Experiences of students & alumni

What opportunities does the semester abroad offer?

Simon Funken, graduate IOLM (predecessor programme) 2018

„The thing that particularly attracted me to the programme was its international focus. I saw spending an period abroad during the course both as a chance to do something for my personal development and to study in a new academic environment.

Preparation for the semester abroad started at the beginning of third semester at ESB with a voluntary course on the language, country and culture of Malaysia. In the following internship semester the process of obtaining a visa began which was continuously supported by the double degree programme coordinator. Centralised consultation with the UMP simplified both the visa process and general communication with the UMP. The biggest difference between everyday university life in Malaysia and at ESB is that life at the University Malaysia Pahang takes place almost exclusively on campus. Both halls of residence and restaurants and small shops are located in the immediate vicinity of the lecture rooms. This means that students mostly go into the city only at weekends, though it also means that you regularly encounter students you know there spontaneously.

The greatest academic challenge was that UMP places a strong focus on continuous assessment instead of on examinations at the end of the semester like at ESB. This requires a lot of time and effort during the week, although you soon get used to the new situation and even realise the benefits of the new system. Adapting to the lectures in Malaysia was for the most part smooth. Since the lectures in Reutlingen were also in English, there weren’t any language problems. The knowledge acquired at ESB had prepared me well for the lectures at the UMP. Completing the semester abroad encouraged me in my plan to work at an internationally oriented company in the future. Moreover, my curiosity and desire to become more familiar with other cultures over an extended period of time were intensified."

How is the internship phase organised?

Corinna Bosse, graduate IOLM (predecessor programme) 2019

„For the internship phase different areas are available. First, of course, there is the large field of logistics, ranging from logistics planning to intra-logistics and extra-logistics to supply chain management. Second, however, there is also the opportunity to focus more on consulting. There is also flexibility when choosing an industry because logistics specialists are needed just as much in the automotive and pharmaceutical industry as in food production and in many other industries. Further, logistics service providers as well as transport companies or forwarding companies are increasingly gaining in importance.

Concerning the application period, I would recommend you apply approx. 6 months before the internship starts. I wrote applications in February, attended interviews until April and started my internship in September. This was very early in comparison with other students but I wanted to sort out my internship before the beginning of the next semester. If there are difficulties finding an internship you can get support from the dean of studies, the degree programme coordinator or the career center.

Due to my experience as a working student I spent my internship in different departments. I found this great because I was given an insight into many processes and sub-processes along the supply chain – starting with purchasing, on to contract logistics and then intra-logistics. Generally speaking, the internship is a very good opportunity to apply the skills acquired during one’s studies and to interlink all the modules. The experience of “re-entering” the university depends in my opinion very much on the place, the choice of course and the effort involved in the following semester abroad. It is definitely different but if you choose less demanding courses the change isn’t that big. I had rather difficult courses and in Spanish, so I had to invest quite a lot of time at the university. In future I would like to gain practical experience in the areas of logistics planning, supply chain management and change management.

I completed my first internship in Germany from September 2016 to February 2017 at the Schweinfurt location of ZF Friedrichshafen AG."