Wednesday, February 6, 2019

AROUND THE WORLD WITH LUFTHANSA

As the world's leading provider of aircraft engineering services, Lufthansa Technik is active around the globe and many airlines and charter lines rely on its expertise in the aviation sector. The company employs more than 26,000 people in over 30 subsidiaries and offers interesting career opportunities in many areas.

For several years Lufthansa Technik has been a close partner of the NIT Northern Institute of Technology Management and regularly awards scholarships to outstanding students who have opted for the Technology Management Master's program. This year the company is again awarding a scholarship and is particularly interested in applicants who have a passion for aviation and are studying in parallel in the Double master program, for example at the Hamburg University of Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Management, Aerospace and Aviation Engineering or Mechatronics. The application window for the scholarship has already been opened and applications can be submitted by international students till March 1 and by German or matriculated TUHH students till July 15.

Lufthansa Technik not only pays the tuition fees, but also accompanies the scholarship holder throughout the entire period of study. For example, the integrated practical phase can be completed in the company. Sebastian Reinecke from NIT Class 19 has already received a scholarship and was in China for his internship. We asked him how what he had experienced:

Sebastian, you are a scholarship holder at Lufthansa Technik. How was it for you to live in a completely foreign culture, like China?

Being thrown into an alien culture is maybe the best practice and most genuine experience you can have. This holds true for being a student at the NIT, where diversity and cultural difference are part of the deal. Against this background it was a huge opportunity to go abroad for an internship with my sponsoring company Lufthansa Technik. Lufthansa has a branch in Shenzhen, South China, directly at the border between Hong Kong and China Mainland. Shenzhen, despite only 40 years old, was China's first special economic zone and is known as the 'Silicon Valley of Hardware' today. The Start-up friendly spirit pathed the ways for global players like Tencent (WeChat), OnePlus (smartphones), Anker (charging devices) or DJI (drones). It is said that a vast majority of all smartphones are manufactured in or around this city - and you really get a feeling for that when visiting the famous Huaqiangbei Electronics Market, where you can literally buy anything from cases to chips and displays or batteries.

What are your impressions of China and Shenzhen?

I found this city to be captivating. The development from a fisherman's village to this metropolitan is thrilling and reminds me of the efficiency of pragmatism we sometimes claim for ourselves in western societies. And yet here and there I got the impression of unfortunate limitations. Many things that seem normal in Hamburg are limited or blocked, e.g. websites on the internet, or even being checked like you are at an airport when only getting on the metro. On the other hand, daily used services like public transport, communication and payment are so streamlined and user friendly that I fear the moment of being in Hamburg again - stressed, hoping to find a ticketing machine that accepts my credit card. Simply pragmatic.

What were the cultural differences like for you? Were there moments during your internship that were unusual for you?

Yes, I had my moments left in disbelief arriving in China. The living standard in some places is far from what I am used to and the mentality differs greatly from my western experience. Sometimes unthoughtful, even egoistic yet still, around the corner, open, welcoming and warm hearted. The internship necessarily requires working with local colleagues, who account for 95% of the employees at Lufthansa in Shenzhen, and who are often not used to the working habits I brought from Germany. To name just one example: open conflict and the search for a 'responsible' person can be seen as a loss of face and an offence. I found getting an answer to a question to not always mean that the person is sure, nor that the answer is reliable - not knowing an answer would be a loss of face again.

What is your conclusion? What do you take with you from this time?

I want to say that these experiences help me in understanding my colleagues at the NIT better when working with them. Well, this will be tested in the coming NIT courses. However, the experience was worth it. I had done an earlier internship with Lufthansa in Hamburg, so this was the perfect opportunity to use the given timeframe and go abroad.

What is your tip for interested applicants?

For everyone studying at the NIT such an internship is perfect to use the experiences gained during the courses and getting even closer with new cultures. China though is not the only choice there is, and I have not specifically selected China for a reason other than curiosity - but facing the growing importance of this country in the world makes it an exciting adventure.

Thank you very much for this interview!

More information about the application process here


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