Everybody takes something different away from their Internship programme abroad. For Maximilian one of the many things he took home with him was the realisation that whilst he is more of a nature fan and adventurer, city Life can still be exciting and full of opportunities. During his time in Dublin he managed to balance the two beautifully and at only 20 years old it just shows how good Maximilian is at adapting to new situations already. Who knows where Life will take him next. Congratulations, Maximilian!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Maximilian Fries and I am 20 years old. I live in a small town in Germany called Altena. Since two years I’ve been doing an apprenticeship as industrial clerk and I also study economics and engineering. I grew up in a big family with three younger brothers. In my spare time I like to be outside, spend time with the scouts or do a lot of sports like cycling or climbing.
What sparked your interest in Business Administration?
My interest in Business Administration began in school, when we founded a student company. I enjoyed learning the basics of managing a company. After that, I did an internship as industrial clerk and recognized that I have fun working in an office so I decided to start an apprenticeship in this job.
What was it like working at New Horizons Ireland?
I did my traineeship at the computer learning centre New Horizons. They provide IT courses for different programmes and fields of application. To work in a company where everyone solemnly speaks English, where you have to have all the little conversations in a foreign language, was a completely new situation for me. But my colleagues at New Horizons were very nice, warm and helpful and so it was very easy for me to feel comfortable in the office. It was a great chance to practice speaking English.
What were your tasks?
In the first days I worked at the reception desk where my main task was to greet guests and manage some meetings and classes. Then I spent a few days in the sales department in the back office. Moreover, I helped to prepare the computers for the courses and when there was less work my colleagues explained something to me or I was able to join some learning sessions.
How would you compare your work placement to your work or school back home?
The work in an office is like it is in Germany, but the mentality of the people who work there is different. Irish people are all in all more relaxed than Germans and you can see this in job situations too. The working times are not as strict as in Germany and it is normal to have longer conversations while taking a cup of tea or coffee. Also, the atmosphere between the colleagues is much more family like. After my two weeks in the company, it was very hard to leave and say goodbye to them all.
What was the best moment of your trip?
It is really hard to pick one best moment. In my time in Ireland I had a lot of great experiences. Exploring Dublin with my friends was always very funny. We visited the Guinness Storehouse, a lot of pubs and watched the St. Patricks Day parade. But in my opinion the best moments were outside of Dublin. We did some tours to the Giant’s Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher and the Wicklow Mountains and went hiking at the cliffs of Howth and Bray. It was nice to see the beautiful nature on the coastline and the view over the sea. It was breathtaking to stand on the cliffs above the sea and feel the rough power of nature.
What have you found most exciting about working and living in a new country?
For me it was a completely new situation to live in a new country and in such a big city like Dublin. A modern and young city with crazy traffic, a very multicultural society with the friendly and open Irish mentality. I am thankful to have got the chance to see how it is to live there, but I think that I prefer to live in a smaller town.
How has this experience inspired you?
My stay in Dublin showed me how easy it is to immerse into new cultures. Living in a host family was very helpful for that. I have learned that it is worthwhile to leave your familiar environment to dare something new.
What are your plans for the future?
In the next years I will finish my apprenticeship and studies. After that I am curious about the new challenges that await me. But before that will happen, I will go back to Ireland for a weekend trip in the next months. And for the future I want to keep traveling the world. Exploring more countries, meeting new people and having great adventures.
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
Enjoy every second and be thankful for the great opportunity! Be open minded! Most things are different from home, but that doesn't mean that it must be bad. When you are capable of that you will have a great time. Use your spare time and the weekends to explore Dublin and Ireland. Howth and Bray are both very close to the city centre and are worth a trip. For the weekends I can recommend booking some tours, even though it is probably hard to get up early.
Maximilian visited Dublin with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. We also arrange work experience projects in London. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.