An internship during the pandemic
My name is Miquel and I started an internship at Bayer Strategy & Business Consulting (S&BC) in July 2020. Since joining, I have been supporting a project to boost Customer Service & Distribution for Crop Science in the EMEA region, as a part of the Product Supply department. After only six weeks, I now feel at a point where I can already reflect on my experience and share insights that will perhaps encourage other students to embark on this internship adventure.
To provide some context, I am an industrial management engineer from Spain, currently pursuing a triple degree master program from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), MIP Politecnico di Milano and Toulouse Business School. My background and the fact that I am an international intern will offer insights for international applicants wondering about the experience of working for a German company without speaking the local language just yet (spoiler alert: it’s great!).
“Bayer takes employee safety very seriously”
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, most business activities, such as recruiting and onboarding, are conducted online, but fortunately we were able to meet in the office in small groups. I must add, Bayer takes employee safety seriously. Several protective measures are in place to ensure a safe working environment, while still providing the opportunity for day-to-day office interactions. The onboarding sessions mentioned were to introduce newcomers to company tools, facilitate introductions to department heads and share the vision, mission and latest company trends. It was a great way to hit the ground running in the internship, get to know the culture from the inside and start creating a bond with other co-workers.
“Feedback is very engrained in the company culture”
The Customer Service & Distribution project for the EMEA region has been exciting and, as it has a very large scope, managing complexity has been a key success factor. The team is very supportive, providing enough information and opportunities to develop both soft and hard skills. In fact, as I grew into the role, I was assigned ownership of certain deliverables and even led some client meetings. That is what the general theme of the internship has been for me — you’ll go as far as you push yourself. The learning curve is steep, but it’s a very satisfying mountain to climb. As you start learning and internalizing certain aspects of the job, you will be expected to take the next steps forward and not get complacent, which is everything I wanted my internship to be.
Feedback is very engrained in the company culture and upward feedback is always welcome. These feedback sessions are very common, and I feel it has helped me reinforce my positive behaviors, as well as steer areas for improvement in the right direction.
Without any doubt and even if it ended today, I will walk out of this internship having developed exponentially both professionally and personally. On that note, I want to personally thank everyone that I’ve had interactions with, inside or outside the office, can't wait to face the challenges that lie ahead!