Starting an internship abroad – my first few weeks! – OurWarwick

Starting an internship abroad – my first few weeks!

Alex Humfryes | German and Business Studies Contact Alex

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Hello everybody!

As mentioned in my previous blog, I am currently on my year abroad in Cologne and I have recently begun my internship at Framework – a creative/strategic marketing agency. I had my first day at the start of March and I am working here until the beginning of June, whereby my year abroad will officially (and unfortunately) be over. Finding this work placement was undoubtedly one of the most stressful tasks during my time abroad, but equally it was also one of the most rewarding. While I would like to indulge further into how I got accepted for this internship, as well as offer my advice to anyone who is also interested in finding work abroad, I will dedicate this experience and advice entirely to a later blog. For now, I would like to review my first few weeks working here in Cologne and give you an insight into my role as a marketing and graphic design intern.

To start things off, my first couple of days at Framework were relatively straightforward, as my primary tasks were to meet the team, understand my role within the firm and get a short insight into the type of work carried out here. While I didn’t exactly have much to be getting on with, this was ideal, as simply communicating and getting used to a German-speaking environment was enough for me! Although most of my colleagues are fluent in English, I made it clear right from the word ‘los!’ that I wanted to speak as much German as possible whilst I was interning here. Admittedly this made settling in and adapting to my working lifestyle significantly harder, but it has all been worth it and I am already noticing major improvements in my competency of the language.

After the first few introductory days, I was given my first project of creating a brand-new English version of the company’s website. Not only did this mean I had to translate all the content, but I will soon be using website-programming software ‘Typo3’ to design and create it all. Whilst this has been my first major project, I have also been using Excel software a lot for the content management of a client’s new website, as well as undertaking a few benchmarking tasks and even participating in a coding/programming tutorial – completely in German. This week I will be working alongside the 3D-designer of the team to undergo an introduction to 3D visual software and putting it into practice within a working environment. I am extremely looking forward to this task, especially as 3D-design is extremely complex and thus a highly sought after skill. With respect to my future projects for both April and May, they are still for the most part unknown as my project timetable is constantly being changed and updated, but this has also made my time a lot more interesting as every day I am undertaking something new.

If I had to review my first few weeks as an intern here, I would say I have really enjoyed it and my initial fears of working abroad have swiftly been dismissed. The best parts have been: communicating every day in German, working with different design/programming software and practicing my translation skills for their new website. On the other hand, there have of course been a few challenges and difficulties which naturally form a part of any placement abroad. Forming strong relationships with the other employees is of course tricky when you are restricted by the language barrier. In addition, there are periods when I haven’t had much to do and it is difficult to occupy myself 100% of the time. Alas! The positives definitely outweigh the negatives and I am hoping my great experience so far continues to the very end. If you have any questions with regards to working abroad, then please don’t hesitate to get in contact and stay tuned for my upcoming blog with regards to finding an internship in a foreign country.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Alex Humfryes | German and Business Studies Contact Alex

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