Hello and best greets from “Hotlanta”!
My name is Anabel and I am a student of International Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany. As an internship abroad is part of my studies, I decided to do an internship in the USA. That was when I applied for a position in the Management Development department with Lufthansa Cargo AG in Atlanta, Georgia.
It was in September 2013 that I started my six-month internship in the metropolis of Georgia. Georgia belongs to the southern states of the United States and is therefore known for its good weather during summertime – this is why the residents call their city “Hotlanta”.
Atlanta is the headquarter of the Lufthansa Cargo AG (LCAG) for The Americas, which includes North America, South America and Canada. The LCAG has two different offices in Atlanta – one is at the airport and the other one is further north in a district called “Buckhead”. My department is located in Buckhead but organizationally part of the main Human Resources Development department based in Frankfurt.
At the beginning of my internship I had an introduction week with my predecessor as well as with my supervisor Jennifer Brüne. As, locally, our department just consists of these two parties the atmosphere is very pleasant and intimate.
During my first weeks I got to know the Cargo business and the responsibilities of my department and I established a network with various colleagues in “The Americas”. Our tasks range from an annual management grading and development programs / tools to the local coordination of the employee commitment survey. We also offer general Leadership support and are involved in the staffing of key positions by means of active Sourcing. We also are the main interface to general administrative HR topics, personnel marketing etc.
During my six months working for the LCAG I was involved in and got insight into all the topics mentioned above. For my learning experience it was really great that all these various functions were merged into one position. I especially enjoyed my focus task which was the the organization of an America-specific development program which had its Kick-Off-Event in November 2013. As the participants came from all different regions in The Americas (eg. from Brazil, Florida, California etc), I met different people and learned about various cultures. This was a very exciting opportunity.
Another fascinating moment related to the Cargo business was when I had the chance to inspect the new freighter “Triple 7” that was just welcomed in the US under the motto of “Good Day USA”. After welcoming the freighter with jets of water and the crew on board, we had a welcoming event with a beautiful (typical American) cake:
I also had the chance to see a freighter from the inside, meaning the cockpit as well as the cargo bed – probably the first and only time in my life:
In my private life everything went very well from the beginning on. I did not have any problems in e.g. finding an accommodation because I took it over from the former intern. Also I had lots of fun with other interns from the Lufthansa Cargo – we had typical American barbecues (BBQ) and went hiking through the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, the state next to Georgia. Living in a different culture did not take me long to adjust, because people over there are very friendly and open-minded. The only problem I had during my first two weeks was to get what they were saying. Even though my English was not the worst – the southern accent of the United States seems very hard for us Germans to understand (very different to the School English).
After these six months spending in the US within the Management Development department of the Lufthansa Cargo I can say that this time was a complete success – business-related as well as privately! It was a very exciting period spent in a different country with new people and cultures. I learned about the everyday working life in big international companies and expanded my knowledge in the field of Human Resources.
At the end I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their support and especially my supervisor Jennifer Brüne, who made my time in the company as awesome as I would never have expected it to be. I am wishing all the best to those who would like to experience something similar!