Setting Sail on a Successful Internship

By

BSc student Johara Weber shares her internship experience

Having grown up in the port city of Hamburg, Johara Weber is naturally interested in the shipping industry. She chose ferry company Stena Line for her three-month internship as part of her BSc in Management at KLU.

Weber not only worked out of the company’s offices in Rostock, but also had the opportunity to spend time at Stena Line headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. She worked in a cross-section of teams at the company, gaining experience at all levels – from customer support and business development to network & fleet management. Weber was able to work on exciting, new projects such as SWAP– a partnership initiative with another ferry company, TT Line – to improve services for customers and stay competitive. She also took ownership of projects such as creating a business case study on a new venture involving one of Stena Line’s own vessels.

In order to secure the internship, Weber researched Stena Line in advance, so she felt confident about expressing why she wanted to spend her internship there. “In order to prepare for the interview, I familiarized myself with the company, their industry, and their main philosophy,” said Weber. It worked!

Weber also felt that applying for an internship in a medium-sized company would give her a good chance of getting the internship in the first place, and allow for a wide range of experience once she started working there.

The internship was full of hands-on experience in a real world setting, giving Weber the chance to learn where her specific interests lie. She thoroughly enjoyed business development, but also considered sustainability in the shipping industry as a possible career avenue to pursue in the future. “As a large company, you should not live each day as if there is no future,” Weber explained.

Of course you want to come away with a positive experience after your internship, in addition to a positive recommendation. Weber ticked all the boxes for her supervisor during her three months at Stena Line. Her strategy? “Always be open minded, show that you are really interested in the company, and be eager to learn new things every day in order to perform to the best of your ability,” said Weber.

The internship was valuable above and beyond the work experience, giving Weber a new confidence in her abilities. Weber’s advice for anyone heading into a similar internship: don’t underestimate yourself and make the most of it. “I realized that even if I wasn’t completely sure how to accomplish something at the beginning, I was able to apply myself and complete the task,” she said. “I was eager to learn and get everything done – even if not all tasks were equally exciting. It’s worth it in the end because you gain so much hands-on experience. An internship opens up new possibilities for more complex tasks and provides insight into higher management positions within the company.”