At the beginning of the second semester, when I was considering my options for the compulsory internship, foreign companies, especially those from the VW group, were a clear choice. So, I applied for an internship with Audi AG, Department for Coordination of Fair and Exhibition Vehicles, which deals with planning, management and overall accompaniment of vehicles at international fairs and exhibitions. To my surprise, everything worked out and after minor complications with adjusting the dates for my internship, I travelled to the federal state of Bavaria in Germany in early November 2016, specifically to Ingolstadt, a city with 150,000 inhabitants, the home of Audi. First, I had to deal with some housing issues because it turned out that my landlord “forgot” to mention one essential fact – that he was unable to issue a residence confirmation, which is something every foreign worker in Germany has to get. The so-called “Meldebescheinigung” is an important document for population records as well as tax calculations. However, it did not take long and I managed to find a new place to stay – fortunately including all the required formalities. I could finally focus on my work in the department with the internal designation I/VT-6. After about two weeks of training with my predecessor, I began working on assigned tasks. My work consisted mainly of supporting permanent staff on the team in the organisation and planning of vehicles for fairs. I was personally responsible for this year’s exhibitions in Detroit, New York, Shanghai and I could also contribute to the planning and specification of vehicles for the autumn IAA fair that will take place in Frankfurt.
My daily tasks consisted primarily of preparing all the data related to coordination of vehicles for exhibitions. In this aspect, it was necessary to ensure all the data is up-to-date and accurate because it was sent in regular intervals to all the involved staff (production, logistics, sales). Another important part of my work was tracking orders in production. It was necessary to ensure that all vehicles go through production smoothly, in the correct specification and without errors. For this, I utilised various online tracking tools of the company, which was an interesting experience, and I hope I will be able to put it to good use in my future job.
However, I think that the most interesting part of my job was preparing and organising meetings and internal presentations for the top management of Audi AG, including members of the Board of Directors. Yes, interns in VT-6 do get to work on tasks with this level of responsibility, which was a very positive surprise for me and I greatly appreciated this opportunity and trust. For example, I co-organised an internal presentation of all vehicles for the fairs in Detroit, Shanghai and partly also Geneva.As part of this preparation process, it was at first necessary to communicate with representatives of the relevant plants in the countries where Audi manufactures cars (Germany, Spain and Mexico) and arrange the dates of transport to Ingolstadt with the logistics department. As interns, we were also responsible for preparing all the data and ordering so called Messekennzeichen – that is plastic registration plates with the model name. Approximately one week before the scheduled date, my work reached its peak – I worked on preparation of the presentation hall, catering orders and coordination of vehicle transport with forwarding companies. During the presentation, I was taking notes for the protocol and I was also involved in transport of vehicles to their destinations – the different exhibition venues. In addition to all this, I also took care of our company cars and provided day-to-day support to our department.
In my free time, I tried to explore Ingolstadt as well as its picturesque surroundings as much as I could. First, I visited the nearby city of Regensburg, which is known mainly for its stone bridge over the Danube and the ancient cathedral. Just before Christmas, I visited Munich as well where you will find the museum of BMW, the greatest competitor of Audi, and the nearby Olympic park built in 1972. In February, I also travelled to the Weltenburg monastery located between Ingolstadt and Regensburg, with its oldest monastery brewery in the world (operating since 1050). I also couldn’t skip the monumental “Befreiungshalle” in Kelheim, towering on the hill over this regional town. For my last trip in early May, I went to Neuburg an der Donau, where Audi has its own racetrack called the Driving Experience Center – here I admired the wonderful cars with the RS emblem on the front as well as the historic centre and the Neuburg castle. How to sum it up? First and foremost, I am very grateful for this incredible experience. Especially for the trust, my manager put in me and for the opportunity to get to know the planning and organisation of world’s largest exhibitions from the other side – the point of view of the exhibitor and in a way the organiser as well. I would definitely recommend internships abroad to every student because the six months are an incredibly rich experience. You get to know many wonderful people, and you also have many valuable contacts for the future, which allows you to start your career in other countries. Just go for it!