I'm Anne, I study Graphic and Media Design and I'm currently interning for the Robert Bosch GmbH.
After graduating my A levels I moved straight to the UK, away from my country and culture. I never really experienced design in Germany, as my passion for design first arose during my foundation year. That's one reason why I was interested in applying for an internship in Germany.
Another huge factor, which I didn't considered when I started planning my DPS year, was the pandemic, which made it difficult or even impossible to travel far away. That helped me to focus on finding a placement in my home country.
I found myself lucky getting accepted to the Robert Bosch GmbH in Stuttgart as it is a successful future focused business which is globally known for their innovative concepts (Robert Bosch GmbH, 2021). Not only the fact that the company offers a huge selection of products, technology and ideas that are to improve people's lives, but also, that I was able to become a part of a huge network, is why I decided to move to Stuttgart.
Another reason for me to accept the offer was, that I was able to explore the subject area marketing and communication, which I have always been interested in. This placement seemed to be the perfect opportunity to understand, if I only liked the thought of marketing or if I actually enjoy the work itself.
Starting the internship, I was able to go into the office, meet my coworkers and lucky to get to know another marketing student who incorporated me into my tasks. As the department usually divides the marketing topics between three students but only one was working their at the time, I had to cope with a heavy workload. Nevertheless, I liked it as I was able to explore various tasks within marketing such as event managing, video editing, social media, preparing presentations and designing promotion materials.
Yet, not only the fact that I didn't know the working environment but also that the department I'm working for is an engineering and manufacturing service provider meant that I had no clue about their work which made me feel overwhelmed. I was unfamiliar with planned projects, events and the company's drive as well as the amount of shortcuts people used to communicate. Even though I should easily understand my mother tongue, I felt like emails and documents were written in a different language. I learned to keep calm, do as much as and the best I can and don't be afraid to ask questions. I understood that nobody expected me to know everything right away. I gained self confidence and learn to trust myself.
My boss liked my designs and gave me more responsibilities. I ended up improving their corporative design, changing their logo, designing catalogues and booths for virtual event, adjusting presentations and much more.
The student, who introduced me to my duties, left after a month and I ended up being the only one managing the marketing unit of my department which gave me the opportunity to learn even more about management and organisation.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions the office closed and people where communicating via online portals such as Teams and Skype Business. I learned to stay positive working from home and don't let the situation affect me negatively. I also understood that working from home doesn't mean to be isolated but sometimes, when having a day full of meetings, it means to be even more social than going into an empty office.
After interning at Bosch for about two months I got more confident in writing emails, had a better idea about ongoing projects and whom to contact when. I started to learn more about the company's background and their mission. As Bosch's slogan is "Invented for Life", they adapt to society and time constantly (Robert Bosch GmbH, 2021).
That is also what I impresses me because they don't focus on one concept which can become obsolete but on the idea of changing their products due to society needs, hence, they are future driven. Bosch's mission is based on seven central values such as cultural diversity, sustainability and responsibility to protect natural resources for a better future (Robert Bosch GmbH, 2021).
Thinking about the responsibilities of a designer, I realised the similarities between engineers and designers, which Victor Papanek's statement underlines "Design, if it is to be ecologically responsible and socially responsive, must be revolutionary and radical" (Papanek, 2019).
Bosch's respect towards the environment when producing products also becomes clear when looking at their new campaign "Live sustainable #LikeABosch".
A young child and a grown up man, whom is the face of the company's innovation products, get together to introduce Bosch's environmental free products (Bosch Global, 2021).
I'm impressed to see that companies nowadays do need to respect the environment and produce products without persistent problems to be competitive. Bosch needs to prove the quality in their products constantly, hence, once a big brand doesn't mean always a big brand.
Looking at my coworker's projects, they are currently collaborating with Saudi Arab focusing on social housing. Considering that, and referring to Weidman-Grunewald and Henriksson, Bosch follows "a leadership model that puts society at the centre" (Weidman-Grunewald and Henriksson, 2021). The business is seeking for "long-term competitiveness by focussing on their relationship with society as well as mitigating the negative impacts while enhancing the positive ones" (Weidman-Grunewald and Henriksson, 2021). They understood that practising ethnically is the key for a lasting and successful business.
Currently, I'm in the last month of my internship, in which I'm responsible to incorporate another student into the marketing tasks. I find it interesting to teach and communicate from home because I learned how easy, fun and effective it can be to talk virtually, share screens and divide tasks quickly over the computer. I don't have the feeling of being isolated as I have another person to talk to constantly. I love the fact that I work with another student which is in the same position I used to be when I just started and I am now.
Overall, referring to this internship and my previous one at Mercato Metropolitano, the most important part for me is the working environment. I have fun working for a company and people whom show respect and I get along with on a professional or even personal level. The fact that my boss answers my emails with "good job", "I think it looks great" and "Thank you!" makes me feel appreciated, confident in what I do and it pushes me to do more work.
Bosch Global (2021) Bosch presents - Live sustainable #LikeABosch Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfLiwpwEqtU (Accessed: 9 April 2021).
Papanek, V. (2019) Design for the Real World: London: Thames & Hudson.
Robert Bosch GmbH (2021) About us: https://www.bosch.com/company/ (Accessed 9 April 2021).
Weidman-Grunewald, E. and Henriksson, H. (2021) What Does It Really Mean to Call ‘Society’ Your Stakeholder? Available at: https://sustainablebrands.com/read/leadership/what-does-it-really-mean-to-call-society-your-stakeholder (Accessed 10 April 2021).
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