Since I enrolled in studies at the Faculty of electrical engineering in Belgrade, my plan was to go to a student exchange program or internship program somewhere abroad. I wanted to know how I would cope with living alone in a foreign country, if I will be able to adapt and how I would go through this challenge. I knew this would help my professional and personal development. Since there have always been many obligations at the faculty, I have always postponed this plan for the next year. Finally, my wishes came true with this internship program.
When I applied, I thought I probably won’t get the internship because of lack of work experience, but I thought it was OK to try this year and then maybe apply again next year. Despite that I got through all of the steps and I was listed on the shortlist. Then, I knew that the idea behind this project was very logical: to give young people work experience and more prosperous future in their home countries with the references they get from German companies.
After being shortlisted, I had a phone interview with my future mentor, and I got a 3 month internship in company Robert Bosch GmbH. The place where I worked was a research center which was opened in 2014. All equipment there was new, up to date, the campus was very modern, and there were many students from all over the world doing their internships there.
I was working on a robot cell, so a box with a robot hand inside. My job was to make a program in C# which will be used for camera calibration. The idea was to make it as adaptable as possible to all conditions. I didn’t know much about C#, but I had knowledge in C++ which helped me a lot. The amazing thing, was that I didn’t have to carry other people’s papers or make coffees, but I was really working in my field of studies. It was a job in the field of automation, combined with programing, so it was exactly the thing I asked for. Every student in the company had it’s own mentor, but since Bosch is a big company with a big number of sectors, all of the projects were somehow connected, so it was important to communicate with other colleagues too. They were all very kind and always willing to help, even when they had a lot of tasks to do themselves.
At the end of the internship we managed to finish this project and we had an opportunity to tell our mentors about our ideas which could help them in future. It felt really good to know that our ideas were appreciated. Since I am still in contact with my mentor, I know that they are actively using our code these days.
Apart from getting this great work experience, the best thing about this internship was meeting so many great young people. We were traveling almost every weekend to some of the cities in Germany or surrounding countries (France, Switzerland). I have stayed in contact with people from this program even after I returned to Serbia, and there hasn’t been a day since I returned that I haven’t talked to some of them. Also, there are these very smart and interesting young people which I’ve met during my internship in Bosch who are already planning their trips to some of our Balkan countries. It was a great experience to learn about German culture and customs, but also about all of these other world’s countries like France, Pakistan, Vietnam, China.
This internship was a refreshing experience for me which gave me new ideas for my future and new knowledge. It was easy to learn from these positive inspiring open-minded young people which I met, and of course from experienced engineers with whom I worked in Bosch. I would recommend this Programme to everyone and I don’t think there is anything that would make one regret this decision.
Milica Lalic, Generation 2016