internship story

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,

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.


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.

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!

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. 

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.

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!

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!

Exciting, Innovative, Challenging

(By Tessa Balg)

For the minimalists among yourselves, I will describe my impressions of the first three weeks at Deloitte in three words: exciting, innovative, challenging.

My internship started in March and luckily for me my first day coincided with Deloitte’s welcome week, a week for everyone new to Deloitte’s German consulting entity. The onboarding days were not only a great introduction to administrative learnings, tools, and Deloitte’s organization but also the best imaginable way to internalize the spirit of Deloitte and socialize with your new colleagues directly.

The first three weeks of my internship passed by in a fast pace due to the many exciting tasks I’ve worked on: One of my projects has been to collaborate on the construction of a presentation for strategic innovation purposes. From day one I have been treated as a member of the team and not only as an intern. Everyone is highly intelligent and super sympathetic to work with. There is also huge potential for learnings that I can take with me. I hope my tasks will stay as exciting as they are right now and that I am able to continue with the personal and professional progress initiated through my internship at Deloitte.

Bis zum nächsten Mal!


Our office space designated for meetings, lunch, and get-togethers with colleagues.

Our office space designated for meetings, lunch, and get-togethers with colleagues.