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Internship during the Corona Pandemic - How does that work?

Home office and distance regulations - important topics during the Corona Pandemic. In this short interview, Daniel will tell us how these measures work during an internship.

Glückauf Daniel, can you introduce yourself briefly?

Glückauf, I'm Daniel, 23 years old, and in the last three months I have been completing a voluntary internship in personnel development at K+S at the Kassel site. Last year I completed my dual business studies with a focus on trade. In the coming winter semester, I will begin my master's degree in Human Resources Management. 

How did you decide to do an internship at K+S?

My original plan was to travel through South America for four months starting at the end of April before starting my master's degree in autumn. Unfortunately, I had to postpone my travel plans on relatively short notice due to the Corona pandemic until further notice. 

Nevertheless, I wanted to use the gained time productively. Since I had previously completed an internship in a personnel consultancy, I wanted to get to know the client side. The position advertised in the personnel development department was ideally suited for this. In addition, K+S was familiar to me as a regional employer.

At the moment we are in somewhat different circumstances due to the Corona pandemic. How did your application process go?

My application was quick and uncomplicated despite the current circumstances. I uploaded my documents via the K+S application portal and was invited to a virtual job interview via Microsoft Teams a short time later. The very pleasant interview lasted about 45 minutes. I was interviewed by a team colleague, who was also my internship supervisor, as well as the intern at the time. Questions in the interview were for example: 

- Why do you want to do an internship in human resources development?

- Have you already gained experience in this area?

- How did you hear about K+S and the advertised position?

I was also asked about various stages in my professional career, such as my studies or other internships I had completed and my future career plans. 

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Instead of chatting over a coffee in the kitchen, such a meeting now takes place virtually via Microsoft Teams – but the fun is all the same.

Did the internship meet your expectations? What was different than expected?

Overall, I am very satisfied with how my internship went. I achieved my goal of gaining broad insight into the personnel work of K+S and was able to work on international projects with a wide variety of departments. Right from the start, I was equipped with a laptop and working materials so that I could also work from home; I really liked this flexibility. What I unfortunately missed a bit was the real and personal contact to my colleagues. Due to the Corona pandemic, many of my colleagues spent a large part of their time working from home, which meant that we rarely met in person in the office.

What did your daily routine look like with us?

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Due to the different areas of responsibility I didn't have a typical working day, each day brought new challenges. From the very beginning I was involved in different projects, some of which were long-term and extended beyond the entire internship, while others were completed quickly. For example, I had the opportunity to design and implement a global fundraising campaign with an international project team. 

It was also exciting to experience the HR department as an interface to other departments of the company and, for example, to work together with the works council on an employee survey on the topic of home office and to evaluate it.

In addition to my tasks in personnel development, there was also always the opportunity to look at other HR areas, such as personnel marketing. Due to the Corona regulations, I worked 2 days in the office and 3 days from home.

Despite home office and virtual meetings, I still felt well integrated into the team and I always enjoyed working with them. I especially appreciated the relaxed atmosphere at the team meetings and the humor in the chat.

Thank you very much for this interesting insight, Daniel. We wish you all the best for your professional future!

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