3 months internship at Bosch GmbH, Germany

“Die Erfahung war wirklich wunderbar!” This was the spontaneous reaction of the seven IGTC trainees who returned with a new outlook towards the global business environment after completing a three month stint with Bosch GmbH, Germany.

The seven students did their initial two practical training stints with Bosch in India at its various locations – Bangalore, Nashik and Jaipur. Based on their exceptional performances, they were given the opportunity to complete their final training stint with Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany at Stuttgart, Karlsruhe & Schwieberdingen respectively.

Thus, the “Bosch kids” experienced the real German-European work culture in its true sense. The last few months in Germany were one of the best experiences in their lives both from the educational perspective as well as the inter-cultural leanings. This stint offered challenges not only concerning work culture but also with respect to the environmental conditions faced by them during the winter season. “When we left India, the temperature here was 25 degree C. But when we landed there in Munich, it was as cold as 1 degree C. That’s where I realized how far I had come from home and how different it was from the familiar surroundings of our homeland!” says Radhika Atre, one of the trainees, who was completely mesmerized by the country.

Rakesh Tomar a student of IGTC, who originates from Delhi shares his dreams and aspirations with us. This young and dynamic lad, who spent three months away from India, has a tale of his own. “My career objective is to work in an International multicultural environment and my training phase in Germany provided me the insights to prepare me to achieve my goals. It was challenging to work with a highly skilled workforce.

I was assigned to study the regional practices of Europe and asked to implement them in India. Though the business practices and distribution channels are different in Europe, it provided me an understanding of the business environment and the new concepts that are emerging there, which can have a considerable impact on the business operations in India also. In addition to this I was asked to prepare a roadmap for the implementation of a segmentation strategy in India. I coordinated with my NAFTA counterparts and Bosch Australia, who had experience with implementing a similar strategy. After discussing my approach with my Boss, I could understand their concerns for the product from their perspective. Thus my project gave me an opportunity to understand the implications of the business decisions as a whole and the outcome was appreciated by my Indian as well as German counterparts.

The professionalism exhibited by the colleagues while working could also be seen after office hours, when we grouped together to play football every Wednesday. I really found it hard to make my “football frenzy German counterparts” understand why India as a nation is obsessed with cricket.

Amit Kulkarni, also a student of the Indo-German Training Centre, Mumbai has a different take on his experience in Germany. He states “Being an engineer, this was my first stint with the finance department and I was bewildered whether I could live up to the expectations of my colleagues in Germany. I got the opportunity to be a part of the Controlling Department in the Gasoline systems. Having undergone various financial subjects during my course at the training centre, I took it up as a challenge and was ready to overcome the fear of number crunching.

The German efficiency & professionalism was visible through their work. Seeing was one thing, being there and living it was exhilarating. Financial controlling at Bosch GmbH is a very dynamic process, one learns to analyse and deal with numbers. On the other hand for a car enthusiast like me, I got the opportunity to interact with prestigious clients like Daimler Benz, BMW, Audi VW & the list goes on – which was really a fantastic experience for me. My German colleagues took deadlines seriously & made it a point to complete all the work on time. They were flexible but were keen on the quality and output of their work. They did believe time is money and I could sense the commitment every time I entered my Department.

The country side of Stuttgart was cold but the people there were warm. The commute in the local trains (S-Bahn & U Bahn as it is said by the Germans) was the most enjoyable experience. Though the temperature was freezing cold, we did make it a point to have fun all along.

Radhika Atre goes down memory lane and narrates her experiences during her stay in Germany. “It was a roller coaster ride of 3 months …………. that’s all I can say!!! The ride was bumpy at times but it was an experience beyond expectations because it’s not every day you get a chance to freeze yourself in -15 degrees temperature & still enjoy. It was a dream come true to work with a German giant- Robert Bosch. I got the taste of the German way of working on my very first day!!!! The first meeting was arranged with the HR in Stuttgart, Feuerbach plant (the head office for Diesel system) where my four classmates & I were supposed to do our internship. At 10 am sharp we were introduced to the HR coordinator with whom till date we had corresponded through mails for this internship. She handed out few forms to us regarding the code of conduct, rules & regulations & most importantly the map of our department because the plant area was very huge. For many days I used to forget the way to my department building.

After completing few formalities, I was ready to meet my new department in Germany & I was thrilled to see how things worked. My department was DS SCC (Diesel Systems Sales, Cost Commercial Coordination) which is one of the most crucial departments in Diesel Systems because of the work they do and the impact of its activities on Bosch. In the department I was introduced to my mentor who made sure that I was comfortable. My department colleagues seemed bewildered when I introduced myself in German and conversed with them fluently in their language. I was entrusted with the job to support the SCC 1 & SCC 2 teams. My German colleagues became an integral part of my life during my internship.

A noticeable fact was that there wasn’t a single individual from India!!!! I took this fact in my stride because it only meant that I would be getting opportunities to learn new things from people with different cultures & different mindsets. There were people of different countries apart from Germany like China, Finland, Sweden, South America, Brazil etc. This mix of people brought different thoughts and different styles of working which I experienced during my tenure of three months. Besides the project that I was given to me involved tremendous amount of number crunching and data retrieval from various departments. This helped my interaction with people in the organisation at all levels.

It was not just work which made my life interesting in Germany but I got an opportunity to explore this beautiful country. Visiting the Eiffel Tower was a dream come true for me, because I was witnessing one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Louvre Museum and all other places in Paris showed us the typical European style structures. The city of Berlin only added another perspective about Germany with its historic monuments. In the city of automobiles – Stuttgart, I got a glimpse of Formula 1 racing which was an experience worth a million words. I was lucky enough to see the Wine festival & the amazing New Years Eve with all the fireworks & champagne to toast!!!! On my very last day at work I was gifted a Bosch souvenir as a sign of remembrance of my stay with my colleagues there”.

Thus, the three-month long internship at Bosch Germany came to an end for the seven trainees. Germany – a country with innovation & advancement in technologies was the most suitable place for them to learn and explore diverse facets of life. It reinforced the German way of living – their professionalism, their positive attitude, their jest in adhering to deadlines and detailing every job. It was an experience of a life time for these dynamic minds.