... in Munich, Germany (Internship)
WU master student Daniel Schreiber completed an internship with focus on country controlling at BMW AG in Munich. In an interview with us, he shares his experiences and insights which he gained in the Bavarian state capital. For his six-month internship, Daniel Schreiber received financial support through an Erasmus+ grant for internships abroad.
How did you hear about the internship and how was the application process?
After my planned exchange abroad in Taipei was not possible due to Covid-19, I looked around for alternatives in Europe. Through various job portals, I came across a number of very interesting job postings. One of them was at BMW in Munich. Since I was relatively late, everything went very fast and completely online. The interview took place via Skype and gave me a positive impression of my future team and tasks. The entire recruiting process up to my acceptance just took over 2 weeks.
What would you like to have known before you applied for an internship abroad?
One always says that Germany and Austria are very similar, which may be true in terms of culture. However, when it comes to administration and dealing with public authorities, Germany is much more complicated and administrative – even in times of Covid-19. I had some difficulties with insurance and income tax because the system is very different from that in Austria but in the end I was able to solve all problems easily.
Where and for how long did you do your internship? What were your tasks?
My internship was at BMW AG, Country Controlling Asia-Pacific for Financial Services, lasting 6 months. The range of tasks was diverse and exciting. Specifically, I was allowed to participate in the preparation for the budget meetings of various countries and oversee the monthly internal reporting. Due to the Covid-19 situation in Germany, I worked partly from home. Depending on the epidemiological situation, it was still possible to go to the office sometimes and get more insights of a country controller's daily work routine.
How was it to work in another country? Were you able to cover your living expenses abroad with the Erasmus+ grant/internship salary?
The geographic and cultural closeness to Germany and Munich made working much easier; there are only minor differences in everyday working life. However, one influence that should not be neglected is the cost of living in Munich: It is among the highest in the world. However, the combination of Erasmus+ grant and internship salary enabled me to cover the living expenses very well. It should be noted here that by far the highest part of the monthly costs is accounted for by rent.
Do you feel that this experience will help you in your future career and why?
Despite the challenging situation, my stay in Munich was valuable and I was able to take away a lot in terms of content as well as personally: From hard skills such as data analysis to soft skills such as teamwork and communication skills. Above all, the fact that my internship was accompanied by Covid-19 the entire time also helped me to gain even more experience in the field of virtual and hybrid working styles.
On which positive experiences will you look back to?
The time at BMW has given me a lot on a personal and professional level. After 6 months in a great team, I can say with conviction that the team is a crucial part for the value of an internship. At this point, I would like to emphasize that I supported a really great team, was recognized as a full member and was allowed to do more than just usual intern tasks. If I encountered problems, there was always someone who supported me. The current situation has made teamwork even more relevant – especially with hybrid working and alternating attendence in the office.