Hello! My name is Eva Mahler; I am 24 years old and am currently studying Human Resource Management at Pforzheim University in Germany. Since March of this year, I have been doing my internship at the HR department of the MANN+HUMMEL office in Singapore.
As I’ve never been to Asia before, I happily accepted the offer from MANN+HUMMEL to complete my mandatory half year internship in Singapore. Thanks to the mentoring-relationship between my university and MANN+HUMMEL, I was given the great opportunity to work in and discover a new continent.
I have already gained my first long-term experience abroad last year, where I spent one semester of studies in the capital of Portugal, which is Lisbon. However, Singapore is not only 10.000 km further away from my hometown than Lisbon, it is also very different in terms of culture, people, food, weather, and the way of doing business. From the day I signed the contract, I was looking forward to another interesting and exciting experience in a foreign country – and I wasn’t disappointed!!
Even though the initial days in my new home country for the coming 6 months were a bit hard due to all the changes (weather wise – I went from sub-zero temperatures and fresh air in Germany to 30+ degrees and a high level of humidity in Singapore), I got quite used to everything pretty fast and started enjoying my stay.
One reason for the positive impression are my nice and friendly colleagues who welcomed and supported me as the new “Ang Moh” (Chinese dialect term for Caucasian) in a warm way from the first day on.
The language of Singapore
Unremittingly, they tried to teach me Chinese or Singlish (local and funny Singaporean-styled English, just add “leh”, “lah”, “lor”, “mah” or “one” to the end of each sentence and pronounce it in the right way) terms, and my lunch kakis (a local expression for the group of colleagues you are regularly lunching with) kept asking me for the name of the dish I had during our common lunch breaks. To my dear lunch kakis, my sincerest apologies, unfortunately I couldn’t recall a lot of names of the foods – I tried hard, but I think I am missing the talent for Asian languages … Nevertheless, I appreciated their patience and all the delicious local food I enjoyed together with them.
Regarding my scope of work, exposure, and contribution to the company as a whole, I totally agree with the experience of the HR marketing intern at the German HQ in Ludwigsburg, Caroline Gass. I have got already some experience being an intern in various companies, but so far the one at MANN+HUMMEL Singapore is the best of all. I really feel accepted as a full time staff member, where I am given the opportunity to contribute my own ideas and views, and even got the chance to initiate changes.
My work in Singapore
My university required me to work on a project, which I decided was to be done in the context of MANN+HUMMEL Singapore. I was given the autonomy and freedom to decide the direction of the project and the tasks to work on. As such, with the employee satisfaction survey that was conducted, and the subsequent follow-up action plans that were initiated, I really hope I have contributed to make MANN+HUMMEL Singapore a better place to work. In addition to the company project, I was given interesting HR assignments out of the daily business, as well as “special tasks” which came along with plenty of responsibilities.
In my leisure time, I explored Singapore and its sights. Due to the small size of the island, I extended my exploring adventures to Thailand and Malaysia – where I gained some more experiences, and which I will remember for the rest of my life.
Even though I have had a great time here in South East Asia, I am now looking forward to going back to Germany to meet up with my family and friends, and to eat tons of potatoes, crispy bread and tasty cheese!
Thanks for such a great stay in Singapore – xièxiè