Even before I started studying Business Administration at Frankfurt School, I was sure that I wanted to gain practical experience as soon as possible. This can be achieved through internships or working student positions. The biggest challenge for me as a foreigner was to find a suitable internship that matched my skillset and fulfilled my interests. I came to Germany with a B2.1 level German certificate and always took the initiative to talk with my friends in German. Getting out of my comfort zone and conversing in German was not a piece of cake but living in an environment where people communicate in German daily made it a bit easier.
When I first arrived in Frankfurt, I had no connections at all in the job market in Frankfurt. I was a bit intimidated at the start, but as time passed, the Career Services Team started organising various workshops. I took the initiative to take part in these workshops. These interactive workshops helped me master my application documents. We received a lot of CV tips from the Career Services and they guided us step by step as to how we should approach writing a good cover letter. There were some sample CVs and cover letters uploaded on Jobteaser, which provided us with a clear direction.
After the successful completion of the documents, I started taking part in technical workshops which were conducted by Investment Bankers, consultants, and fund managers. Learning important concepts in Finance was key to a strong foundation. It took time and was frustrating at the start, but I just hung in there and tried to amass knowledge from every source. Once I had a good base, I then started doing some mock interviews in German with my friends. Explaining technical concepts in German during these Interviews was a challenge for me as a foreigner at the start, but I decided to just keep practising until I felt confident. These interviews really gave me a good insight into the interview process. Being open to constructive criticism is an important step towards learning and I was glad to receive some valuable feedback on these mock interviews.
After the technical workshop training, the time had come to finally apply. I decided to leverage my network and land an internship after the 1st semester. I started off by asking some of my classmates as to where they were pursuing an internship and contacted their employers to ask if they had some more vacant positions. I then contacted some FS Alumni and inquired about a short internship. As most of the lecturers and professors at the University are working simultaneously in other companies, I wondered why not ask them. I approached my accounting professor with whom I had developed a great relationship in the class. After handing in my documents, he invited me for an interview with his partner. We went through a 1-hour case study in German. Although it was a bit challenging at the start, I was able to successfully make my way through it and ended up landing my first internship at his consultancy firm.
Never lose hope or give up when you receive rejections. Once I had completed my first internship it was then much easier for me to land interviews for a 2nd internship. Being in my 2nd semester I already had relevant modules like Finance and macroeconomics which helped me ace the interviews and I ended up accepting an offer for portfolio management equities at Berenberg – the oldest private bank in Germany.