Welcome to my blog about my three month “Blind Applying” internship at Bayer Business Consulting (BC). My name is Stefan and I will be writing this blog for giving you the opportunity to gather some insights into the daily work as a consultant as well as into the Bayer Group in general. First, I would like to introduce myself and explain the way how I became an intern at Bayer BC.
I was born in Gütersloh, Germany. After finishing high school, I began to study chemistry at the RWTH Aachen University. I graduated as a Bachelor of Science in summer 2012. After a research project abroad at the Emory University in Atlanta, US, I started with the master’s program in chemistry back at the RWTH Aachen University. Last autumn I successfully completed a three month research internship at the University of York, UK. Finally, I am going to start with my master’s dissertation this summer at a leading German specialty chemicals group.
More funny than my curriculum vitae is probably the way how I got the internship. I first heard about the whole Blind Applying campaign by a friend via facebook. Since I liked the idea to apply for many different internships at once by just uploading a CV without any further cover letter, I really had the plan to go for it. At the time when the application process started I stayed at the University of York. The days went by and almost every single day I thought of applying for it but there were so many other things to do that I forgot about it. Three hours before the deadline of the application process, I finally tried to upload my CV. Since the server wasn’t working properly at that very moment (what a surprise ;-)), I literally mean “try” to upload it. After five minutes of desperately trying to successfully upload my pdf file, a few colleagues were knocking on my door, asking whether I wanted to come with them, heading to town for having an after-work beer. What a hard decision… Thinking of a nice chat with some friends in one of the uncountable pubs in York on the one hand, but also having the fact in mind that going would mean not to be able to apply for the Blind Applying project at all. Since I knew that probably a lot of people would apply for this and hence there was only a really slight chance to be one of the interns in the end, I almost was about going with my friends to town. Fortunately I told them about the application process and that I wanted to try at least a few more times. Therefore, I told my colleagues to go without me and that I would try to come later.
What can I say, I went back to my notebook, the uploading process was successful and a few weeks later I got the response that Bayer wanted to talk to me. What an amazing surprise. I cannot say how happy I was and moreover how glad not to give in trying to upload my CV. After two positive interviews with Bayer I was offered the internship.
How time flies…
Wow, time passed by really fast during my internship at BC. If I had to summarize the whole time in 3 words only, I would choose: exciting, interesting, amazing.
My first project was a Bayer HealthCare strategy project. As expected, the workload was quite high, but even more important: It made a lot of fun. It’s a matter of course that I cannot tell you any detail about the project. But I can tell you that the project was very demanding and enriching at the same time. Despite the fact of “just” being an intern, I was completely involved into the whole project. One of my tasks was to support the team in organizing workshops. The aim was to get an idea about the current business demand within the specific project field we worked on. Based on this we were able to tailor a strategy to deal with the most challenging issues that come up within the next years.
From the very first day I felt part of the team. After a warm welcome on the first day I participated in many onboarding sessions to facilitate my work and to get to know the working culture and atmosphere at Bayer. The whole onboarding week was very well organized and helped a lot at the beginning of the internship.
During the onboarding week I was told by many colleagues that May is probably one of the best months to start at BC. You are wondering why? I tell you why. Every May there is a spring camp for all BC colleagues from around the world. It is a great possibility to get to know all other colleagues from North America, APAC and our new office in LATAM. The event started with a city rally in Cologne. Later on, in the evening we had a great dinner and party in Cologne’s media park. On the next day, Kemal Malik (Board member of the Bayer AG, responsible for Innovation) held a highly motivating speech about innovations within the Bayer Company. The event was then complemented by a group competition where different innovation related topics were elaborated.
Time to say goodbye…
Starting the computer, entering two passwords, quick e-mail check, a morning coffee and then I realized: It’s already the last day of my internship. Three months are already over. What a great time. My thoughts revolved around the two projects I worked on, around the new experiences in consulting and especially around the new friendships I made. I already told you about the great working atmosphere and team spirit at BC. As you can imagine in such a friendly environment saying goodbye is always kind of sad. However, instead of being sad I’d like to review my two projects to give you a more detailed insight into what it means to work as a consultant with BC.
Like I told you the first project I worked on was a strategy project within Bayer HealthCare. In more detail the project focused on defining an IT strategy to enable world class R&D. Besides organizing and executing workshops I was responsible for the preparation and wrap-up of management interviews as well as for weekly team meetings.
The second project dealt with the definition of Bayer’s innovation strategy on a global level. In contrast to the first project this one had just started. The first aim was to define a precise project scope and to review the status quo.
Working on two completely different projects at different progress stages was very interesting. It gave me the opportunity to get insights into many important aspects of a project in consulting. Because of those interesting insights, the steep learning curve and the great working spirit I am deeply convinced that BC is an amazing place to work. Do you think about working in an inhouse consulting unit? If so, you should apply for a job within BC 😉
For now, let me say, BIG THANKS to all the BC colleagues and to the Blind Applying team for making this internship a truly enriching experience for me!
This report was written by Stefan. On this blog Bayer employees from different subgroups and service companies tell you about their personal experiences. So you can get a little insight into the company.
This post is also available in: German