I never knew how just one simple internet link can turn your life upside down. And that is exactly what happened to me when I clicked Apply.
I was finishing my studies at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo and was already feeling little bit nostalgic about leaving student days behind. Main reason was that I missed an opportunity to study abroad when I had it and I was afraid that every other decision to go explore the world would have to be difficult and well thought out. That is when I saw the opportunity to get internship in Germany. It looked and sounded too good, and I was a little hesitant to apply because I didn’t speak German and thought there was no way that I would be selected from all of the amazing students in my country, but then, what did I have to lose?
Next several months flew by and suddenly I was in a train from Berlin to Stuttgart when it hit me – I am going to live in Germany for three months and work in Robert Bosch in Leonberg. There was no fear or anxiety, it just felt exciting. Well, it might have helped a little that my mentor in Bosch, Milica, was Program’s alumni and I was moving in with two other girls who were in the same situation as me and I was surrounded with a group of interns who were staying in Stuttgart, but it was a dream come true.
During my interview for the internship, I mentioned that I was interested in automotive industry, primarily autonomous vehicles and automated parking systems from Bosch. Well, on Monday, I was greeted with big smiles and firm handshakes by people behind these systems. I was an intern at Chassis System Control division. Milica took time to get to know me with colleagues, location and their work. We discussed potential tasks together and what I really loved was the feeling of being equal and having my say in it – I could choose computing environment I was best at and practically start working on the problem immediately. We settled on Automation of masking process for Surround View Multi-Camera system. I didn’t have much problem with doing so since Bosch is such a stimulating environment, casual yet structured to bring the best of you. After three months of work on my task, with the help of some awesome and smart colleagues, I held an internal presentation to show them the results and it sparked very exciting discussion. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and it left me wanting to stay longer to improve the results. During the midterm meeting in September, I held the similar presentation in Bosch Renningen for all of the internship participants.
Aside from work, weekends in Germany for me were reserved either for my master thesis, or traveling. I became really good friends with my mentor who loves traveling so I had some ‘inside’ information about best near and far places in Germany to visit. These type of short trips were my favorite – I was exploring my surrounding yet it felt like I was taking a break and relaxing. Intern base in Stuttgart was strong so there was always someone to go with or somewhere to go. Even if I was alone, Stuttgart was full of summer events and people really seemed to enjoy spending their weekends by getting together or just chilling with a glass of good beer. During this travels I actually discovered that Sarajevo and Friedrichshafen are sister cities since 1972. Who knew?
Being intern of Internship Programme Of German Business changed me in a way that I could not imagine. By removing me from my little bubble, it really gave me different perspective on my surroundings and people in it, broke the stereotypes I had. And guess what? There were even times when I said: Well, in Bosnia this is better. More often I wish I could transport some of the amazing German things to Bosnia. Even though at the time it seemed like I was taking day after day, some of them being great and some less, now I think I could write for hours about every little funny, amazing, annoying thing that happened to me but year after I remember only the best and it all comes down to this: I had awesome time, I’ve learned a lot, met some very colorful personalities, came home with different perspective and eager to share my experience and I am humbled to have the opportunity to be part of the Programme.
I am still in a way part of the internship program by being involved in alumni activities as much as I can and spreading good word about the Program. That is just my own little way of saying thank you to amazing people in program who took care of all of us from first to last day and opened the windows to the world for me.
Lamija, Generation 2016