Read experiences of Zoran Djindjic Internship Program of German Business interns:
I did my work experience under the Zoran Djindjic Internship Programme of German Business in the Siemens' management's Strategy Department from June to September 2005. Since graduating from my undergraduate course at the Faculty of Economy, Finance and Administration in July 2006, I have been studying economy at the University of Cologne with the help of scholarships from the Mummert Foundation and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). With the support of the Zoran Djindjic Foundation, I became a holder of a Konrad Adenauer Foundation scholarship for 2006/2007. I remember the day when I saw the advertisement in a newspaper for the Zoran Djindjic Internship Program of German Business and when I envisaged myself doing summer work experience in a leading German company. I had only just turned twenty and found myself at my first interview with the representatives of the Germany Industry Association from Berlin. After a couple of months, I received a letter telling me that I had been accepted into the Corporate Strategy Department of Siemens AG in Munich. That was when the preparations for my trip began, which involved taking exams at short notice so as to be able to devote my time in Germany exclusively to the challenges I would face there. In Berlin, my generation of internees, who were to become my very dear friends, met for the first time. After three days, we had got to know each other so well that we were already arranging visits to one another for the first weekend. In my four months in Munich, I also visited Jovana in Essen, Lidija, Mirna, Ana and Nina in Frankfurt and Ivan in Stuttgart, and also had the pleasure of showing them around "my" city, Munich. The work experience I gained in the small department of a large company was very significant for me as it gave me an insight into the kinds of work in which I would like to be involved in the future. My colleagues were very well-educated and were a good example to me in regard to my future training. I consider my work experience at Siemens and the internship itself my first major achievement, and for me it has been a great stimulus to continue to progress, both on a professional and on a personal level. It was a special honour for me to have been the holder of an internship which bears the name of Zoran Djindjic. While he was Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic actually visited my department in Siemens. My colleagues often told me of how he had captivated them with his energy. I would think of him every day of my work experience as I entered the main building and leaped up the steps as I hurried to the office. I cannot thank those people who enabled me to spend summer 2005 in Munich enough, from my German teacher, to the lecturers who gave me my references,, to my family, where I always found support, all the way to the people at the head of the program from the Zoran Djindjic Foundation and the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations.
I remember last November. It was the third time in a row that the announcement had been published inviting applications for internships to gain work experience in Germany. With my knowledge of the German language, my short work experience in banking and above all my great desire to discover for myself the truth of all those myths about German organization and efficiency, I decided to try. After the interview, and a long period awaiting a reply, I received the good news: Deutsche Bank AG was inviting me to gain work experience in Frankfurt for a three-month period. My joy and satisfaction lasted for days as I read and re-read the email, as did my first thoughts about what Germany was like and what it would be like to work with Germans, thoughts which continued right up until the journey itself. After a few months of anticipation and a two-week German language course together, all of the internees gathered in Berlin, where our hosts from the German Committee for Eastern Europe, Nadia Teoharova and Sebastian Nitsche organised visits to and meetings in the Committee, the Bundestag and the Foreign Ministry, and topped off the stay with tourist trips around the city. On the fifth day each of us set off towards their own city, and the real work experience began. My work experience was organised in the form of a kind of three-month training period, such as newly-employed staff in the Deutsche Bank receive, consisting of a round-robin of different departments. In each of the departments, I would observe and learn for the first few days, and then later do it myself. I was greatly helped in this by the readiness and consideration of my colleagues, who were always more than willing to explain the job to me and answer all my questions. This was really very important, as I had never done a lot of the jobs before, nor did I know anything about them beforehand. My most interesting and enjoyable experience was in the DB's Research Centre, in the Country Risk research group, where I spent most of the time. I was impressed by how dynamic they were, how organised, persistent, but also multi-faceted, as employees were constantly encouraged to work, research and educate themselves outside the boundaries of their official job description. My colleagues showed me their reports for the top management and involved me in writing them, as well as in the ranking of countries according to risk. My experience with the people I worked with remained very positive from start to finish, and I even went out in the evenings with my colleagues and spent time with them outside work. My three months' work experience went by unusually quickly, and today I consider it a significant experience, as great knowledge gained, and habits formed, which I brought back with me to Serbia. That is why I would like to thank all the organisers for their efforts and desire to extend such a great opportunity to young people, an opportunity which can truly change their lives.
I interned from June to December 2009 at DEG a member of KfW Bank Group in Köln. DEG was just what I wanted, a bond between financial sector (which is exactly my field of interest) and a higher purpose (having in mind that DEG is active in the strengthening of private sector in developing countries and countries in transition, based on the millennium development goals). I was working in the department for Europe, Middle East and Central Asia – new businesses, which was especially interesting since I was working on projects for Balkan countries. That enabled me to see the perception of a developed economy, such as Germany, towards the countries of our region. I had the opportunity to work with experienced professionals from various fields and learn a lot, because every project was a challenge requiring wide knowledge from various fields and cooperation between sectors, and my colleagues were always there to answer many questions I had. This internship is one of the best experiences of my life both professionally and personally. I am thankful to Zoran Djindjic Foundation and German committee on Eastern Economic Relations for this opportunity. I am privileged to be part of this program.