The link between college and corporate

Posted on April 7, 2011 by Fercana

Just last year I graduated high school, and right out of high school I managed to land an international internship with a company called Pintsch-Bubenzer. The reason for my post is simply thus: I was absolutely beyond terrified, but decided to just go for it and give this internship my all. However, I had some serious worries about this internship especially because everything would be conducted in German, and I’m not a native speaker. My biggest fears were that I would not be able speak and understand what I was told to do, that I would come off as rude because of cultural differences, and finally that I would be living alone in a country absolutely foreign to me.

Luckily for me, everything went better than expected! I was completely able to speak with my fellow co-workers at Pintsch-Bubenzer, even though sometimes I had to ask them to repeat things. And most importantly the people were more than willing to work with me on my level, which really surprised me. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly; which was a huge relief to me, and made my second fear a little better because I was a little awkward when mealtime came around. That is almost inevitable though, but after observing my co-workers for about two days, I picked up everything and managed to not offend anyone (and luckily Germans are pretty culturally similar to us while eating anyway) Lastly, I had to deal with living by myself. This really was not too bad, as I rented a flat which had a quasi host-mom. Essentially I just ate with them, and we developed a great friendship and I actually still write her letters.

Basically what you can bring out of my experience is that even though this was an completely overwhelming experience I benefited greatly. I learned a lot about exports, and efficiency, and not to mention how life in an office is. The things I learned from this international internship were really tantamount to me choosing my major as international business. So, if you have the opportunity to take an internship abroad, jump on it! Even if you are scared out of your mind, just remember, if a freshly graduated high school student could do it… anyone can.

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