This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
The trip to Germany was something completely new for me. A foreign country, a different language, many new challenges which all accompanied me on my adventure/internship.
My impression of Germany is a country in which the environment is a key issue and where people are very respectful of one another. As the German and Spanish cultures are not all too different from one another, it wasn't too difficult to get adjusted. Just the early dinners caused me some sleepless nights and was something I had to first get used to.
In the first week we went to the Friedrich- List School, where they taught us the most important vocabulary words in order to more or less say what we needed to in the department. You can't learn an entire language in a week, but the lessons really helped.
SMA Colleagues and Departments
My internship lead me to the repair and final test departments. This is where inverters are tested for electrical faults. They are hooked up and put through tests. If a fault is detected that cannot be resolved right away, the unit is sent on to the repair department. In the repair department, the faulty inverter is then fixed. It can be anything from a defective screw to a complete electronic circuit board.
The respective team leaders in the two departments were responsible for us and were really attentive to what we needed. But if I had to praise one person in particular, it would be our Spanish guide, Jaun. He was there from day one on and supported us through countless situations. Whenever there was a problem, he was always there to help. For questions, he was always ready with an answer. He is, without doubt, an excellent guide.
My Internship Summary
I find SMA's company history to be very interesting. Within just 30 years, it grew to be the world market leader in the solar sector. Not only the history, but the great working climate and colleagues and company culture helped make my internship a real adventure.
The two months were definitely very educational and also exciting at the same time. Not everyone gets the opportunity to work abroad, which is why I would especially like to thank the organizers of this project. The best part for me was getting to meet so many different people I would have otherwise never been able to meet through this experience. Thanks to these people, my internship in Germany turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be and more. Especially my guide Juan José who always took the time to help me.
It's worth saying at the end that my internship was a lot of fun and a real joy. I learned a lot about inverters and the photovoltaic field and am proud to take this knowledge and experience back home with me.