I woke up in a cozy hotel room. It was quite chilly outside, as it was late September of 2018, and I really didn’t want to get out of bed, but I had a task which needed to be completed for that day. I was in Hanover, attending the IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), one of the largest international fairs of the automotive industry. But I was no visitor there! I was a part of the fair team of the company Schmitz Cargobull, one of the largest trailer manufactures in Europe. I was selected in a group of interns who should support the sales team on the ground by presenting new features of certain products. And it was Thursday, the last day of the fair.
I’ve put on my suit and my Schmitz Cargobull tie, packed the rest of my belongings into my suitcase and got down for breakfast. We didn’t have much time before the bus with all the colleagues left to the fair. Once we arrived there, we had a short team meeting and afterwards we went to our posts. The next few hours I spoke with people from all over the world about the product I was attending to. I had the chance to talk to a very polite gentleman from Japan, and a man from Brazil who was interested to learn more about future plans of Schmitz Cargobull. It was really an international event!
When we were done for the day, we split into groups of 4 and left back home. At this time, home was in Altenberge, a small town in Münsterland, northwestern region of Germany, close to the headquarters of Schmitz Cargobull. The following day was Friday, last day before the weekend, and the plans for the weekend were already made. My plan during the internship was to explore as much of Germany and Europe as I could. I visited Düsseldorf, Köln, Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Essen, Dortmund… with the starting point from Münster, one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. I also visited the Netherlands and Switzerland during the internship.
Once I got back home, I had to go for a quick groceries shopping and make myself something to eat and do some house cleaning. The laundry was in the machine, and the plant in the living room had to be watered, so I did that as well (ps. It survived the whole 6 months while I was there, I am really proud of that). At the end of the day, I set up my alarm for tomorrow, and got some well-deserved rest.
It’s been almost two years since I completed my internship in Germany, and I still look back on the time spend there with a smile on my face. From this time distance, I see it was an important step to get me to where I am today, an important step to grow up. Being out of my comfort zone taught me so much and I accomplished thing which seemed impossible just a few months earlier. I met people from all over the Western Balkans thanks to the Programme, but also from all over Europe thanks to my work. I realized that, even though we come from different parts of Europe, we all have same emotions and wishes, we all think in a similar way. And I saw it for myself, the benefits of having different countries connected and working together. I truly hope our region will become a part that community one day!
What happened after the internship? I got back from Germany with a bunch of gifts for my family, but also with a booked interview at Schmitz Cargobull Serbia. And guess what – I got the job! I am working there as sales support assistant, and still have a lot of contact with the colleagues from Germany, so I get to train my German skills every day (Hallo, wie geht’s?). The skills and experiences I gained during the internship and the contacts made during this time enabled me to fit into the new work environment quickly and to be able to fulfill tasks successfully. There are many small tips and tricks you can not learn from the books at school, but rather when working in a real company, which is one of the many benefits you will get from participating in the Internship Programme of German business for the countries of the Western Balkans!
I recommend our Programme to everyone who is interested in learning new things about others and themselves. For me, it was one of the best experiences ever, and I am sure that all of my fellow Alumni share the same opinion. Make sure to apply and I wish you good luck!