This post was originally published in 2011. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
While I was searching for an internship in Kassel, I landed at SMA Solar Technology AG quite by accident last year. However, this was a real stroke of luck. I always had to fight for the attention of my supervisor since he was constantly on the go through all the buildings and also frequently across several continents. But for this I was completely integrated into the project work and I never had the impression of being “just” an intern. My tasks were exciting and required that I assume responsibility for them. Here’s a little glimpse.
My own projects in my internship at SMA
When a manager from the USA was here in Kassel as a guest for two weeks, I was assigned the task of leading him through all the departments during his stay. Internally, he was supposed to get to know all processes and contact people in order to be well-equipped with good expertise and contacts for his work on the other side of the Atlantic. We had a lot of meetings and several heart-to-heart talks with all relevant people, from the managers and electronics technicians to the IT specialists. After a day full of interpreting and taking notes, we always tried to organize the new knowledge gained and put it into an overall perspective together. We created, corrected, and erased countless drawings and diagrams on the whiteboard. Thus my understanding of the internal flows at SMA also increased exponentially. And naturally it was a great experience for me to facilitate the structure of the international exchange here at the company.
On the many strolls between point A and point B, we talked about a lot of different things. I especially remember his description of “ultimate frisbee”, a simple frisbee game with two goals that is modeled after American football. My colleague from the USA always raved about the big games in the park – naturally with barbeque and beer. I promised him that one day I would visit him over there.
A few months ago, I actually had the chance to try the game out myself with a few acquaintances. Even though it was only here in Kassel, I got completely excited about it. Right away I had to think back on my internship at SMA. The luck and great time I had at SMA have influenced more than just my insight into the world of playing frisbee. Meanwhile, I am writing my thesis. And with a little more luck, perhaps in the future I will be a permanent part of the SMA team. Then nothing else would stand in the way of my first ultimate frisbee game on American soil with my old acquaintance.