Challenge is the thing you might be afraid about, before conquering it. Like the first step when you climb a huge mountain. But when you really keep on climbing it, you will forget the fear and finally enjoy the beautiful scenery at the top.

As it is a job, definitely, you may find it boring sometimes. But you still need to take responsibility of it, because it is not only yourself but also the company’s image and interests you are representing. Responsibility is necessary in study and life, too. We should be responsible for our team, for our family and for the people who love us. The most important, be responsible for ourselves.

I am really glad to introduce Stora Enso to those who would like to work here. The working atmosphere here is really nice and everyone respects each other no matter what their title is. Everyone wears a smile every day and working diligently. After work, we chat like good friends. You can feel really stable and happy working here.

I really love my job and I will continue working hard on it in the following two months.

Erran

Farewell ABB

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

In what felt like a blink of an eye since my last post, my internship at ABB through Blind Applying has just come to an end. The time spent at the Corporate Research Center in Krakow allowed me to have a glimpse into all the work behind innovation at ABB, meet great people, and have my first experience of full-time work.

The Project

I previously wrote about the project I was working on - developing a proof-of-concept for a “new” type of predictive controller. Before I left, I managed to have a working version of the software for the controller. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to proceed with testing it in real situations. The work I developed showed that the usage of parallel processing is likely to bring an improvement for this type of controllers but further testing will be necessary. I am happy with the outcome!

Final Weeks

My final week was particularly interesting. Besides giving the final touches to my project, I got to know more about its possible applications. Turns out that the type of controller I was developing is very similar to the ones used in ABB’s ENVILINE products. The ENVILINE consists of a range of devices aimed to reduce power consumption in railways by recovering some of the energy when the trains are breaking. It was very nice to see that my work was not very detached from real applications.

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KrakÓw

It is a very culturally-rich city, full of people from everywhere and overall a nice place to live. I definitely enjoyed spending this period living here and is for sure a destination to re-visit in the future!

What’s next?

After this short experience, it’s now time for me to “start” my career (maybe it has started already…). I am looking forward to starting working in engineering either in the Power/Energy or Transport industries in the near future. I have been sending applications for quite some time, attended interviews and will keep doing so until I find a nice fit.

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I will be back home in Lisbon for now with two main purposes: to enjoy the sunny warm weather and explore another interest I had for some time now which are tech startups. By looking at the weather forecast, the first will be quite easy to achieve. About the second: I will be working part-time in a tech startup, mainly doing operations and business development and I am quite excited to see what this three-month-long drift from pure engineering will bring.

With these lines it’s time to say goodbye. I enjoyed sharing my experience with you all, I hope you enjoyed reading!

A week at an employer branding agency

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

Earlier this month I went on another exciting adventure. I had the opportunity to get insights into agency work in regards to employer branding. This is an area of HR that I am really interested in since it plays a significant role in talent management (the field I believe I want to work in after graduation).

For a week, I travelled into the heart of London, which was a little adventure in itself as I was commuting to and from Bank station in the center of London. Similar to New York’s Wall Street, there are loads of banks as the name indicates and was originally named after the Bank of England. The station itself has been voted “London’s least favorite station” by BBC.co.uk due to the fact it gets extremely crowded.

Despite this, I loved traveling into the city every day as the station is only a few minutes away from a nice new shopping mall with lots of restaurants and sights like St. Paul’s Cathedral – which I discovered on my first day when I got lost on the way to work.

London travel card - St. Paul’s on my way to work - Hodes logo

London travel card - St. Paul’s on my way to work - Hodes logo

During my stay at the media agency Hodes I learned:

  • What it is like to work at a startup company. Event management skills always come in handy. I was charged with getting in touch with top universities to organize an event for a law firm client.
  • Media agencies do way more than just nice/weird looking ads. I learned about the strategic side of employer branding. An employer brand boils down to a company’s reputation that reflects in every single interaction with external and internal stakeholders (business word for employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, etc.). Blogging is one way for companies to improve and/or enhance their brand’s reach. It also drives social engagement and is an excellent recruitment tool. Furthermore, sometimes doctors write content.
  • Media agencies do make interesting creative stuff. You can make a paper wallet out of a Starbucks bag. #lifehack

I was also introduced to a social tradition called “Jolly Trolley”. Every week one employee gets 25 pounds to buy snacks and food to share. Of course, I had the honor to do so when I was there. As you can see from these pictures, Jolly Trolley is best enjoyed on the rooftop on a sunny day!

Shopping for Jolly Trolley at M&S  - Enjoying jolly trolley on the rooftop

Shopping for Jolly Trolley at M&S  - Enjoying jolly trolley on the rooftop

About the UK/London in general:

  • Law firms really do have pretty amazing office spaces. We went on a client meeting at Taylor Wessing (Enterprise’s law firm) and I felt like I was in the TV series “Suits”. High-rises enjoy a great view over the city.
  • I find British people to be very polite and proper. (Not to stereotype anyone, it has just been my personal experience.) They remind me of southern Americans. (Again, my personal experience) Here’s why: Some might say “God bless you” when you do something nice for them and, similarly to the U.S., small talk is very much welcome and expected.
  • Quirky language differences: Other things I have come to found out are that “flapjacks” in the UK are not pancakes but yummy oat bars. “Pudding” can be cheesecake as it is used synonymously with dessert and a “wet blanket” is a hater.

Challenges overcome – lessons learned

Half way through my internship, I have become more confident in my abilities to deliver quality work and no longer suffer from “Imposter Syndrome” as I did in the beginning. (It’s when you feel like you didn’t earn your place and are constantly afraid of being exposed when in reality you are rightfully where you are and can totally do the job).

Also being in a different cultural environment and working with a team that did not exist until recently has taught me to embrace change and see things from a different (positive) perspective. Working at Enterprise has helped me be less afraid of taking risks by taking ownership of things and I appreciate being able to realize my projects as I envision them. I like being more entrepreneurial and learning new things through trial and error.

Internship #snaps

The Blind Applying team asked Dan, interning at Johnson & Johnson, to talk about his internship through three pictures.

Something that makes you feel proud

One thing that always makes me feel proud is when my code runs exactly as expected. It can be frustrating to learn new languages and try to get used to unfamiliar syntax. It’s always worth it when you see the final product.

Something you like in your work environment

This is a selfie of me and a few of my team members. We are all interns from different places throughout the United States. We spend most of our time together and have gotten to know each other really well.

Favourite place in New Jersey

Photo source:  Wikimedia Commons  / Cristophe95

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons / Cristophe95

Six Flags Great Adventure is my favorite place in New Jersey. At 510 acres, it is the largest theme park in the world. The roller coaster “Kingda Ka” is featured in the picture, which is the tallest roller coaster in the world at 139 meters high.

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.

Yoshi

From College to corporate Life

Trading in my college backpack for a business briefcase... or a fancy leather tote, in my case.

(by Jennifer Mbunga)

Gone are the days when I could just contemplate sleeping in instead of going to class (not that I ever actually skipped class ;) ) or just throw on leggings and sweats. In the corporate world people wear slacks and suits. The only challenge here is finding the right clothing for the weather, which can be rather flaky. It can go from bright sunshine to thunderstorm in a matter of hours.

The dress code here at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car is similar to one you would find at a German DAX 30 company. It is western business attire, so it is very professional. That works well for me because my wardrobe is something like 50 shades of black and I went to business school, so I did not have to buy a whole new wardrobe.

enterprise_blindapplying_allblack
rbf

My first days at the corporate headquarters were also similar to my first day at university. I barely knew anyone and I wasn’t quite sure how to behave. I learned that smiling at people and greeting them when you cross paths works better than #restingface.

enterprise_blindapplying_kitchen

Even though the corporate environment can be quite intimidating, it is imperative to network and talk to people. At Enterprise, the hierarchies are pretty flat and you can just chat with the VP when you see him in the kitchen.I have learned that just being nice and saying hello is a good way to network which then leads to great business conversations.

After a busy first week in and out of the office, I decided to venture into the big canteen downstairs. The first time around I took my iPad as I was nervous to interact with anyone. However, I was quickly introduced to another intern, and asked her if she wanted to go out for lunch sometime. We did and she then introduced me to other interns, which led to all of us going out to eat and have drinks on a Friday afternoon.

enterprise_blindapplying_food

So far during my time at Enterprise I have had a variety of exposure to the social side of working at a large global company: eating lunch with my boss (which wasn’t as scary as one would think), having mocktails (virgin cocktails) with my coworkers at a diversity event or doing a meet and greet with managers. The latter was a really fun experience and taught me that even managers get intimidated by new environments.

enterprise_blindapplying_whomovedmycheese

One of my supervisors gave me a fun task this week. He made me read the book “Who Moved my Cheese”, which is about coping with change. The key lesson is that life’s adventures begin outside of your comfort zone.

Another difference is that new things may come up during the day that force you to prioritize in order to meet the new deadline. This is why I find it so useful to always carry a notebook with me or write things down digitally, because I always have my cell phone or tablet with me anyway. One of my other supervisors was kind enough to give me this beautiful Leuchtturm notebook (it’s made in Germany <3) so I can write down all the important things I come across every day.

I am currently working on a variety of projects I am really excited about all the travel I get to do as a part of my internship. The next week I will be working at our media agency downtown London, right next to St. Paul’s Cathedral and then a few weeks later I will be flying to Frankfurt to spend a week at our German headquarters.

enterprise_blindapplying_traveling

Start of my fashion adventure at Peek & Cloppenburg

I am more than happy to be the Blind Applying champion for Peek & Cloppenburg, one of Germany’s biggest fashion companies. On top of that it is located in Düsseldorf, a wonderful city in Germany being known for its fashion-oriented people and its outstanding architecture. From May to August I will be doing an internship there in Sales and Buying.

After receiving the exciting message that I would be a part of P&C, I had the possibility to choose where I want to put my focus on during the internship. I went for Buying at Fashion ID, which is P&C’s online shop. Two years ago I was already an intern in the E-Commerce sector at mytheresa.com, since then I really wanted to grow my knowledge and experiences in this field.

The start of my internship

After a friendly welcoming event, my internship started directly at the P&C store in Düsseldorf. As you can see in the photo, the building itself is outstanding due to its modern architecture. As a customer you can find a humongous selection of clothing and accessories from various brands, spread over 4 floors. In Germany, Peek & Cloppenburg has more than 60 stores and is also present in other European countries such as Austria, Poland and Czech Republic. During the first week I was working in the premium section for both men and women. Then I got the chance to have direct contact to the P&C customer and I really enjoyed helping them when they were looking for a special occasion outfit. On the other hand it was pretty tough to be literally standing the whole day, especially at the beginning. After the third day, I almost got used to it :)

The second week I was working at the cash register which did not simply mean delivering the customers their paid products in a bag. I also took care of product returns, processing complaints and finding and picking reserved clothes from a back room. This seems to be obvious activities taking place at a cash register, but you have to keep in mind that the store is super huge compared to a regular fashion store. So I was constantly very busy and was in charge of different tasks. 

I think it was a good and helpful experience for me to get an insight in the different areas of a P&C fashion store during the first two weeks. Now I have a better understanding of the P&C customer and I am more familiar with the broad range of labels which is essential for my further internship in the Buying team of Fashion ID.

Until next time,

Gianna

Goodbye Madrid – Hello Berlin!

(by Laura Kühn)

After a quick intermezzo of less than 48h in my hometown I jumped into the train to Berlin.

Once there, I got to know my room & mate for the next month – Lovely person! Already sad to leave her & the flat in 2 weeks…

First day @ Coca-Cola – Me being excited (of course) But no need for that! I had a warm welcome, lovely gifts (got my own Laura Coke Bottle ;) ) & discovered our kitchen with these two tempting fridges in it. Still haven’t tried out all of our products to tell you what’s my bestie. But I am on it!

Berlin, 6:00 am. Excited to join Andreas on his day with the “rote Flotte”, the famous red trucks driving around all over Germany to deliver Coca-Cola beverages…No wonder that the truckers’ kitchen was full of…Coca-Cola? Nope! Our Energy drinks - to stay awake ☺

What a view from the truck. 2m above the street!

I was also able to try to handle this interesting machine a pallet transporter. A bit tricky, as it’s a bit counter intuitive …But practice makes the champion right? ;) Thanks a lot Andreas for the great day! ☺

After my first hands on experience with the “rote Flotte” the next adventure was already waiting for me: Coca-Cola MIT DIR! All of us were able to take part in a huge event of Coca-Cola the MIT (Merchandising Impact Team) DIR (you) What’s that?! It is ought to promote the new Coca-Cola LIFE. But not in a boring way… There were different “camps” established in Germany.

During the day all of us were in the markets (EDEKAS, REWES etc.) promoting the new green Coca-Cola Life – wearing these lovely green shirts & jackets – looking like a bunch of friendly frogs!

And what’s the camp for? We slept there in the “wilderness” directly at a lovely lake. Having breakfast together & after coming “home” from work sitting together or doing sportive activities.

Me, as pleased as punch! I was able to sell a “get happy app” to one of our visited customers. Great start of the MIT DIR camp!

Me, as pleased as punch! I was able to sell a “get happy app” to one of our visited customers. Great start of the MIT DIR camp!

Then suddenly! I got a call from my very kind boss: “Laura! I have just been to our camp in Leipzig and they told me that they urgently need more support. Do you want to change the camp?” SURE!!! So I was moving to the Leipzig surfer-beach camp the following Sunday!

But before: Enjoying Berlin life with a very lovely colleague of mine. Just got to know her on Saturday while distributing free Coca-Cola Life at the “Alex”.

But before: Enjoying Berlin life with a very lovely colleague of mine. Just got to know her on Saturday while distributing free Coca-Cola Life at the “Alex”.

Leipzig Calling!

I was arriving on Sunday & was amazed! Just see for yourself! Sleeping like Pocahontas in tents ☺ A bit could during night though…

On Sunday we got a guided city tour - but not as boring as they usually are! We climbed the tower of the city hall & at the very top – to our surprise-a cold drink was waiting for us!

Aaaand, there was this really cool boat tour we did! Some of us really brave wearing flip-flops at summerlike 15 °C… Very impressed! 

Business before pleasure!

Business before pleasure!

After a great but exhausting promotion day, our Leipzig camp was waiting for us…with this! ☺ 

cocacola_blindapplying_leipzigcamp2

Then on Tuesday there was a huge final party in Berlin… Right! Berlin! But I was still in Leipzig… Already sad I heard great news! We were supposed to get “shuttled” away… From Leipzig to a super location, with food, music & entertainment! ☺ Not even a slight rain storm could prevent us from dancing & laughing through the night. I have to admit: One of the best company parties I have been so far.

Unfortunately the MIT DIR was coming to an end & we had to leave Leipzig… 

Back “home” I had my first real breakfast with my roomie. Inspired by the fitness programe of the camp our new mission is: Being Healthy & sporty! New discovery in the supermarket: Chia seeds… I have to say they are better than I thought (oh oh…hipster Berlin has a first impact on me…)

And then…Sport up! Both Friday & Saturday on the bike…Berlin is much greener than I thought! ☺

To sum up?

Crazy first weeks from Berlin to Leipzig & back. Very warm welcome from my colleagues in the HQ in Berlin. This event was reallyyy awesome! Loved it! Thanks a lot! Excited to see what’s next! ☺

One week in Zurich

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

Hello again! I am on the final run of my internship at ABB in Krakow but it doesn’t mean things are getting less exciting. My project is going well and the weather is getting warmer, so enjoying the free time in the city is easier than before. I have just come back from a week in ABB’s Global Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and I want to tell you more about it.

As part of ABB’s Global Trainee Program, all Global Trainees are invited for a week-long event in Zurich. During this week they have the opportunity to learn more about ABB (history, business, values, etc.), meet senior leaders and of course connect with each other!

This event was going to happen during my time in Krakow and ABB invited me to attend it as well, as part of my internship. I was already happy with the opportunity before going but now, after returning from Switzerland, I am even happier.

It was a very intense week: The programme ran from 8:30 to 17:00 every day and we covered topics ranging from the “softer” ones, like Intercultural Awareness and Business Etiquette to some more technical ones like Internal Audit, Supply Chain Management and Accounting. We also had the chance to visit a couple of ABB factories in the area which helped me better understand some of ABB’s products and business.

Not everything was hard-work though. Every day, we either had networking Apéros (Swiss name for cocktail events), or nice dinners, or both combined.

Overall I had a very good time in Zurich. It was very interesting to know more about some operational departments of ABB. I was generally very impressed from the company’s culture, the amount of possible development opportunities and how enthusiastic and approachable most of the speakers were - it reinforced my opinion that ABB is a nice place to work. Besides the learning, I had the opportunity of getting to know an amazing group of diverse young people with whom I will keep in touch.

P.S.: Of course I didn’t forget to bring a load of Swiss chocolate with me!

A lot to learn and discover

(by Erran Yang)

My first weeks at Stora Enso have been great! I had a warm welcome and took part in the first orientation meetings. During the orientation, I got to know more about Stora Enso, the company’s culture and the products, which I found really impressive.

Stora Enso is a Nordic company which endeavors in a great effort to protect the environment and preserve the bio-diversity. There have been initiatives to plant eucalyptus in woodlands and take care of local residents’ living conditions, to ensure that every place our business covers is left a better place. It was also mentioned that the polluted water is purified to the standards of drinking water before it is flown back into the rivers and there is a lot of effort going on to develop paper packaging products that are 100% degradable. Additionally, I learned a lot about paper making and packaging techniques from other new onboarding colleagues and senior staff at Stora Enso.

As for me, I work in Stora Enso as a sales coordinator. My main responsibilities is to make orders and ensure they are running smoothly from producing to delivering. Keeping the customers informed at every step and supporting the sales team to follow up the order is also part my work. Fenix and Coptimi are two pieces of softwares I need to use during my work. They were a little bit complicated at the beginning, but with the help of my colleague Emma, I can handle them a bit better now. Hope I can have a good command of them very soon.

I feel proud of working in Stora Enso. Every decision made in this company is based on eco-friendliness and sustainability. We try our best to fulfill the purpose of ”Doing good for the people and the planet”. I hope I can learn more about Stora Enso and the paper packaging industry in the near future, as well as the specific duties a sales coordinator needs to do.

Greetings from Shanghai,

Erran

Life is an adventure and Blind Applying is the living proof!

(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!

The hidden trail to the Mammoth hot springs…after ‘hiking’ 15 minutes in flipflops at -4° C / 25° F, we definitely needed them :-)

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.

Entry point to the famous Yosemite National Park

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!

Group photo of our class at Stanford University

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!”