Speculative application for an internship
TÜV Rheinland and I already knew each other before my internship. After my bachelor’s degree in communication and media management, I joined the Düsseldorf-based text and content marketing agency blue satellite as a trainee, where TÜV Rheinland is a client. This way I already had contact to the HR marketing and social media department of the testing service provider before my internship. As my internship was nearing its end, I was looking for a way to get to experience working in a large company and find out which direction to take in my future job – marketing or communication?
Since I already had such a positive impression of the company through the contributions of the TÜV Rheinland employees here on the career blog, I immediately applied for an internship position with Andy Fuchs, Team Leader in HR Marketing, and Anna Zafiris, Head of Social Media. And luckily they accepted! And so I went to the TÜV Tower in Cologne in September.
My first day in HR marketing
For one month, I alternated between working in HR marketing and the social media team. My nervousness on the first day was actually quite limited. I had put on a comfortable outfit, and knowing the people already helped, too. After Andy picked me up from reception, I immediately got a personal laptop with my own TÜV e-mail address. The latter is a significant point because it made me feel much more like part of the company.
As team leader of HR marketing, Andy introduced me to the other employees on the same floor, including recruiters, HR developers and colleagues from the administrative area. It was great to see who was coming together in the HR department. It was a core part of my internship and I was very curious about it. I knew classical marketing from my studies – but HR marketing with a focus on employer branding was new to me. My first assignment was not long in coming. A recruiter colleague asked if I could create a newsletter. No sooner said than done. And this exciting task was followed by many more.
Various tasks in HR marketing
I was allowed to participate in a support group meeting with students, which took place online. I designed a new job ad and gave the company profile on LinkedIN a new look.
The highlight was to take part in a hiring campaign. Part of a business unit wanted to recruit new employees and set up a campaign to do so. We met with the people responsible from the business unit and two recruiting colleagues to discuss options and plan appropriate measures. Not only was it exciting to attend these meetings, but I was also able to get involved as an intern. So I created a landing page where all the information about the advertised positions and the application process came together. In addition, I was allowed to ask Andy questions, which resulted in some nice and informative conversations.
Creative work in the social media team
My first impression of the social media department: Cool office! Because communication at TÜV Rheinland is organized as a newsroom.
There are posters everywhere, flyers and brochures are displayed and small and huge Playmobil figures are standing around. The fact that all team members are sitting in one room creates a productive, creative atmosphere without any pressure. I really liked that! This positive impression was only reinforced by the people there. The team cohesion was very noticeable, the colleagues helped each other and always had an open ear for each other. As an intern, I too was given the trust from day one and was allowed to take on many exciting tasks:
- Transcribing a video
- Researching hashtags
- Creating many posts
- Lending my aid at two video shoots
- Completing camera training
- Attend a meeting for an internal employee program
- Writing a press release
The highlights were not only the many and varied tasks, but also the in-depth discussions with the communication staff. The topics of discussion ranged from tips on content creation to insights into the organizational structure and advice on personal development.
Corona conditions and a surprising highlight
At this point I would like to express a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone. Everyone was open and friendly and took time for me as an intern. It is also not a self-evident fact that the internship could take place at all under the current circumstances. In my opinion, everyone adhered to the hygiene protection measures in the company. Masks had to be worn in the corridors and in the elevator, in the canteen only two people were allowed to sit at one table, there were disinfectant dispensers everywhere and posters also drew attention to the rules. I did not find it difficult to comply with the rules and they did not interfere with my internship experience.
I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the conversations in the canteen in particular, as I was talking to so many interesting people: Recruiters, social media experts, internal communications staff, experts from the press department and I was also able to meet the career experts from the Recruiter Talk. Even the canteen itself is a real eye-catcher at TÜV Rheinland. I mean, three variations of pumpkin, okonomiyaki – Japanese tofu pancakes with wasabi mayonnaise or mashed potatoes with poached eggs and spinach leaves on nut butter – I can’t stress enough how good it was. This alone made the internship worthwhile.😉
Three tips for your internship
To make your internship a complete success, I would like to give you three tips:
1. Find yourself a lunch date
Meeting colleagues for lunch is by any means not a new idea. All the more reason for me to recommend it to you. In this relaxed atmosphere it is easier to ask questions and there is also room for private topics to get to know your colleagues.
2. Act service-oriented
And I don’t mean that in terms of the company’s customers, but in terms of your employees and superiors. Offer your support of your own accord if you have any time to spare. Ask questions so that you can complete the assignments properly. Point out that you will be happy to make changes if desired. Communicate proactively!
3. Ask for feedback
Usually you will receive feedback from your manager at the end. Take this opportunity to ask them for a written reference for the internship period. But valuable input can also come from the team members. Ask them for an assessment of you and your work and write down what they say! Positive feedback and praise warms the soul and constructive criticism gives you a hint of what you might need to work on.
And finally …
An internship is a great way to get to know a company and find out if the job suits you. And finally, in which direction am I headed – marketing or communication? Definitely both! I could imagine a career in both areas and I am curious to see where my path will lead me. These two will always remind me of the great time I had as an intern at TÜV Rheinland:
My own TÜV Rheinland Playmobil set 👉
Giving feedback correctly in the job
Formulating salary expectations correctly