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 jova-nova.com. 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|