Seven questions to Soeren Siemens | FMS Hamburg
1. How did you apply for an internship abroad and what were the requirements to participate?
I initially contacted the 'Mobilitätsagentur' Hamburg. The requirements were a written application followed by a supporting letter outlining my reasons for experiencing this 'time abroad' and followed this up with a personal telephone interview. After receiving the initial conformation I attended a preparatory seminar with other apprentices from Germany.
2. Why did you choose FMS Barcelona and what do you like most about the city?
I mainly chose the branch in Barcelona because of recommendations from different people. I really have enjoyed the atmosphere in the office since day one. Everyone gave me the feeling of being welcome. Besides working I enjoy the experience of living in Barcelona with the scenery and sampling the local cuisine. A welcome addition to this is being able to relax on the beach and explore the local coastline.
3. How did you prepare yourself for your stay in Barcelona?
Keeping in touch with a colleague at FMS in Barcelona was a great help as she was able to answer my questions. In addition to this I viewed maps and looked online for travel tips and the subway lines. The preparatory seminar was also useful to receive information about different cultures.
4. What are your main tasks at FMS Barcelona and what are the differences between the tasks in Hamburg?
At the FMS office Barcelona I'm supporting the Sea Export department. My daily tasks include booking of freight, invoicing and documentation. Most of the tasks are the same as in Hamburg. This helped me a lot to integrate quickly because I had not to learn new processes and systems.
5. What were your biggest challenges so far during your stay?
Getting used to local customs, road markings, traffic lights and of course the language. In the beginning it was hard to understand Spanish and especially Katalan which sounds like a different language to me.
6. How does your stay abroad affect your professional work and personal development?
Being out of my 'Comfort Zone' professionally will help me to understand other cultures and certainly benefit my career moving forward. This has been an amazing personal experience allowing me to meet new people. I think all of this is important for my personal and professional development.
7. Can you imagine working for FMS abroad in the future?
Definitely! All of the positive aspects of living and working abroad is a great experience I don´t want to miss. Thanks to FMS for making this possible. Moving forward in the future I would very much like to work for FMS in a country abroad and couldn't recommend the Barcelona office with the friendly colleagues enough.