An Internship with GTCC: Your Gateway to an International Career

Name: Marvin Woischnik-Lange

Department: Membership, Events & Communication

Internship Period: 6 February – 16 May 2017

Driven by a compulsory internship within an international business environment during the third year of my studies, I pursued the opportunity to support the Membership, Events & Communication Department at the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC) in Bangkok from 6 February 2017 to 26 May 2017.

GTCC allowed me to delve into a wide range of tasks. Alongside the daily identification of economic trends in local newspapers, such as the Bangkok Post and the Nation, I received the opportunity to support especially the event section. Since GTCC regularly organizes seminars and network meetings, which aim at strengthening the German-Thai community, a great amount of time had to be invested in the promotion, planning and organization of those. The promotion itself mostly took place through the web management system Typo 3, which seemed to be very unclear to me at the beginning. Later, I got used to it and understood how to successfully link the electronic direct mail (EDM) to the registration and the GTCC’s database, which consists of a few thousand contact addresses.

Furthermore, I had the pleasure to regularly join the actual events that I worked on. I was expected to file a report on several discussions, which often dealt with many interesting topics, such as HR trends, a breakfast talk on labor disputes, and Thailand’s economic outlook for 2017. The networking itself with medium-sized companies and market leaders, such as Siemens and Bosch allowed me to enlarge my business network in Asia.

Following the chamber’s objective to inform and advise the German-Thai business community on the most recent business developments including Thailand´s economic transformation, GTCC publishes a quarterly magazine covering a wide range of industry-related topics. The topics are changed over time and often included qualitative interviews with members or qualified non-member companies. Thus, stakeholders that suit the quarterly theme need to be identified and asked to be interviewed. Following this procedure, I received the permission to interview Mr. Markus Handfest, (then) Managing Director of Staedtler Thailand, on the topic of ASEAN headquarters in Thailand. This taught me to carefully formulate research questions and to evaluate findings.

GTCC´s corporate culture allowed me to contribute my initiatives to the department that were not part of the actual curriculum. In this way, I could re-create myself and got the chance to offer a value proposition that clearly deviates from previous intern activities. Subsequently, I took part in promotional campaigns and made video clips for Young Professional events, GTCC´s magazine and the chamber´s most significant event, the Gala Night 2017. I was also encouraged to support the consultancy department by conducting industry-related research on the country´s new economic model Thailand 4.0 and contributing in-depth information to high- level policy talks.

Reflecting on my 4-months experience with GTCC, I looked at my internship as an insightful experience and a light adventure in terms of cultural differences. Alongside the chance to support two departments, I was given an opportunity to build an extensive business network in Thailand through a great number of events. Unlike other internships, GTCC provided the chance to learn and grow in-and outside the office. Despite cultural incidents occurred, I was always respected and valued as a young professional. However, the field of responsibilities that I was assigned to, could have been more diversified.

Overall, I had the chance to reach most of my objectives that I had set myself in the beginning. Also, positive feedback from my team indicated that I was able to successfully add value to their organization. Thus, I recommend my internship to self-disciplined students, who have the ability to develop an ethnorelativistic view of cultural differences. Nevertheless, it is to say that a decent remuneration could help interns to identify more with GTCC and its business undertaking, especially when considering that Bangkok has become quite costly.

 

P.S. I advise every intern against moving into the recommended service apartment “Purita.”

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