Friday 18 September: Due to Storm Eunice SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED TODAY

Ellen Colchester

Stowupland Students on Field

I am a third year BA joint honours German Studies and Music student at the University of Nottingham. I am currently on my year abroad in Reutlingen, Baden-Württemburg, Germany, where I am doing an internship at the global headquarters for Bosch GmbH. I work in the Human Resources Management department in the Automotive Electronics (AE) branch. I am lucky enough to be in the team responsible for all AE managerial jobs worldwide and so I get to meet many of the high level employees within Automotive Electronics at Bosch.

My department works with HR departments in India, China, Hungary, the USA, Mexico, Romania and other smaller locations. I take care of all the delegates that come to our location for training purposes – registering them; completing all the necessary documentation and then meeting, greeting, and supporting them throughout their stay in Reutlingen. I am also one of the only English speaking contacts for the delegates at the centre. Because of this, I am often given translation tasks from my bosses, as well as other HR departments and the Home of Innovations and Start-ups. Working in German everyday has greatly improved my language skills, particularly when I am on reception and have to help people over the phone – by no means my favourite task! I am also involved in salary and promotional statistics for each location; appraisal reviews for all managers; creating, maintaining, and filling all managerial jobs within AE and much much more.

I am currently living in Bosch’s own residence (WoGe) for international interns in Reutlingen. There are 24 of us in total and we come from various countries. We’ve developed quite a close community over the past few months but people are always leaving, which can be upsetting but then there’s always someone new to get to know! I organise our monthly “Stammtisch”, which is an informal gathering for all of the interns here and normally takes place in a bar or restaurant. It gives interns, work students, and postgraduate students the chance to meet other people of their age from different departments (there are over 500 of us, so it’s not too difficult to meet new people!).
Outside work, I sing in the Reutlingen Philharmonia Choir. I love the fact that I can still combine my two passions, German and music, whilst out here! I have also started learning Spanish after work, which is great fun but can get a bit confusing as it’s being taught in German! I’ve also recently started translating the sermons for non-German speakers at the church I attend; this is a challenge but good fun at the same time, and as we have a lot of refugees around this area, it’s a small way to help them feel included and less isolated in our society.

On my return to the UK, I will be focusing on literary translation and mythology in German literature and I will be studying either 18th century music or Schoenberg and Sondheim as well as completing my dissertation on “entartene Musik im Dritten Reich”. I’m also taking a module in careers skills, so as to make myself more appealing to future employers.

Basically, I’m doing the two things I love most in the world and enjoying life to the full! I wouldn’t change a thing, not even the fact that I’m the only one doing my course at university – it’s better to be unique and loving it!






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