Roughly a month ago I cast one last look onto Aachen, on the part that could be seen from the main station, and boarded the train that was to bring me home and mark the end of my internship at P3 Communications.
As the train was speeding up forward, my mind was doing the opposite by rewinding the memories of the past three months, all the way to the moment I saw the Programme’s poster in the hallway of my college. Having spoken to a friend who participated in the programme a year earlier, I heard a description of an experience that did not sound like your standard, conventional internship. Having a mind full of questions and worries regarding the course of my future, knowing that the knowledge I was gaining through my college education was important, but on its own not enough, and having that restless, bubbling feeling deep inside telling me I was ready for something more, I began toying with the idea of applying. After a few days, I sat down and wrote a letter to myself, honestly explaining why I thought I should do this. Reasoning with myself, word after word, I came to the conclusion that this is just the kind of experience I was looking for – something that offered the possibility of personal growth and development in more than one way. This letter made the majority of what later became my motivation letter. From the moment I sent the application, days became filled with anticipation.
Then came the invitation for the interview, the shortlist and the interview with the company. Each of these set off a small internal celebration – I was a step closer! And before I knew it, I was on the airport saying goodbye to my parents, boarding the plane and watching the Croatian landmarks from the air as they kept getting smaller and smaller. I was brimming with excitement, expectations, fears and eagerness to actively shape this experience as best as I could. In those moments (and all the other, I hope) I was doing my best to embody the saying: “enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success”.
The three months that followed remain the most intense experience of my life. Just as everything else that is worth something, this too demanded effort and dedication. This internship provided me with an opportunity to gain insight into the workings of a large, real-life company and its projects, while forming a context for the things I previously learned during my education in the telecommunication and informatics sector. As such, it is an experience I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.
Experiencing a dynamic work atmosphere, facing challenges and learning how to handle them and trying to learn as much as possible were big parts of that experience, but that wasn’t the whole story. What is missing is maybe even more important than the aspect of professional development and that is the part that includes meeting like-minded people whose words and ideas seem so familiar and yet so new, people to share this experience with, to understand and be understood by, exploring a new country, but also exploring the broad landscape within myself.
A three-month internship at P3 Communications was one of my most valuable journeys because I left with practical skills and knowledge I now apply and find very useful in my professional development, but also because I worked with people whose words of advice I carry with me as a special sort of lesson. A lesson that taught me to approach problems by breaking them into smaller chunks, to not fear asking for help, to always ask questions and show interest in everything I encounter and most importantly – to never give up, even if it seems that the mountain you are trying to climb is too high. One step at the time, and the top shall be reached.