An industrial internship in a company is compulsory for all ISE-Bachelor-Students. Please read the official document Industrial Practical Regulation (Praktikumsordnung) for details to the rules and regulations of your internship. The students have to show, until they start their final thesis, that they have participated in an industrial internship with a duration of:
- 13 weeks for undergraduates (enrolled in Bachelor degree courses)
Students, who have worked in a company before or made already a vocational education, might be exempted from the industrial Internship. Those students have to reach in the documents at the Internship Office - Praktikantenbüro (BA040).
An industrial internship that was done before the studies has to be formally acknowledged in the first semester!
Tips and Guidelines
- Start early
You are advised to start to search for an internship position 6 months in advance to your desired date of attachment. After preparing your application and sending them out, you have to wait for a reply. Large companies need more time to process applications. Short-listed candidates are then invited to an interview before an acceptance. It is a long process and the early bird catches the worm.
- Plan and schedule
When does the internship take place? During the semester break after the fourth or fifth semester? Does it collide with the examinations? Do I want to do my internship in the NRW region or am I willing to accept an offer which requires me to move to Berlin? What are my interests? What working experience do I want to gain so that it enhances the understanding of my academic study?
These are some questions the students have to spend thoughts on before writing an application. Read the official document Praktikumsordnung so that you are well informed about the rules and regulations of your internship. Then you will have a schedule and plan which does not hinder but accelerate your progress in the academic study.
- How to find an internship?
Please read also the information about "How to find an internship?".
- Your application
After defining your interest and deciding when the internship has to take place, put these information into words. It is a tricky process to write a good cover letter for the internship application. In one single page, you have to say who you are, what you want and to convince the employer that you are the one who matches the company profile. Generally, your curriculum vitae is to accompany the cover letter, along with other supporting documents like the transcript (Notenspiegel) and certificates. Put effort in preparing your application since these documents will be the first deciding factors for the company if you are to be short listed or not.
It is useful to first make a list of companies, which matches your interest of work. The Internet is the best source for information. The information is at the tip of your finger and they are up to date. Most companies in Germany offer a dedicated website for jobs and internships. Check the official website of the companies to see if they have any open offers online. If not, you may consider sending an initiative application. Gather information on the company's objectives and profile then personalize your cover letter accordingly. Lastly, decide on the way you want to send out your application. By e-mail or regular mail? The advantage of e-mail is that it is time efficient and does not incur any material cost. One month after you have sent out your applications and you have not received a reply, it is useful to call the contact person in the company to keep track of your application status. Be careful not to be too pressing as you may leave a bad impression. A friendly call should suffice to know if the company is interested in your application or not.
- During your internship
Needless to say, you want to make the best out of your (first) work experience. Your objectives should include - To gain insights to the operational chain of the company, to learn the fundamental methods and practices, and put your knowledge in practice or vice versa. For foreign students, this is not only part of your professional training; at the end of your study, you will bring home the German industry culture. Please document your learning process in a written report. You are to see the Praktikumsordnung for the format of the report.
- After your internship
At the end of your internship, you have to ask your supervisor in the company to write a testimonial (Arbeitszeugnis), which states the duration of your internship, work description and performance during the attachment. This letter, the report and the form which is on the last page of the Praktikumsordnung are to be handed in to the Internship Office - Praktikantenbüro (BA040), within 6 months after completion of your internship. The person in charge will check your report and send the recognition of your work to the Prüfungsamt. Eventually, your achievement will be reflected on your transcript (Notenspiegel).