Stanford University in Berlin
Krupp Internships / Praktika
30 Jahre: 1982-2012 - Experience
Krupp and Stanford in Berlin offered me the opportunity to study, live and work in Berlin and Meissen a couple years after unification. Although that was more than a decade ago, the memories still remain, because the experiences I had in those places changed me a great deal.
I met an amazing array of people who, by and large, welcomed me with open arms. In Meissen, a small town in the heart of eastern Germany, few things must have looked stranger than the sight of a Korean American kid like myself marching around the winding, medieval streets, grunting barely intelligible German. Nevertheless, all kinds of people – young and old, employed and unemployed, those hopeful about unification and those fearful of its consequences – took me on tours, filled me with bratwurst and beer, introduced me to their families, and shared their stories with me. For that I shall always be thankful.
I still draw upon the lessons of those days. What did I learn? That the impact of historical events, like the fall of the Iron Curtain, have a colossal, complex impact on individual lives that can never be fully characterized by a slogan or a sound bite. That the most average looking person on the street can have an amazing story to tell and redefine for you the very essence of what it means to be kind or generous. And that so much of who we are and what we have accomplished depends not only on what decisions we make, but also on what kind of conditions (for example, what side of the Iron Curtain) we happen to be born under.
My time in Germany with Stanford inspired, moved and humbled me. I will never forget it.
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Stanford in Berlin student in 1992
intern with Europa-Zentrum Meißen e.V. in spring 1993.
Patent attorney, Beyer, Weaver and Thomas, Oakland.
Beginning in April 1986, I spent a number of months as a student of painting at the Hochschule der Künste (HdK; now the Universität der Künste) in Berlin, where I pursued my own work under the guidance of the Professor Hans-Jürgen (Hajo) Diehl among a group of talented and sophisticated Meisterschüler in his studio. The idea of putting one of the inaugural Krupp internships for non-scientists to this especially creative use came from Karen Kramer. I was simply in the right place at the right time: working towards completing degrees in Studio Art and Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford in California while the expansion of the Krupp internship program was underway at Stanford in Berlin. I had met Karen when she was a visiting faculty member in the Program in Structured Liberal Education at Stanford, and I suppose she sensed that Berlin might be a good place for me to broaden my knowledge of modern literature and art while also doing my own practical work under new and intense conditions in the studio. At the HdK, the challenge of learning to communicate in German while also trying to keep up (or at least come to terms) with a group of ambitious and technically advanced art students was exciting and sometimes overwhelming.
My experience in Berlin did not just expand my intellectual interests, give me a new language in which to speak and think differently than I ever had done before, deepen my knowledge of modern culture, and provide me with a new and challenging environment in which to try my hand at painting – it changed the course of my life. After graduating from Stanford in 1987 I decided to try to bring together my interests in the humanities and studio art by studying for a PhD in art history, with a focus on German modernism. I have since made modern and contemporary German art and literature, and the culture of the 1920s and the 1960s/1970s in particular, the focus of my work as an academic. It is clear to me that my fields of expertise as a scholar are connected to things I was first exposed to in studying literature and art history and German language with Karen Kramer, Franz Neckenig, and Maria Biege at Stanford in Berlin and painting with Diehl at the HdK. Diehl is well known as a so-called kritischer or häßlicher Realist, and he was one of the founders of the “Section Großgörschen 35,” a collective of artists who, beginning in the mid-1960s, insisted, in their art itself as in the public statements that accompanied its exhibition, that painting could still be seen as a medium for intellectually rigorous and politically informed criticism of the conditions of contemporary life. In this Diehl and his cohort established a connection to German painters of the 1920s, especially the so-called Veristen, including George Grosz and Otto Dix, artists whose work has been the subject of some of my research as an art historian.
Every time I teach a class on the culture of the Weimar period, memories of Berlin in the mid-1980s return with special vividness, and I can hardly say how much I enjoy the feeling that my connection to the material I teach is grounded in something more than scholarly interest. And so even though I did not follow a career path to becoming a painter, the Krupp internship paved the way for what I do now, and it did so as no other program could have done – by supporting interests and abilities I was already able to demonstrate while opening the way for me to discover entirely new, though in the end not unrelated ones.
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Stanford in Berlin student in winter1986
intern at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin in Spring 1986.
Associate Professor of German and Art & Archaeology, Princeton University.
Congratulations on the 25th anniversary of the Krupp internship program! Looking back, I remain thankful that the Krupp internship allowed a Stanford international student from Thailand like myself to experience German working culture and ethics at its best. It was certainly beyond my dreams, and indeed, the internship opportunity was the reason attracting me to apply for the Stanford-in-Berlin program in the first place. Through the Krupp internship program, I had a chance to work for Professor Dr. Udo E. Simonis at the Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin.
The superb lessons on environmental politics and economics with Professor Simonis led me to complete the senior honors thesis on Thailand’s shrimp farming industry a year later. Now that I have joined Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a career diplomat, the German work discipline and organizational skills I picked up from Professor Simonis absolutely become handy. One technique I learned was to note on the back of each business card the time and place of receiving as well as a brief description of the person. Doing so helped me remember diplomats I have met around the world.
Professor Simonis also reminded me to lead a balanced life. I had never seen anyone as industrious and efficient as him, but at the same time, he treasured family. “It is important to set your priorities straight,” he said to me one day. I never quite understood him until my mom’s visit to Berlin. During her visit, he was the one nudging me to leave work and be with my mom. He said, “You’ve got a more important thing waiting for you at home.” It was then when I realized that it was important to keep priority in your whole life, not just work, straight.
I know that I can never thank the Krupp foundation enough for their generosity. To show my appreciation, I have consistently told both Germans and others I have met, I was lucky to have had a chance to work in Germany through the Krupp program, and I learned a lot.
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Netithorn Netty Praditsarn
Stanford in Berlin student in Fall and Winter of 1996-97
intern at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin in Spring 1997
Second Secretary, Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of Thailand
In the summer of 2002, I interned at the Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Development, in the department that coordinates German policy toward the World Bank and the IMF. This was a fascinating opportunity to pursue my interest in political and economic development, and to learn about a side of German politics that many people don't see. Working for the German government in this capacity was a very unique opportunity for an American college student, and one I would never have had the opportunity to do without the Krupp program. My time in Germany with Stanford and the Krupp program helped convince me that I wanted to return, and I spent the year after graduation on a Fulbright in Berlin, pursuing my interests in European politics and Transatlantic relations that had developed during my first stay in Germany. My time in Berlin with Stanford and in the internship program turned out to be some of my most memorable and influential college experiences, and were particularly important in impacting the things I have chosen to study since then, both as an undergrad at Stanford and now as a graduate student.
Andrea Everett (Political Science, Economics), Stanford in Berlin student in Spring 2002
intern at the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ), Bonn, in Summer 2002
PhD Candidate at the Department of Politics, Princeton University.
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The opportunity to live and work within the German culture was a life-changing experience. As a result of participating in the Krupp internship, I gained an almost visceral understanding of the German Zeitgeist, especially in light of being present just after the fall of the Berlin wall. The confidence I gained in my ability to thrive in a foreign culture has proven extremely valuable to me personally and professionally. In fact, just yesterday, as the facilitator for a conference on technology, I was able to introduce a German professor (in German, shocking him), and make a strong connection by being able to discuss my experience living there. I will be visiting him later this month in Stuttgart, to implement his recent research into one of my key projects. Without the experience I had in the Krupp internship program, I would not have been able to make this type of connection.
Tobin Cooley (Engineering), Stanford in Berlin student in 1990
intern at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe in Winter 1991
Founder und CEO of Listen Acoustics, Portland, Oregon.