Internship Field: Logistics, Traffic, Recycling, Development, Environment
Majors: Commmunication, International Relations
Host:Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik IML (all Fraunhofer institutes see http://www.fraunhofer.de)
Duration: June – August 2006
Description: "I worked in the Logistics, Traffic and Environment section, specifically in the Waste Disposal Logistics Division. My work consisted of researching the political, economic and social aspects of ship recycling in the developing world, in addition to notable developments within the industry.
As a final project, I wrote a comprehensive report entitled, Lost at Sea: An In- Depth Analysis of the Ship Recycling Industry. This report focuses on the above mentioned aspects of the ship recycling industry, while also highlighting the potential involvement of the Fraunhofer IML in this industry. Additionally, I wrote three articles which focus on other areas of concern within this industry: “From Hope to Helplessness: The Negative Impact of NGO Efforts on the Ship Recycling Industry”, “Waste Patrol: Creating a closed loop recycling system within the Ship Recycling Industry” and “Making a High Profit from the High Seas: Reforming the Ship Recycling Industry."
Comments: "For me meeting and interacting with my coworkers was the most valuable part of this experience. While I enjoyed the research and writing process, I had such a great time meeting and learning from my coworkers. They come from such diverse backgrounds even within Germany, and I feel that I have learned so much from them both within and outside of the office atmosphere.
Also, because the Institute is on the University of Dortmund’s campus, there are a large number of students both working at the Fraunhofer as well as in nearby areas. Therefore, I was able to meet and interact with a variety of student from all over the world. That was a very valuable experience as well, because I was able to learn about their lives and experiences, in addition to practicing my German with others who were learning German as a foreign language as well."
German language skills:"Despite taking a year (including one quarter of intensive) German, I was still very nervous about coming back to Germany, after having participated in the Stanford in Berlin program during the winter. However, during the 10 weeks that I stayed in Dortmund, I could already see a tremendous improvement in my German language skills. While it was initially difficult to stop speaking English (considering everyone in the office spoke English so well), once I was comfortable in the environment (which didn’t take that long), I tried to speak German more often. While my only regret may be that I did not push myself even more to speak German, I am appreciate of all of the help and support of those in the office and others throughout Dortmund who were very helpful and patient with me."