Where are you located and what do you do?
I'm currently living in Bremen and working as a Sales and Marketing intern at a technology start-up, TobyRich GmbH. My role here is varied and involves writing press releases, approaching media channels back in England, and translation.
What brought you to Germany and how long have you been here?
I've only been here for two months. At home in England I study German Studies at university and as part of my course I will be studying for two semesters in Germany, beginning in the autumn. I wanted to use my summer holidays to gain some work experience within a Germany company and also improve my language skills, so applied for internships here.
How did you land your job and do you have tips for anyone seeking similar work?
I did a lot of research on the internet for companies in Germany offering internships about six months before I wanted to move here and approached all those that interested me with a covering letter and CV via email. When I came across TobyRich, the idea of working at a start-up in an international team of under-thirties that focuses on smartphone controlled gadgets, appealed to me so much, that when I saw that their internship opportunities at the time did not match my profile, I contacted them anyway. I had an interview over Skype and following that, they tailored a position to suit my skills and interests.
To anyone else looking to do an internship here, I'd tell them, no matter how disheartening it can be, don't give up! I sent a lot of emails and many companies either rejected me or didn't even reply but through perseverance, I found an internship I'm very happy with. Plus, people shouldn't be put off applying to companies that they like the look of, on the grounds that they're not advertising an internship in your area of interest – from my experience I've learnt you never know what the company might be able to offer you if you just ask!
Is it important for you to be able to speak German in your position?
The company currently has a team of thirteen people from seven different countries so there are lots of different languages spoken in the office. English and German are the official languages however – all of us must be able to speak English, and being able to speak German as well is preferable, but
What are the key differences between practicing your profession here and in your home country?
Here I get to work in a bilingual office, which I love. It is great to able to contact clients in England and in Germany in their own language and it makes the tasks in the office far more interesting when you are switching between two languages. You would be hard pressed to find a similar environment in England.
What are the best and worst parts about working in Germany?
In Germany, flexi-hours seem to be far more popular than in England, which I really like. Having the opportunity to begin the working day anytime between 8am and 10am and therefore ending between 4pm and 6pm is incredibly practical and it's a shame this isn't more common at home. So far I haven't experienced any bad parts working in Germany; I'm really enjoying what I'm doing.
Do you plan on staying?
After my year abroad, I have to return to England to complete my degree, but I'm planning on coming back to Germany after graduating. My goal is to learn German fluently, and where better to achieve that, than in the country itself.