the steps to choosing a cybersecurity vendor


(by Oana)

If you think working in cybersecurity is cool then working in cybersecurity in a company with 140,000 employees is even better. Hackers never sleep and they are targeting everybody 24/7. By everybody I mean also, of course, you.

Yes, if there is something I learned while working in the awesome cybersecurity team at Engie, is the fact that hackers are not considering the color of your hair, your height or your religious beliefs. If you are connected to the internet or use devices that have been connected to other computers (like a USB stick) you are a target. I am not trying to be pessimistic here, there are also many ways to protect yourself, ways about which I have also learned from the Engie cyber threat squad.

Other than that, I have already started working on the main internship subject. Doing a market research on a competitive sector like cyberthreat intelligence products and services is not an easy task. Besides having to really know the company and the tools used, you also have to understand the current and future needs.

Communication is a key aspect since different answers are known by many different people.

After setting the requirements, the next step is creating a needs and a wants list.
The needs list should be very brief and should consist only of the features absolutely necessary in the product.
The list of wants should be much broader and be ordered according to the importance.

After the budget is set, the next step is researching through many potential vendors and their products, while always having in mind the selection criteria previously set. Besides the many technical aspects, the credentials of vendors, certificates and previous performance also need to be taken into consideration. All the vendors and criteria must be evaluated into a scoring matrix which will result into finding the semifinalists.

The next stage is the most interesting since you get to have direct contact with the providers: interviews are set, free trials are offered, products are tested in order to eventually select the winner.

That is more or less the process when selecting new products in a cybersecurity department. Besides having to interact with other cybersecurity professionals like incident response or forensics, you also have to assess needs, research, analyse and contact vendors for a first-hand experience with the product. And if you ask me, it can't be done better than within a company this big. That is all for now, à la prochaine!

Engie team-selfie at Fontainebleau 


Consulting on innovations and innovative consulting


(by Pascal)

It has been a great month since the last post. During this time, I was happy to travel to some of the major cities in Germany and I received a lot of interesting and versatile tasks. Additionally, I had various opportunities to interact with the team even more, may it be during a team event in Munich or some joint working days in Cologne or Düsseldorf. I also got to enrich my experience in client interaction and developing approaches to certain focus topics. Overall, a month stuffed with new learnings and insights.

We chose a different approach than the classic PowerPoint presentations.

I want to start with the last-mentioned topic: client interaction and focus topics. Our team dedicates itself to identifying state-of-the-art innovative trends and technologies and transferring these to client use-cases. Pretty early during my internship, I could join one of these groups and was lucky enough to be involved in the preparation of a client workshop. In course of the preparation, we developed together the relevant documents and approaches for our client.

It was especially interesting, that we had chosen a different approach in comparison to the classic PowerPoint presentations. During the workshop, we gave the client the possibility to practically experience and play with the innovation we were proposing to them. In addition, we enriched the experience by choosing the Deloitte Greenhouse as our location – a place in Berlin which encourages idea generation and interaction in a playful way. It seems as if consulting is changing in some way from solely showing solutions on PowerPoint to entire workshop setups where participants can interact with the proposed solutions.

Consulting seems to be changing from solely presenting solutions to entire workshop setups, where participants can interact with the proposed solutions.

Even though it has been a busy month, the time was not of course dedicated to work only. Recently, we met a part of our team in Düsseldorf to discuss some of the newest topics together and to develop our solutions based on that. However, we also had a number of fun conversations about humorous things which have occurred to us recently. Additionally, the meeting took place in our Design Studios, probably the most amazing office I have seen yet – large open spaces, a barista coffee machine, and gadgets such as swings.

Earlier last month, we had a team event, where the entire DCI Garage team came together in Munich. It has definitely been another highlight of this internship as we were playing Bubble Football and had a joint dinner at a local brewery. I personally found it a great way to get to know my colleagues even better apart from work.

I learned a lot in the last weeks and I am happy to be part of this team.
Until next time!

the exciting applications of Data Science

(by Eric)

As a Data Science intern at Johnson and Johnson, I've had the privilege to dive right into two full projects. By the end of the summer I'm expecting to complete a third. My experience here has been nothing short of enriching, interesting, and challenging.

At the moment, I am pair programming with another intern to tackle a machine learning problem. We are coding an algorithm that takes raw customer complaint data in the form of Excel files and assigns to each row of text a one word category that best summarizes the description. This effort involves the use of Excel to compile and clean the data, Python scripts to implement and test various machine learning algorithms, and Tableau to visualize the results and present them in a digestible format for our business users. I can definitely say that the Statistics and Computer Science courses I've taken at Columbia are proving their worth now!

Writing code very intensely with my project partner Ryan

What I've really enjoyed about working in my Data Science group is the level of trust and freedom that we are given to carry out their work – no one's looking over your shoulder to check on your progress or make sure you finish things on time. At the same time, there isn't complete chaos or lack of structure; we hold project meetings regularly to help align efforts and ensure that each contributor is given the resources he or she needs to deal with obstacles and problems as they arise.

What's more, we interns not only carry out projects from start to finish, but we also get to own the entire result by presenting proof-of-concept demos and updates to the business users (many of whom are J&J department directors and managers). For us, this means that beyond coding and analyzing data, we're challenged to think about the broader impact our work has and find ways to communicate very complex ideas to a non-technical audience.

By showing our capabilities and the power of Data Science to solve important business problems, we get to shape the image and future success of our department.

The inside of the working space

As was mentioned in the previous Blind Applying post, Data Science is a relatively new concept to many people in the company, so this gives us interns a unique opportunity. By showing others in the company our capabilities and the power of Data Science to solve important business problems, we get to shape the image and future success of our department. Pretty exciting to say the least!

There's a lot more I have to say about my summer experience, but I think I'll wrap up my first post here. Stay tuned for more about my projects, where I work, and what life is like at J&J.

The window view right by where I sit

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!

Meet Benjamin, The Blind Applying Champion Of Deutsche Telekom

Benjamin is finishing his Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Mannheim. His adventure in Product & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom will take him through Bonn and San Francisco! He will be sharing his stories through the blog.

Were you surprised to find out that your internship with Deutsche Telekom would take you to San Francisco?
Yes, I was surprised and very excited, as I have always wanted to experience Silicon Valley. It is a unique environment with a very special forward-thinking culture. Not only is Silicon Valley home to some of the most influential companies, but it is also one of the world’s most innovative hotspots with a plethora of promising start-ups. I am looking forward to experiencing this start-up culture first-hand. Being able to spend three months in the Bay Area and work at Deutsche Telekom’s scouting office is an amazing opportunity.

You have actually founded your own company in the past. What would you recommend to others who want to do the same?
My advice for anyone with entrepreneurial aspirations is to not overthink it and just start doing it. Find something you are passionate about or a problem that you want to solve. I recommend starting with projects, which do not require a lot of financial investment (e.g. e-commerce), and not to shy away from taking small risks at first. It could also be a good idea to ask like-minded friends to join in to share both the workload and the financial involvement. The earlier you start the more experience you will gain, which will be an invaluable asset for your future.

What will you be doing on your first weekend in San Francisco?
On my first weekend in San Francisco I will do some sightseeing: Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chrissy Field, Golden Gate Park and Baker Beach are places among others that I want to visit!

Cyber security, football and macarons - Paris is a world

(by Oana)


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!

An exciting introduction to Deloitte and football nights under the Mannheim sky

(by Pascal)

It has been almost a month now since I joined Deloitte in the Garage and everything is going great. Even though I do not want to think about the end of the internship yet, I have to realize, that about a third is already over. Time is running with the same pace, as we work on our solutions and formalize our business. I could not tell on how many things I have worked yet, however, the number of folders on my desktop tells me, it has been a lot of different topics! The Garage is definitely a welcoming place to work at – enjoyable workplaces, a fun and smart team, tangible innovative projects.

I have been treated as a full member of the team from day one.

I appreciate a lot, that I have been treated as a full member of the team from day one. When I opened my laptop for the first time, I was happy to see that I already got introduced to the entire team. My time at Deloitte got kicked-off with four starter days at the headquarters in Düsseldorf, where I had the chance to meet a lot of new and interesting people – surprisingly numerous from the same department, some from my home university, and also one person I now have the chance to work with. 

So how is Mannheim doing? So far, no barbecue at the Rhine and I have not been to the city center yet. But still, it is the football European championships, which are always worth to watch somewhere in Mannheim and a colleague recently took me to an event of our university’s alumni association where I got to know the start-up culture of the city – also a great opportunity.

I am excited to tell you a lot more about my time at the Deloitte Garage. Until next time!

Meet William, The Blind Applying Champion Of Michelin!

William is finishing his Master in Management at ESCP Europe in Paris. His skills in branding will prove useful in his marketing internship at Michelin in Bangkok, Thailand. William will be sharing his stories on his blog.

What was your first thought when you learned that you got the internship at Michelin?
I was very pleased when I learned that I got an internship with Michelin because it was really sudden. I had even forgotten that I had applied on Blind Applying. So it was a really positive surprise.

You have worked as part of a team of online mentors. What is the most rewarding aspect of teaching?
First of all, to see the progress of a student is incredibly rewarding. Especially when they get their first good grade and they are completely astonished and you are there to enjoy this good time with them. Moreover, it is very interesting to have a bunch of students who are from different backgrounds and face different difficulties. You always have to be flexible and never stop changing your pedagogical style to be the best teacher possible.

A book you will take with you to Thailand?
I will take the 4-hour work week of Tim Ferriss or the book I have published this year “Je donne des cours depuis mon canapé”.


Meet Theo, The Blind Applying Champion Of L'Oréal

While taking a break from studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the Carroll School of Management in Boston, Theo is taking up the Marketing summer internship at L’Oréal in New York. He will be sharing his experience through his blog.

What are you most looking forward to while working at L'Oréal?
First and foremost is the content of work. I have two older sisters who have a profound interest in fashion, so I’ve surely been exposed—at times, overexposed—to the importance cosmetics can have in every day life. I’m thrilled to now be able to approach cosmetics from the other side, working for the biggest brand in the industry. Second, the people. The friendliness of my two interviewers and their genuine passion about L’Oréal truly sold me on the company. I never would have thought to apply for a position at L’Oréal, but if my interviewers are at all representative of the L’Oréal employees as a whole, I feel extremely blessed and humbled by the opportunity I have before me this summer!

You've been playing Lacrosse for multiple years now. What has Lacrosse taught you about business?
Lacrosse has taught me a lot more about business than one may assume. Beyond the standard characteristics associated with sports such as work ethic, team work, leadership, etc., lacrosse is what sparked my entrepreneurial spirit. Being from Minnesota, lacrosse was not the most popular sport growing up. I soon found that people’s inexperience with the sport provided an opportunity for me: customizing sticks. I started my own stick customization company in 7th grade which I ran for about 4 years, and this experience has been fundamental in helping me develop my passions and career interests.

A book you will take with you to New York?
Common Sense 101: Lessons from G.K. Chesterton by Dale Ahlquist. This book has been on my reading list for a while. I’m a bit of a quote junky and have always loved G.K. quotes, so I felt this would be a good segue into his literature. I also have a bit of a thing for english authors (major J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling fan over here).

Meet Linda, the Blind Applying champion of Peek & Cloppenburg

Linda is finishing her double Bachelor’s in International Management and will be working in Buying at Peek & Cloppenburg. What stories will she be sharing through her blog?

What are you most looking forward to while working at Peek & Cloppenburg?
I am looking forward to getting an insight into how a large fashion retail company manages their supply chain, with a particular interest in how buying, in which I will be doing my internship, is contributing to the company’s success. I am also most certainly looking forward to broadening my horizons in the fashion industry, improving my skills and learning from the most knowledgeable professionals in the industry.

What's the best aspect about working in fashion?
For me personally working in fashion means working with highly creative, interesting and enthusiastic people. I believe the most interesting part is the changing consumer trends and demands that fashion brands must predict and adapt to constantly. I need a challenging environment in order to grow and develop professionally, and I believe the fashion industry can provide this for me.

About a year ago, you were doing voluntary work in Zanzibar. What did you take away from this experience?
I took away an understanding of how to work with people from a different cultural background, who had completely different perspectives, and another view on the world. In the beginning it was difficult to adapt to the circumstances and to integrate into the community, but after some time I felt at home, and found it hard to leave such a colourful island with such amazing people. 

Meet Eric, the Blind Applying champion of Johnson & Johnson

Eric has been finishing his Master’s in Statistics at Columbia University. Models and statistical analysis will prove useful at his Data Science internship at Johnson & Johnson. He will be sharing his stories and insights through his blog.

Were you surprised to find a professional match with Johnson & Johnson?
Yes, I was completely taken by surprise. It hadn't occurred to me that Johnson and Johnson was looking to hire people with knowledge in statistics, machine learning, or data science. Lucky for me, they started their data science internship program only a few years ago, so I get to be one of the lucky ones to help shape the influence and future direction of data science at the company.

What has been an interesting learning for you while working with data? 
In my deep learning course, I've enjoyed seeing firsthand how effective deep neural networks can be at accurately learning features from data. For the course final project, I worked on a team that achieved a classification accuracy of > 99% on the well known MNIST dataset. This is a remarkable result because this level of accuracy rivals human levels of performance. It's really quite fascinating that such a result is achievable despite the fact that the scientific community still doesn't really have a good explanation for how neural networks do what they do.

3 songs that will be on your playlist this summer?
Believe it or not, I listen to a lot of pop country. First 3 songs that played when I hit shuffle: Days Go By (Keith Urban), We Are Tonight (Billy Currington), and American Honey (Lady Antebellum).

Meet Pascal, the Blind Applying champion of Deloitte

Pascal, having studied Aviation Management at EBS Business School, will be joining the innovative team at Deloitte Garage in Mannheim. He will be sharing his stories through the blog.

What new experiences are you looking forward to while working at Deloitte?
The upcoming internship is different from my experience so far, because I have the chance to work on highly relevant and innovative projects. I am really looking forward to learning more about current market developments in this segment and to work together with small, as well as large businesses. I guess the approach to the different projects might be entirely different from each other. I am also happy to spend this time together with an outstanding team, which I have already gotten to know during my interviews at Deloitte.

What is your pro tip when it comes to consulting and client relations?
Being open minded and interested in learning something new is probably my tip for consulting. I think it helps to build relations with the team as well as the client. Consulting is not only about delivering presentations to the client. It is mostly about interaction and questioning the current status of one’s business. Hence, I am convinced that an unbiased approach and the motivation to discover new value for the client is beneficial to maintain high motivation - even in stressful projects.

Favourite meal to prepare after a day at work?
I am pretty much a fan of having a barbecue - especially in the summer. Maybe some grilled steaks, sausages, or vegetables. I like a lot of things like this. However, what I like the most about having a barbecue is to invite friends over for dinner. I think it is a great opportunity to meet casually and spend the evening together. Plus, you can have a barbecue anywhere. I am really looking forward to testing the grill at the Rhine during my internship in Mannheim.

Meet Oana, The Blind Applying Champion Of ENGIE!

Oana, studying Business Informatics at the Vienna University of Technology, will be researching the cybersecurity market for ENGIE in Paris. Interested to know more? Oana will be sharing her stories on her blog

Have you wished to work for ENGIE before?
Working in the energy field was always something I seriously considered since it is running in the family (my father is an engineer in a local thermal power station). Getting an internship in cybersecurity at ENGIE exceeds my expectations. It's clearly an amazing opportunity and the best career move I could do at the moment. Until now I have only worked in institutes, start-ups or medium-sized companies, so you can imagine that I am very excited to learn and work in a company of such magnitude.

What is your favourite programming language and why?
I know that in such matters I should take into consideration a long list of pros and cons, but when it comes to the personal favourite, I will turn on the subjective side. Java was the first programming language I learned in a continuous and consistent way and it was the key in getting my first real job as a mobile developer. It helped me understand and learn major programming concepts and later on, allowed me to create a small personal portfolio by developing and publishing several Android apps.

Which social media channel will you be using most to communicate your adventures in Paris to your friends?
As expected I will probably do a lot of posting on Facebook. I create a photo album for every country I visit, so I predict a very large one for France. Also, I hope I will have some time to dust off my old travelling blog where I am gathering my lessons learned and highlights.

Meet Kevin, The Blind Applying Champion Of TÜV NORD GROUP!

Kevin is studying Intercultural Human Resource Development at the University of Jena. He is joining Cualicontrol in Madrid to help with the cultural training and development of the Group’s international employees. He will be sharing his stories on his blog.

Were you expecting to be matched with the TÜV NORD GROUP when applying for Blind Applying?
Nope, I actually didn’t. And that’s one of the reasons I applied: to get matched with a company that I would not have expected, to a place I would not have expected.

What are you most excited about to do in Madrid?
Probably it won’t be easy to deal with the heat I’ll encounter in Madrid, so I am very looking forward to jumping into some cool swimming pool. Well I am excited to go out, enjoy the nightlife and live music. Aaaand of course to get a great work experience :)

You are speaking 8 languages, 4 of them fluently. What have you taken away from your language studying?
Learning a new language does not only provide you with the opportunity to communicate with more people but also opens up a whole new world. Even the way one behaves and interacts changes when using another language (e.g. the tone of your voice, gestures etc.).

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


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

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

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

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

Meet Chloé, the Blind Applying Champion Of Bayer!

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


Would you ever have thought you could work for Bayer?

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

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

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

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

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


See you soon Chicago!

(by Anna Ahnert)

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

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

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

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

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


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,

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,

Passing the torch over one full plate

(by Tanja Niemczyk)

Hello hello everybody!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to handle the tricky soap dispenser...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay refreshed and excited about the next posts. Cheers!

IT and healthcare: A look back and a way forward

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

Work with a positive effect

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

From school to work is quite the learning curve

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

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

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