Testimonials & Insider Tips

Katie Wood
Home University:
University of Michigan

Field of Study:
Communication Studies and German

Internship Area:
Personnel Marketing

Why did you choose SCHOTT?

When I applied for an internship at SCHOTT, I was a junior studying Communications and German with a focus in marketing at the University of Michigan. I had been studying German for 7 years and was looking for a way to expand my German speaking skills and to gain experience with an international company in the field of Human Resources. The internship application process went very smoothly and SCHOTT was extremely helpful with answering all of my questions and helping me find a place to live.

What were your projects and tasks during the internship at SCHOTT?

My main project while at SCHOTT was the implementation of an Onboarding Portal. The purpose of the portal is to provide employees who have signed their contract but haven’t started working yet with information about their SCHOTT location, the company in general, and city where they will be working. I designed the layout of the portal and worked with the Marketing department as well as Human Resource departments at the other SCHOTT locations in Germany to collect relevant information for the portal. I was then responsible for organizing and inserting the information into the portal. My other tasks included translations, research, assisting with the Facebook Career Page, and creating presentations. During my internship I also had the opportunity to meet with other people in the Human Resource department to learn about what they do. This was very exciting and helped give me a deeper understanding of the company.

Did you meet the expectations that you had before starting your internship?

Overall I had an amazing experience at SCHOTT. My internship not only helped me gain career perspectives and knowledge about the field of Human Resources, but it also allowed me to establish great friendships and learn about the German culture. SCHOTT is an excellent company, which truly values its employees. SCHOTT offers the opportunity for a challenging and rewarding internship experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an internship
Matthew Schwab
Home University:
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Field of Study:
Optical Sciences and Engineering

Internship Area:
Market Research and Analysis of Products

Why did you choose SCHOTT?

Schott is one of the few companies in the world that combines many of my academic and personal interests. The mix of Optical Engineering and Materials Science expertise fits perfectly with my field of study, and the skills necessary for working with colleagues in two languages as well as learning to live in a foreign country are incredibly valuable for staying competitive in an increasingly globalized job-market.

What were the interesting aspects of your job?

The two main projects that I have had during my internship have been related to market research and analysis of products that Schott would like to offer to new customers. One is the implementation of a flexible beam delivery system for high powered CO2 laser energy for use in industrial applications. The second analysis was more specific to investigating new markets in hunting and medical applications for optical absorption and interference filters. Aside from the two major market analysis projects, it has been the daily challenge of working with my German co-workers, and living in Germany, that have been the most interesting aspects of my internship. The language barrier makes every conversation a tiny challenge. Communication is one of the most important skills for any job position, and the careful listening and patience required to surmount this barrier are useful practices to carry forward throughout my career. Also interesting was the opportunity to work at Schott’s R&D facility in Marienborn where a colleague was finishing his thesis on diffractive optical elements. Learning the German names and phrases of all the optical instruments that I had used in lab at the University was very interesting, and I am always excited for the chance to do hands on work away from a computer.

How do you see your next role and future career opportunities at SCHOTT?

During my three month internship one of the German students in my department helped organize several meetings with various departments throughout Schott. Corporate Machinery and Production Technology (MT) interested me the most as it follows the engineering process from need and concept to design and production in a relatively short amount of time. For a young engineer, this department sounds like a great way to get experience in a multitude of varying technologies. It also demands a good mix of customer consulting, research, analysis, and hands on work. To return to Schott after completing my Master’s degree would be a great opportunity to start my professional career and further improve my German language skills.
Erick Froede
Home University:
Penn State University, PA, USA

Field of Study:
Mechanical Engineering

Internship Area:
Productmanagement

Why did you choose to work for SCHOTT?

SCHOTT appealed to me in a number of ways. I have always had the desire to work and live abroad, and the company had a well organized and managed internship program available to make that happen. Additionally, SCHOTT is a successful international corporation, and I wanted to learn first hand how business is conducted across different cultures and languages. This was especially apparent in my division, SCHOTT Solar, which had to deal with both governments and customers on almost every continent.

How would you describe the working atmosphere at SCHOTT?

The people in my department are incredibly knowledgeable and hard working, which makes for a really focused and professional atmosphere. Surprisingly, despite their busy schedules they always find the patience and time to help me, which has been really critical to my progress. Equally important, they know to have fun, and a day hasn't gone by where I haven't laughed at work. This balance makes for a really awesome and relaxed environment.

How much responsibility did you hold in your position?

I was entirely responsible for the tasks assigned to me, and once given initial direction, I was left to complete my assignment. Help was always readily available, but it was up to me to take the initiative and seek it out if needed. This independence is something I enjoyed, allowing me to approach and solve challenges in a creative manner.

Are there other additional offers you make use of?

Schott supports a local gym, appropriately named TSV SCHOTT, which is a really nice facility offering a wide variety of sports programs from traditional soccer all the way to American football. It costs very little for employees to become a member, and there are a number of community events held there as well. For example, I recently participated in the 5th annual 'Run for Children' where SCHOTT employees and local organizations came together to raise 150,000 Euro for a variety of charities; it was a great time, and will be one of the best memories of my time here.

What is your advice for new comers?

For future interns, I would say that you should try to experience something new and different every day here. Time goes by incredibly fast, and if you consciously try to exercise an adventurous spirit you will return home with tons of memories and some awesome stories to tell! Also, one of my coworkers once told me that people in Germany work hard, but they know how to play hard too - adopt this attitude and you can't go wrong.

Insider Tipps - Living in Germany

Living in a new country is exciting but also intimidating at times. Here are some helpful insider tips from a former U.S. intern to help you adjust to living in the beautiful country of Germany.

Internship Categories
In Germany, internships are distinguished in two categories: volunteer and required.
-> Volunteer interns: Students that are NOT required to complete an internship must pay taxes and health insurance.
-> Required Internships: Students that are completing an internship in Germany to fulfill a University or College requirement. These students are exempt of taxes and are not required to pay for heath insurance.

Payment Procedure
In Germany, compensation is paid out at the end of the month so it is important to plan accordingly.

Credit Cards
It is imperative to know that, despite the commercials, most places do not accept Visa/Mastercard. Europe has a different system called EC and American Credit cards are normally only accepted in gas stations.

Tipping
Tipping or Trinkgeld is normally included in a server`s hourly wage. It is common to give 5 % or 10% as a tip as opposed to 20%.
Insiders Tip:
Round up! When your drink is 1.80€ give them 2€

Inexpensive Traveling
The German bus system can be slow and expensive. Hotels can be stiff and expensive. Flights can be confusing and…you got it… expensive! U.S. interns want to make the most of their time in Europe and in usually the cheapest way possible. Here are some helpful organizations that provide inexpensive transportation and lodging alternatives.
Flights: Ryan Air. Ryan Air provides extremely discounted flights all over Europe.
Insider Tip:
-> Travel extremely light and book early
-> A bus can be taken directly from Mainz Hbf to the Ryan Air Terminal in Frankfurt
Trade Fairs & Events
17.
August
Trade fair Pro Ost, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 17.08
21.
September
Trade fair VDI Recruiting Tag, Darmstadt, Germany, 21.09
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