Name: Melanie Pietschmann
Internship Period: 01 September 2016 – 31 January 2017
Departments: Consultancy Services and Membership, Event & Communications
As my field of study “International Management” requires a compulsory semester of practical experience abroad, last year at that time, I had the free choice to apply for an internship in any part of the world. A few months later, I found myself at a desk on the 25th floor of one of the thousand skyscrapers in Bangkok, over 8000 km far from home, as one of the 4 Trainees of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC).
Why did I come here? Well, on one hand I had never been to Asia before and I had heard and read a lot of enthusiastic stories of Thailand. On the other hand, I was interested in the work of a non-profit organization and luckily found the opportunity to work in two different departments at the GTCC.
When I started my internship in September in the “Consultancy Services” department, one of the former interns gave us (two new interns) an introduction. I was really happy to be welcomed by an extremely friendly team. Nevertheless, there were a few challenges to cope with in daily life: First, the heat. Second, not getting hit by a car on the way to work (left-hand traffic!). Third, memorizing the nicknames of my Thai colleagues and how to address them (Khun? Pi?). But it was surprisingly easy to make friends – because many other German interns were living in the same apartment house. The Chamber also hosted a lot of (mostly networking) events which was a great opportunity to get to know my colleagues better and meet international business people.
During my work in the “Consultancy Services” department I was mainly responsible to assist the project managers in the organization of business and study trips for Thai delegates to Germany. Moreover, we did a lot of research tasks and had the chance to visit several international trade fairs and –of course- the GTCC seminars and events (in so many 5 star hotels, where I had never been before in my life).
After 3 months I changed to the “Membership, Events and Communications” department, where I assisted the team in a bunch of different and exciting tasks: supporting the events planning and organization, writing reports, and drafting social media posts. My proposals of new ideas were very appreciated and supported. Furthermore, I was taught how to operate the website software which made me mainly responsible for updating the content of the Chamber´s website and the electronic direct mails (EDMs).
What I really liked and appreciated a lot during my time at the Chamber is the great team. They are good colleagues and friends. I didn´t only learn about business in Thailand, but also the culture and even some Thai words taught by the colleagues. Even my name “Melli” was changed to the nickname “Mali” (“Jasmine”) by the time. The only challenge during my time in Bangkok was to finance all by myself. It would be great if future interns receive a reward in form of accommodation or money.
Overall, I learned a lot and was especially happy about the team support.
Thank you for the great time! Khobkhun kha!