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Interview with Bernhard, RWTH Aachen

Which important tasks we are distracting you from with this interview?
I’m just writing down some short notes of my tasks from last week – at 11 a.m. we have our weekly conference call to keep all team members informed about proceedings of current projects. I’ve been an intern at Henkel Finance-Purchasing for four and a half months and within this frame a member of the Contract Manufacturing and Traded Goods-Team of Henkel’s cosmetic division. Main focus of the team is the global sourcing and development of strategic partnerships with toll manufacturers producing Henkel’s cosmetic products.

Tell us what surprised you the most about your internship?
The most significant surprise for me emerged already at the very beginning of my internship when I experienced how much responsibility and respect you get from all the other employees within and outside your department. In the early stages of your internship you get your own projects in which you can incorporate your own ideas and find possible solutions. However, it is always aligned by feedback and help of experienced managers who are really willing to support you.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when I ask you about ‘the Henkelaner’?
A multinational and open-minded culture – I appreciate how people at Henkel behave and discuss the issues at work with you but also the daily life outside the company. Especially the huge diversity of national backgrounds of Henkel’s employees is so impressive that it makes you even more interested in meeting many different people from across the whole world.

Besides the job itself, what do you value that Henkel offers its interns?
The fact that Henkel values its interns is also shown by the great organization of events like BBQs and dinners to offer Henkel’s interns the chance to get-together and exchange their minds. For my part, I really like the so called intern-lunch where all the interns of different departments can have lunch together twice a week.

How was your development during your internship – who or what influenced it?
My personal development during the internship was kind of dynamic and rapid – after six weeks it was already my turn to conduct presentations about my own projects in one of our regular workshops. Important persons for my development are my two mentors who give me the space to develop and present creative ideas and always give great feedback on it. Furthermore, I always find a sympathetic ear in the team for any problems or ideas!

Would you do it again?
That’s for sure. Reviewing the time, I’m really happy that I decided to do a six-months-internship at Henkel. First of all the complexity in Henkel’s product portfolio is so complex that you need some time get a profound understanding of it. Moreover, the time flies so fast at Henkel while meeting so many interns sharing daily work-experience and free time with you that some day you realize on a visit of a farewell party that you are the next one who is going to celebrate the end of your internship…