Internship Field:Management Science & Engineering, Economic Development
Major: Management Science & Engineering
Duration:3 months in Summer 2005
Description: "ZAB has primarily two goals. The first is to be a support institution for local startups and small to middle-sized businesses. ZAB’s second goal is to reach out to companies abroad and to encourage them to invest in the land of Brandenburg."
Media, IT, and Communication (ICT/Media) team: "With ICT/Media, it was altogether a learning experience. I attended weekly team meetings, shadowed my supervisor and team members, attended conferences, and sat in on meetings. I did some translation as well as market research for the team. I didn’t get to work as closely with startups as I would have liked, probably due to the language skills. But overall, it was a good experience. I was integrated really well, and was treated like a fellow team member. I ate lunch with my team members at the cafeteria every day."
International Business team: "The projects included updating ZAB’s database. This meant picking up the phone of calling U.S. companies already in Brandenburg. This also meant speaking German on the phone, a scary experience to say the least. One of my major projects was preparing a Brandenburg Road Show, which included researching tech companies and regions in the U.S. that may be interested in investing abroad, then writing and sending out letters to them."
Comments :"I think my interpersonal skills improved. My keenness for world news, and desire to be more worldly aware has picked up. I’ve gained a lot of self-confidence along with the ability to converse and do business with adults, who may or may not speak my native language.
It was personally rewarding to help out Brandenburg’s economy. Also, I became very curious and interested in people for the first time in a long time. I learned a great deal from my coworkers culturally and socially, through our interactions as well as by listening to their insights and perspectives. Working at ZAB made me feel like I was working at an authentic German company that was working toward addressing real and current issues of the economy."
German language skills: "I felt a drastic increase in my ability to listen, understand and communicate in German this summer. I can now think in German. Sometimes, it is more natural for me to describe something in German than any other language. I am, by no means, fluent. But I plan to keep up with the language in years to come. Choosing to study abroad in Germany was, without doubt, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made."