From theory to practice – my summer internship at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Bucharest

Do you know the feeling ? You learn countless theories in your studies and want to find out how they manifest themselves in reality. That’s how I felt when we took the Global Varieties of Capitalism course in the first GLOCAL semester at the University of Glasgow. We learned how certain components of a capitalist market economy manifest themselves in different parts of the world, such as innovation, education or financial institutions. I was particularly interested in the topic of Vocational Training compared between Coordinated Market Economies like Germany and Dependent Market Economies in Eastern Europe.

Since I grew up in Germany but my family roots are in Romania, I have always been interested in the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Therefore, I wrote our term paper in the course about the influence of German companies that conduct economic activities in Romania on the education system in the country, as they often import the well-known German model of dual education. During the research, I quickly found out that the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Romania (AHK Romania) is an important player and carries out projects with German companies. I promptly wrote to the institution for an interview and already had the ulterior motive of doing an internship with them in Bucharest the following summer, as I wanted to gain practical experience in my home country during my Master’s degree anyway. One thing led to another and bang – in mid-June, after our second semester in Barcelona, I boarded a plane to Bucharest.

AHK Romania Logo
As part of a worldwide chamber network, significant business community in Romania and competent advisor, AHK Romania promotes bilateral economic relations and helps its member companies, customers and partners to tap new potential for their international business. Source: AHK Romania.

During my internship, I was able to experience first-hand how German companies in the retail sector in Romania work with local schools to train Romanian students to become retail salespersons according to the German model, enabling them to receive a scholarship in the process. In addition, I was also involved in the topic of the settlement of German companies, regional structural transformation projects and location marketing topics. I engaged in all types of processes, was able to take on responsibility, and, above all, better understand the economic and cultural situation, difficulties and obstacles in the development of this eastern EU country. All this was done in Romanian, so I was also able to consolidate my language skills.

Mel at AHK Romania
GLOCAL Cohort V student Melanie during her summer internship at AHK Romania

What I would like to pass on to future GLOCAL students from this experience is that you can shape this special Master’s programme entirely according to your interests and (almost) anything is possible! You just have to take the initiative and be proactive, and the GLOCAL consortium will support you with the formal aspects. It is simply the most wonderful feeling to take full advantage of the #glocalexperience and make this special time unforgettable.