Internship Field: Economics, Corporate Development, Sustainablility Strategy
Host: Deutsche Bahn AG
Duration: June – August 2008
Description: I worked mainly on two projects. The first consisted of updating DB's competitors and making a presentation about their strategy. I had to look at their financial results for the past four years. Then, I had to read their annual reports, press releases or other documents I could find with relevant information about their current and future strategies in order to understand the trends in revenues and earnings. I was basically doing the "ground work" for a benchmarking process they want to establish.
The second project I was assigned was related to DB's sustainability strategy. In this case, I had to research how other transportation companies are engaging in the climate change debate. I also had to look at their communication strategies and marketing campaigns and make recommendations for DB.
Comments: These two projects were definitely worthwhile. The fact that I had to look at so many companies allowed me to learn a great deal about the transportation industry. I also learned a lot about strategy and how strategic planning works in a large corporation. I think I gained analytical skills and I have a better understanding of how strategists think. Finally, the fact that I got assigned to the climate strategy project worked out perfectly for me because that was the topic I was initially interested in. [...]
Functioning in an environment where I was not completely familiar with the language was a big challenge but it was really rewarding to see how easy I adapted. Being able to meet Germans in a non academic environment was also great. In DB there are many interns and there were many occasions to meet many of them. Also the people in my department where incredibly intelligent, interesting, and fun and meeting them was definitely one of the highlights on my summer.
German language skills: I can understand a LOT more than before. My speaking skills did not improve so dramatically though.
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