Name: Sophie Westermann
Department: Consultancy Services
Internship Period: 1 March – 30 April 2018
Motto: “Only he who knows his destination finds the way” – Laozi
Tell us about yourself, your family, hometown, education and hobby
My name is Sophie and I am 24 years old. As my family and relatives are widely spread across several countries, I am very open minded and love to experience foreign cultures, places and – most importantly- food! Eleven years ago my bestie and me decided to become vegetarians for fun. While she skipped only after a couple of weeks (the loss of Schnitzel was too much to bear), I did not change my mind. To me it never felt like a sacrifice, so cooking vegetarian style became one of my hobbies. Traveling is another of my favorites and that is also why I decided to move from Cologne to Munich – to do a dual course of study at the Municipality. That means I work full time while studying “Public Management”, a mix of business economics and law, at the same time. I just finished my third semester and as part of my studies I am free to do a voluntary internship abroad, which I have been looking forward to from day one.
My hometown Cologne is a city close to the Netherlands and Belgium. It’s famous for the “Dom”, our beloved cathedral and celebrating Carnival. We are very talkative and extroverted people, always in for a “Kölsch” -our local beer- and mocking our neighbours from Düsseldorf (in a friendly manner).
Of course everybody knows Munich, my “new” hometown, for the Oktoberfest! The stereotype of a German leather trousers/Dirndl and a Mass- becoming true once a year.
What inspired you to come to Bangkok/Thailand and what do you want to do and see during your time here?
I have never been to Asia before, but heard so much about its beauty and variety of nature, then I came to see it myself. Additionally I wanted to live in a city, which is buzzing, wild and full of people that likewise cannot be found in Germany. That is exactly what I expected Bangkok to be like and I got not disappointed! Talking about daily life, I want to gain insights into the way of living, want to learn how to cook at least one Thai dish and by chance I will find another home in Bangkok. 🙂
When did something start out badly for you, but in the end turned out great?
When I applied for my first internship abroad together with my colleagues from the apprenticeship, they all have been assigned to other places than I was chosen to go. So I had to go to Manchester, UK, alone, while everybody else was staying in France at the same time. I was very disappointed and wished I could have joined them. It did not take me long to figure out, though. Being on my own is a huge opportunity instead of a punishment. I made so many new friends and gained great insights into the English way of living, which otherwise would have never been possible. I came back feeling proud, independent and self-reliant.
What are you interested in that most people aren’t?
Probably the most exotic about me is my desire for adventures. I love everything that is going to create goose bumps and adrenaline! One of my highlights so far was my sky dive out of a plane two years ago. Now I am planning a bungee jump from the highest dam in Austria, when I am back to Germany.