…with Bayer you can do that! But let`s start at the beginning. Since my last blog entry things have changed a lot. I, Anne Bruysten, have turned 23 and I have taken the opportunity to be an intern in the HR department “Learning & Development” at Bayer Limited in Dublin, Ireland from October until December 2016.
”Nothing ventured, nothing gained“– dare and seize opportunities!
A few times I found myself wondering if I could be Laura’s successor in Dublin as in Leverkusen, I had stayed in contact with Laura during her internship at Bayer Ltd. and followed her exciting time in Dublin. Even though I was tempted to begin a masters degree directly after finishing my internship in the HR marketing at Bayer Germany, I couldn’t pass up this golden opportunity. So things took their course: Laura (thank you for your magnificent support) forwarded my application to the local HR business partner Lisa, with whom I had a telephone interview soon after. After this all I could do was cross my fingers and hope for the best!
How my highly respected former Bayer colleague Heiko predicted: “We always meet twice in a lifetime. And this is a good thing!”
I will always remember the 5th August 2016. Because: On the day of the final delivery of my bachelor thesis not only #BAYER360 and #VRCE had been launched officially – I also received an email from Dublin as well, which I had to read three times before I realized what this meant for me. I had secured my internship and had obtained the opportunity to follow Laura`s footsteps a second time. This was certainly a day worth celebrating, with both the submission of my bachelor thesis and the prospect of all the experience I was about to gain while abroad in Ireland.
Home away from home
1st October 2016 – Goodbye Germany, Hello Ireland. I learnt in Bayer Germany that practical experience is just as important if not more important sometimes than studying alone and that experience abroad is important even if it delays the completion of your studies. Because if you study only, it’s your own fault! As newly enrolled in the masters degree in Business Management I packed my seven things – admittedly the number of seven was slightly exceeded. At the departure airport I quickly realized this and as a result stepped onto the plane to Dublin around 50 gold coins lighter.
This was my first time in Ireland and I felt at home on the green island right from the start. My Airbnb host family made me feel welcome straight away making Rialto in Dublin 8 a second home for me. For my fortune, the weekly Irish breakfast became a habit. Through spending time with an Irish family I became more familiar with another culture and especially improved my English skills. I would highly recommend this to all of you!
Let`s seed something good to harvest something better later
Due to my magnificent and instructive time at HR Marketing at Bayer Germany I`m allowed to prove the next three forthcoming months why Human Resources is such an interesting area for me.
Compared with Laura’s blog entry our first working day was pretty much the same. But this doesn`t mean it was any less exciting! With much anticipation and a cup of Irish tea in my hand I expected a day full of training on topics such as Health & Safety, Pharmacovigilance or Good Distribution Practice (GDP). My reply to the question “Are you settled in?” quickly became “YES”!! Lisa invited me to Oktoberfest, which was the culmination of my first week. With typical Oktoberfest music and German beer I was given the opportunity to exchange a few words with my new colleagues.
As my responsibilities in the German HR team included online marketing on all relevant social media channels, employer branding, community relations and different types of career events across Germany, I was given the opportunity to discover a quite different HR department in Ireland. In the department “Learning & Development” I was given the task to follow-up on the training project, which Laura implemented before.
Personal development of each employee is crucial, constantly supported by Bayer and is lived out in a holistic approach. Therefore individual trainings are held for all employees to improve everyone’s job-related competencies. My responsibility was to evaluate the training success – a really exciting, challenging and independent mission.
I was also allowed to work on projects in the fields “innovation of digital marketing”, and Irelands “Great Place to Work” survey and many other exciting tasks and to assist in the field of internal and external communications as well – just to get a better insight into my responsibilities as an intern.
Like the whole range of tasks during my internship abroad, the close collaboration with my boss Lisa and the respective managers as well were really diverse, inspiring and enriching.
Bayer as a big family and place where you can’t get lost – Atrium Building vs. Chempark
As the beating heart of Bayer, the headquarters in Leverkusen has an incomparable dimension to the Bayer site in Dublin. It reflects very well on Bayer that even though I was far away from home this international Life-Science-company still felt familiar and never allowed me to become lonely.
And even though I didn`t know anyone in Ireland on the day of arrival I soon made many new contacts. Besides some international students there were many Bayer colleagues who treated me respectfully and allowed me the opportunity to quickly settle in. Feeling lonely is difficult in Dublin, especially as an intern at Bayer.
Working for a company like Bayer in two different countries always makes me proud. In Leverkusen I`ve been amazed by the sheer size of the company. In Ireland it feels a lot easier to develop an overview of the company. In Dublin there are 99 employees working for Bayer and therefore it is a lot more common to have a quick chat with the head of communications or the managing director who is also from Germany.
Let`s celebrate parties like confetti – or the life after work
The pint of Guinness in the fanciest pubs, the sound of the unbeatable good live music on the streets and the friendliness and courteousness of the Irish – these are only a few examples of things I will never forget.
It`s easy to gather unforgettable moments on the green isle. Whether it be a stroll in the Phoenix Park or St. Stephen’s Green, a visit in the Guinness Storehouse, a tour to Howth, Giant’s Causeway, Belfast or to the stunning Cliffs of Moher – there are so many places to explore in Ireland, which are breath-taking in their natural beauty.
Even the Winter Conference took place in a magic environment in the Wicklow Mountains. From Thursday to Friday we reviewed this year with exciting business updates and a consumer product showcase.
Successes should be celebrated, therefore all colleagues dressed up to enjoy the evening with food and drink. The way that the Bayer colleagues banded together is really incomparable and I really appreciate being a part of it. Hitting the dancefloor hand in hand to “Fairytale in New York”, well-known from the movie “P.S. I love you”, and in the next breath to “Maniac 2000” – I’m sure, only genuine irish people can do that 😉
The following day, lectures about mental and physical health took place – I really enjoyed the sporty unit with one of Ireland’s most recognised and leading personal trainers Karl Henry.
The Winter Conference is definitely one of my personal highlights during my time at Bayer in Dublin!
As you can see I`m proud to be a temporary inhabitant of this incredibly varied country and thankful that Bayer gave me this opportunity.
The meaning of life is to live it…
In conclusion I would like to record the following facts: Dublin is a great city in an impressive country. My internship abroad at Bayer is one of the most educational experience I`ve gathered for my personal and professional development so far.
As the saying goes, “always leave them wanting more”. Though it pains me leaving this beautiful country, due to the absence of vitamin D despite the unusual amount of sunny days I`m going to fly to visit my boyfriend in Kuala Lumpur for New Years Eve. After this I will start my master’s degree full of energy and take the next personal and professional adventures as they come.
There remain unforgettable memories for me and now comes the time to say: thanks a million – to Bayer, to my Irish colleagues and the HR marketing team at Bayer Germany – also known as the #bestteamever – I would never exchange the last eight months with you for anything else. THANK YOU!
This post is also available in: German