Hello readers. This blog is aimed to share my genuine experience of working and living in Germany. In this blog post I will share my experience on how I got my first ever paid internship in Germany and what are the skills that I gained during the internship which has helped to start Destination Germany.
If you are new to this blog my name is Chandrasen, I’m an Indian immigrant based in Germany, I am also the co-founder of Destination Germany.
In my previous blog post which can be read here [link] I wrote about all the odd jobs that I took to make my living in Germany. It took me almost 1 year and around 300 rejections to find a paid internship with which I can make my living.
The first paid internship that I got was in Berlin at a startup called Zenjob [link]. I joined as a Business Intelligence Analyst Intern in the mid of the year 2016. My interview was with then CEO Stephan von Perger [link]. I was one of the very first hires at this startup and at the time we were in a really tiny office. The startup was initially angel funded by an early stage venture capital company called Atlantic labs [link]. Zenjob’s business model is basically a digital employment agency for side jobs that matches clients with students and side jobbers.
My task at the internship was to build reports and dashboards in Google sheets and also maintain the existing reports and dashboards. In my previous unpaid internship I did learn a bit about how spreadsheets work and wrote some basic formulas which we used to analyse the data. But I did not get the chance to write any complicated spreadsheet formulas.
As soon as I joined Zenjob, for the first one or two weeks my job was to check out the existing reports that was created by previous intern. I do remember that all the reports that was built by the previous intern were quit complicated. I had never used any of the spreadsheet formulas that were used to build those reports. For first few days I was completely swamped with the complexity of the formulas and I slowly started to understand them by sheer hard work. To be honest I think that I am not the smartest of the people out there but when it comes to hard work I can outperform any of the smartest people out there if I want to.
Since I was a teenager I always wanted to be a businessman like my father [link]. As my interest grew in the field of technology I committed to myself that I work for early stage technology startups for couple of years before I start my own company/ business. That was also one of the main reasons for me to only apply for early stage startups to find an internship. By working in an early stage startup I would get the chance to understand how a company is built, what are the important things that a founder needs to work on, what qualities I need to posses in order to build a company, what skill sets I need to posses etc.etc. If I work for a large corporation then I only get expert in one particular domain which does not equip me with the skills that I would need to start my own company.
At Zenjob I did my internship for 3 months as Business Intelligence Analyst, after that I wrote my bachelor thesis on „How Business Intelligence Stack can be Built in a Startup“ for 6 months. When I started my internship at Zenjob we were a team of about 15 people and in the span of nine months the team has grown to around 50-60 people. During this period I gained immense amount of knowledge in the field of Business Intelligence, how to scale a company, how to build a successful and highly motivated team. Now Zenjob is one of the success stories in Berlin startup scene which employees around 500 people (according to LinkedIn) and I am very humbled that I got the chance to work in the early stage of this successful startup.
My conclusion after getting my first paid internship was very much correlated to this saying “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” by Tim Notke. I felt that this is very true because if someone has the tenacity, hungriness to work hard and be persistent they can achieve whatever they dream, no matter how big or small their dreams are.
If your dream is to work and live in Germany then this is the right time for you to take next big step. To just give you a bit of background, Germany lacks a lot of technically skilled people. To be exact, in the coming years Germany has demand for around 700,000 people with technical skills. In order to fill this gap, in March 2020 it has also liberalised lot of rules and passed an act called Skilled Workers Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz) which makes it easier to get visa easily for broad range of people living in non-EU countries.
I truly believe that working hard (without taking ourselves too seriously and enjoying the process) to fulfil our dreams is one of the very satisfying thing to do in life. We all have one life to live and when we get the opportunity we should definitely take it and put in a little bit extra effort (which can be learning a bit of German language, knowing more about German culture etc.) to explore life changing experiences which can be lived by working and living in a foreign country with completely different culture.
I really do not say that everything in the western countries will be as shiny and amazing as we think while we live in our home countries. Some things will be really difficult (especially in the very beginning) for example getting accustomed to new culture, new language etc. and some things will be very easy and less bothering for example health care, financial support, work culture etc. All in all, life lived in a different country is a very transforming experience. After living for many years if we look backwards, I promise you that the amount of life lessons and experiences that you would gained will be tremendous and unimaginable.
If you are someone who also believes in the same, then we are here to help you to make your dream come true by providing you the opportunity to explore different job openings at many top German employers. We also support you in visa topics and integration topics.
Go to our website to know more about us. Once you know who we are what we do check out our current job openings here. If you find the job that fits your profile then go ahead and apply for that position.