In 15 years of the Programme, we have seen numerous cases of students from the countries of Western Balkans learning something in Germany and applying it in the region after their return.
It is one of the main goals of the Programme. We want to support young professionals in their personal development and enable them to transfer the knowledge to the local market. This way, everyone wins.
Since this is possible in many different forms, we thought that we could give you a hint on how to apply knowledge gained during your internship abroad in your country.
We will also give real-life examples of our alumni that successfully did it.
Here’s what you could do:
1. Write a master or bachelor thesis based on your research in Germany
Dalila Kajevic studied electrical engineering in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – when she got selected for an internship by our Programme. She found herself in a small town near Munich, working on a topic that turned out to be far more compelling than her half-written master thesis.
“During my internship in Germany, I was working in the automotive industry as an electrical engineer – to be more specific, on the programming of industrial robots. This was a field I have never worked in before, and I found it to be genuinely interesting.” – Dalila says.
“After my internship, I had to finish my previously defined master thesis. Honestly, after my experience with robot programming, I found it to be quite boring. With newly acquired skills, I was able to contribute so much more. So, I changed the thesis into a robot programming one! The knowledge I gained during the internship and the tips and tricks I learned in the automotive industry were super useful for the completion of the thesis.”
Need the inspiration to wrap up your studies? Go for an internship abroad!
2. Make a comparative analysis between the internship company and a local company
To apply for our Programme, you can be an Undergraduate student (enrolled minimum in the 5th semester), Master student, Ph.D. student, or a young graduate.
It means that some of our scholarship holders started working before they went to Germany for an internship. They used the opportunity wisely.
At the very beginning of their career, they caught a glimpse of two different systems. By comparing them, they were able to identify room for improvement in the local companies.
Many of them reported to us that they managed to adopt some of the successful practices from Germany in their teams and companies.
3. Learn how to use new technology and apply it to your work or studies
If you are doing your internship in a country with a more developed economy and industry than you have in yours, chances are that you will encounter technologies, methods, and machines that are still not that common in your hometown. This was the case with Lazar Simic, who brought the knowledge of plastic moulding back to Banja Luka.
“I got familiar with the Plastic Injection Moulding technology during my internship. At EMKA, Plastic Injection Moulding machines with a material feed force of up to 550 tons, process all thermoplastics – particularly polyamides – with fully automatic material preparation and feeding in closed circuit production.
That technology had barely been mentioned in my studies. So, with the help of my mentor and coworkers – I managed to gain insight and practical knowledge.
The local company where I started my apprenticeship uses similar technology, a version that is a little bit older. Having some experience was very helpful. What is more, it made a difference during the selection process.”
An internship abroad is a competitive advantage you don’t want to miss!
4. Discover a whole new industry within your field of studies
Besides honing the skills in your field of interest, you can discover a whole new industry that will draw you to dive into it.
Dusan Andjelovic went to Germany in 2018. He described it like this:
“I finished BA studies in the Field of International Economics – then I continued Masters in Marketing Management. Sadly, neither of those had anything to do with the Industries of Modern Technologies and their everyday implementation.
My internship was in the field of Artificial Intelligence – implemented in the area of Digital and Social Media Advertising. At first, I thought I was not qualified for this. However, my mentors were very good at introducing me to this amazing industry.
AI requires a good economist that needs to understand its business background and its technicalities. It enables him to create business models and to lead their projects. They thought me problematics and benefits of these modern technologies.
Eventually, I grew fond of them and now I am thinking of enrolling myself to another Masters – but this time in the field of BizTech studies.”
5. Open a subsidiary of the same company in your city
When hard work and persistence unite with a little bit of luck, everything is possible. It happened more than once that our scholarship holders got the chance to transfer the business to their country. Our alumnus Stefan Tošić grew from an intern to the manager.
How did he do it?
“I applied for the internship during the last year of my studies. In that period I’ve already worked in Niš, so it has been a hard decision to make. Looking back now, seven years later – I am absolutely sure that it’s was the right direction.
I was working as a software developer and gained a lot of experience. The internship fulfilled all of my expectations. After six months, I got the chance to open the office in my home town and to continue cooperation with the company.
The new challenges were available. I was “forced” to learn how to do bookkeeping, how to calculate and pay salary.
In the end, all these tasks improved my skills and taught me to look at the situation from different angles.
At the moment, our company has four employees in Nis, Serbia. We are actively looking for new candidates.”
All in all, there is plenty of ways in which you can implement your knowledge from the internship abroad when you get home. You can start or finish your final thesis, prepare an analysis of a successful company, or learn how to use new technology.
Perhaps you will discover a new branch of business or pave the road to a managerial position?
Whatever your case is, be sure that the experience of doing an internship abroad will work like a charm if you want to climb the career ladder back home.