It has been more than a few months since I came back from Germany and I am still under so many impressions! It was the most beautiful and adventurous time of my life.
The experience was more than just work and building of my professional network, it was also about traveling and making lifelong friendships, which made me feel like home even a thousand miles away. Shortly said, it was a life-enhancing experience.
“Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things is the best way to grow.“
It was my first time leaving my parents and friends for a longer period of time and I was quite afraid. I was asking myself what if I do not find myself, if I start feeling lonely, miss places I used to go out to or face some bigger obstacles. I had a lot of questions on my mind before my application and approval, but in the end it was obvious that all of them were pointless. I can definitely say that I have received much more than initially expected. The beginning of the application process, the meetings and teambuilding, the introductory week in Berlin and midterm meeting in Freiburg – our whole stay in Germany – were organized into detail by an amazing team which still cares not only about us, but also about all previous generations of scholarship holders.
Unconditional support was not only provided by the programme itself, but also by other interns and the company I was assigned to. I was lucky to do my six-month internship at Schmitz Cargobull AG, the European leader in manufacturing semi-trailers, trailers and truck-bodies. My colleagues welcomed me in a more than pleasant and friendly manner, so it was not that difficult to adapt to the new environment. Moreover, I also enrolled into a German language course and joined a dancing school, so the perfect internship time was rounded off by additional activities, as well as exploring different cities during the weekends with other interns.
Definitely, I could not have spent the past summer in a better way! I absolutely do not regret my decision even for a second.
Don’t fear change, embrace it!
It was a period of realizing my dreams. Going abroad for an internship, widening my horizons, especially in the professional aspect, and gaining a unique experience that cannot be taken and replaced.
This programme made me believe that everything is possible if we truly believe in it and never give up. It strengthened my self-confidence and improved my professional skills and knowledge. It showed me how much I can do and how far I can go for my dreams and success, to pursue happiness in my life and to achieve what I want. Therefore, when you decide to fight all your fears about making a change and take a step forward, you are the winner and creator of your life. This all makes me believe this internship could be a great springboard and a valuable reference for my future work.
I am very happy that this story is not finished, but rather continued with a lot of other meetings, seminars, workshops and activities which are of high importance for everyone who is interested in nurturing relationships, networking, increasing knowledge and building new skills. The alumni network is getting bigger every year and I am very much looking forward to each of the following meetings.
If you are reading this and thinking about what kind of change you should make in your life, then you are most definitely in the right place. This is a big step forward towards your career dreams. Opportunities to advance are vast, you just have to decide which one you will embrace and to which direction you will put all your efforts and attention.
Why is this programme important and how does it contribute to the European values?
“European values are universal humanistic values, whose goal is free, knowledgeable and independent human beings. “
This is exactly what this programme promotes! It is of very high importance to provide youth with powerful opportunities to grow in every aspect of their life, especially international ones. Regional cooperation is another thing that matters. By working together, building and nourishing relationships, sharing our know-how and experience we can make a meaningful contribution in the sense of development, regional reconciliation and stability. The point of this programme does not lie in the fact to go abroad and never come back to your home country to work, but rather to obtain new practical experience and new ways of thinking in order to apply it on your future work back home in the Balkans region, where there is an already well-known high level of brain drain. It helps us to increase our value on a competitive labor market and provide us with an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives.
I am very thankful to the German Eastern Business Association and the Zoran Djindjic Foundation for realizing the importance of having this kind of programme and I am very glad that I am a part of the sixteenth generation. It is my pleasure to be an alumni member.
In the end, it is an amazing feeling to witness how I changed from a dreamer, which I was last year, into a storyteller now.