August 24, 2010

Internships & Applications

Those of you who followed by blog back in 2009 might have read my blog entry on writing applications for my first internship. Today, I'd like to reflect on some things that I've learned in the scope of my internship because I consider this to be useful information for everyone who is about to apply for an internship.

Originally, I had planned to do the internship after my 4th term in summer 2009 but I didn't get any positive answer to the applications I had sent out. I was really disappointed first but then I licked my wounds and tried to improve not only my skills but also the application itself. Today I understand why I didn't get any positive answer or sometimes no answer at all. Let me tell you why.

When I applied in March 2009, I had just finished my 3rd term. To be honest, with three terms of university studies you don't know much about your field of studies. I knew about the basics like sedimentology and stratigraphy but I didn't know much about geophysics or petroleum exploration. So, I decided to already take some modules of the master's program to get some key skills  During my second application period in November 2009 - even though just eight months later - I had gained first experience in rock physics, seismic processing and basin analysis which I needed in order to be awarded with an internship in the petroleum industry.

Moreover, I completely revised my letter of application and my CV. I also added a sheet with notable and to me very important and highly-valued references at Freie Universitaet Berlin and at the German Research Centre for Geosciences. Special thanks goes to Gerhard Winkler and his wonderful website In some way, he opened my eyes and then his advise really helped a lot. Some people consider him to be too extreme but I've not only found pleasure in reading through his website but also in adapting the style of my application to his way of writing applications. It's a tough market, especially in the petroleum industry, and you have to present yourself in the best way possible. You need to make people feel persuaded of your skills but you also need to make them curious of who you really are so that even the hardest and most experienced human resources manager doesn't want to miss the opportunity to make this future expert become an employee of his company.

In the end, I decided in favour of an internship at RWE Dea, which is an international exploration and production company for oil and gas within the RWE group. I spent two amazing months in spring 2010 in the RWE Dea headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, and I've learned a lot about the petroleum industry and its people...and about myself.

RWE Dea headquarters, Hamburg, Germany
The moral of the story is that you must not lose your goals. Even though you don't get a positive answer this time, it doesn't mean you won't get a positive answer next time. Sometimes you just need to wait and improve in order to make your dreams come true. But, it's of highest importance to be determined all the way...and sometimes even a bit stubborn. ;-)


khemal said...

Hello Aurelian Roeser.
I am Kay, a student from Indonesia. I am interested with RWE Dea internship, i have contacted the HR-Marketin and asked several things. But there are things i am not confident enough to ask to the company. So can I ask you about the accommodation during the internship? How much did you spend for the accommodation there? And for how long could the internship taken?


Aurelian Roeser said...


your expenses on accomodation depend on your standard, but you have to calculate with ~300 € per month for a room in a flat share. However, since RWE Dea pays you well, this won't be a real problem.

The minimum duration for an internship at RWE Dea is 4 weeks but I'd recommend to stay at least 2-3 months, maybe even longer.

Best regards

khemal said...

Thanks for replying my comment.
If I may know, why you suggest me to extend the internship time? And If i want to, Can I do that?

And one more question if you don't mind to share, When were you informed that you got that internship? Was that 2 weeks before the internship started or what?

Thanks so much.
Best regards.

Aurelian Roeser said...

As I said before, you always need some weeks to get used to the operational sequences of a company. So the longer the better because then you have more time to concentrate on your actual work.

In general, RWE Dea informs you two months in advance to your internship.

vedang said...

Hello Aurelian Roeser.
I am a ChemE student at Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Pune ,India.
I was summer research fellow at TU Dortmund-PSE dept 2011.I tried to contact the HR-Marketing of RWE and I have even sent him my document,but he hasnt reverted back yet,I have applied for the petrochemical position in Bavaria for Spring 2013 for 3 months starting feb till April End.I wanted to ask you how was your experience?
After how much time do you come to know that you are selected for intern?

Aurelian Roeser said...


For an internship from February until April, RWE Dea will inform you in December whether your application was successful or not. Good luck!