5+4+3 = successful team leader

Now we have just reached the third week of our exciting virtual journey. Today we discussed a lot about role models and leadership. We started our session with a quick review on the most important insights of the last week to consolidate them. Then it started. Do you know who your role models are? That is not an easy question, or is it? In the beginning everyone presented their role models and after that we talked about our heroes in smaller groups. Hereby many of us realized that our role models are often not necessarily have to be popular persons, they simply can be members of our family.


This week, we also talked about our superpowers which are part of each of us.                   This power can be specified in more details by a short test.                                                 It concerns the 5 languages of love.

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More information about this topic can be found here. To get to know which                       of the 5 love languages applies to most of you, we would kindly like to encourage you to take this test. Please note that the 5 languages of love can apply to your private life as well as in a professional environment. In addition, it is very interesting to know that they are also used in marketing campaigns.

Another fascinating topic to discuss are the 4 categories of leadership styles.       They can also be considered as superpowers.leadership styles

A team works best if every leadership style is represented. Wouldn’t you really like to know which category you belong to? If so, please find another short test here, to tell which leadership style represents your personality best.

StuartOur guest speaker for the second part of our session today, Stuart Sandlin, Senior VP, Hapag-Lloyd, Americas, shared with us his thoughts on being a good team leader. While working in Hamburg, he noticed how important it is to adapt your leadership style to your team. He told his employees to address him using the informal German „Du“, not the formal „Sie”, on his first day there. His team was taken aback because they were not used to that from senior management.             Stuart realized that there are many differences between leading a U.S. team and a German team.

He certainly stands out as being a true leader to his employees. A former Joachim Herz Azubi, that interned in Atlanta and who got to work with him, confirmed this to our group.

His incredibly motivated and therefore motivational presence probably comes from his two rules:

  1. Say „ YES “ more often than you say „ NO “
  2. Replacing „ BUT “ with „ AND ” to make your statements more positive

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Stuart’s mental model of the 3 -legged-stool shows what to always keep in mind as a leader. The right direction, motivation, the right skills, and knowledge are what makes a team strong and efficient.

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The ability to be open, to trust your team members and to do thorough work is vital as well. For Stuart it goes without saying that he will challenge, but also encourage his employees.

His many ideas and approaches around leadership are enough to fill a book at this point. We anticipate its release and look forward to be first to read it.

Our second virtual meeting goes on

On Friday, March 26th.  we had our second official virtual training program. On this day we had 6 different program points on our agenda. The topics were:

 1. Georgia on My Mind… The official hymn for the State of Georgia

 2. Review of the past week: Changing Perspectives – with peer buddies

 3. Cultures have different value orientations /Different value orientations: Hofstede’s taxonomy

4. Intra-American differences

5. How a hashtag became a worldwide movement (and why)

 6. Dealing with controversy: From taking a knee in sports to controversies at Universities

For our first point of the day, we learned the history of the song “Georgia on my mind” and how it became the anthem of the state of Georgia.

Afterwards we reflected on the last week and talked about conservation with our peer buddies.

The conversations with the peer buddies are very helpful because we can also talk openly and honestly about many points and thus also have a comparison of German culture and American culture.

During the 3rd. point we learned from taxonomy that cultures have other value differences.

As an example, the assets, savings, insurance, but also the financial freedoms are.

After that we talked about the differences between the black and white population and noticed that there are big social and financial differences. We were very shocked about the discrepancies between the populations.

The biggest differences are in the insurance companies. In Germany there is one health insurance and in America only the private health insurance.

Then we learned what were the crucial points for the #blacklivesmatter movement. The quote:

 “I was born a black man, and I know one day will die a black man, but I don’t want to die because I’m a black man”, has remained especially in our memory for this reason.

In the last item on the agenda with Dr. Sabine Smith, we looked at how to deal with controversy. We looked at several examples, including one at KSU. Here 4 cheerleaders kneeled during the national anthem in support of black lives lost due to police violence.

The result was very scary and sad at the same time, because the ladies did not get any support from their school principal

In the second half of the program, our KSU peer buddies joined, and we discussed in groups of 3, what is a trust enhancer and a trust killer. Everyone was able to name their personal factors and then present them to the whole group.

Finally, we welcomed our guest speaker, Vanya Allan, she is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, educator, architecture student and awlat. For over 15 years she has used art and education as a means of self-espression; connecting with others by entertaining and sharing.

She gave a lecture, which was very informative and rousing. She told us about the topic of racism, the language of the African Americans and about the code-switching.

She has a specific role in organizing in the BLM movement, which supports African-American oppression. She also feels that Black Lives is the correct terminology and is not just for African American, but also affects all of humanity. No human being in this world deserves to be oppressed because of the color of their skin. She also spoke about her personal history that her father was a Black Panther. She also explained African American slang, code switching, etc. How Black parents have “the talk” with their children, all the time about not doing this and not saying that, etc.

Our exiting virtual journey begins

12.03.2021 – 14.00 pm: Kick off, Let’s start the journey!

Finally, our virtual trip to the USA started and everybody was very excited and had lots of expectations. We are a team of 18 trainees from all over Germany and the organizing team, 1 from Hamburg, as well as two persons from Atlanta. Unfortunately, we can’t fly to Atlanta, but instead, we will meet virtually every Friday for the next 6 weeks to learn more about American culture, business, U.S. college life and current events.

First, we came together, and introduced ourselves and talked about our expectations and goals, and what we expected from the program. After giving an introduction and insights about the following weeks, the main part of the program started.

The director from the Global Business Development Metro Atlanta Chamber introduced the region and gave us very interesting information about the sights, the film industry, the  busiest passenger airport and the infrastructure in Georgia. Did you know that the airport in Atlanta is the biggest passenger airport in the world?! That is very impressive. And after asking Mr Theissen-Jones, of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, several questions, the next guest, Kevin Lister, from the GACC South, started his presentation amongst other things about  education in the USA. He told us, that they are working on incorporating  our German system of skills training thru apprenticeships here in the Southeast.

Micheal Theissen-Jones (left) & Kevin Lister (right)

13.03.2021 – 14.00pm: continuing on a weekend/ Welcome to the new programm

On Saturday, the virtual journey continued. We met again and talked about the past day. What were the things we could remember?  What was the most impressive thing?  Of course, the Atlanta airport was one of the aspects we remembered most. Because of the new virtual program, we used the „UNESCO Story Circle“ method to get to know each other better in small groups. This method is a new communication strategy where we learned that it is important to listening carfully to others and let them speak and finish their point. Everyone in my group worked well together through these method. In the virtual program we did not really have the opportunity to talk to everyone on our own. This program is more of an active presentation with knowledge, virtual activities and tasks where you  have to reflect yourself or communicate with the members. We also discussed in this session the differences between Germany and America such as the cars and their use or the culture differences. The last point of the day was to analysis the music video „Welcome to Atlanta“ by Ludacris. It was interesting to learn more about the African-American slang and code-switching based on a music video. Code-switching means that two languages or two dialects are combined with each other.

All in all, the second day was very informative. I’ve learned a lot about other people and other cultures, especially my group members and the US culture. I am looking forward to the next few weeks, and I am thankful to still have the chance to learn and see more about America, the people, the food and the culture. My group also get the chance to meet our KSU ( Kennesaw State University in Georgia) Students, who we call Peer Buddies. They help us understanding subjects in the program,  and  I’m very excited and looking forward to the coming  meetings.

On Friday, March 19th, we met for the third time, as usual online via Zoom, 

On that day we started by sharing the experiences we had with our peer buddies and with the rest of the group. (The peer buddies are students from the USA, at KSU, with whom we can meet virtually once a week.  With them we can talk in English about many different topics, but particularly we talk about the differences between Germany and the USA.)

Then we started with the differences between German and American characters. We noticed that we as Germans are often more direct, in a way to be honest and that the Americans are usually more friendly and polite, to not offend.

 Then we were given the task of painting a house and a tree.

At first we didn’t even know why we should do this.

But after everyone was finished and we showed each other our pictures, we quickly noticed that we all had very similar ideas about what a house and a tree should look like. 

It was now clear to everyone what they wanted to teach us, because we only painted what we knew and what it might look like here.

If you were to play the same game with people who grew up in a different regions for example, then they might paint a palm tree instead of an indigenous tree. 

The next theme was about privileges that each of us have, but which we do not always appreciate and that we take for granted, for example clean water or that we are allowed to grow up in peace.

We went on to think about it in smaller groups. 

We noticed that there are still so many privileges that we don’t appreciate at all, but luckily we are still able to experience them every day.

We should always be aware of how good we have it and that a large part of the world’s population cannot experience these privileges!

We particularly noticed how many “invisible” privileges white people have, which people with a darker skin color do not always have, for example,  matching make-up, and or band-aids in the right skin tone.

After a 30-minute break, John Fluker joined us. He is the President and CEO of the German U.S.subsidiary “Grenzebach”. 

He is a black American and because of that, he was able to tell us so many stories about experiencing racism from his own life. We were very pleased that he took time for us, especially since he certainly has little time in such a management position in a large company.

He was really nice, answered all of our questions at the end and above all, he was very inspiring!

All in all, it was an exciting but also a long afternoon in which we were able to learn so much. We will especially try to be even more tolerant and open to other cultures in the future.

My Journey to Boston with the Federal President of Germany

The Federal President of Germany flew to Boston, USA to end the partnership year between Germany and the USA “wunderbar together”. (wunderbar = marvelously)

For this occasion, he wanted to have some apprentices who had recently made experiences in the USA themselves. So, he contacted the Joachim Herz Foundation and they suggested some of their alumni, after which Simone Mayer and I were selected by the Federal Presidential Office. Unfortunately she wasn’t allowed to fly, because of an organizational issue.

The trip was simply an unique experience, incredible impressions and really interesting conversations with inspiring personalities.

In front of the A321 of the german Luftwaffe

We flew in the “German Air Force One”, where I also spoke to the Federal President, in his private cabin on the plane, together with three other young people from the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Program.

He and his wife were incredibly approachable, down-to-earth and were really interested in what we had to say about our impressions and experiences in the United States, how we perceived the politics and the people there, and what we, especially me as an apprentice, had to say about the dual vocational system in Germany in comparison to the USA.

We started from the military airport in Berlin Tegel, on Wednesday, afternoon with an A321 of the “Luftwaffe”. It has been a very warm and hearty welcomeby everyone, and I wasn’t really the “industrial mechanic apprentice” for the trip, but rather part of the delegation – and I was treated this way. (Although everyone introduced themselves, what job they did and also named the reason why they were part of the trip)

Even before departure I met people who are otherwise just known from the media, such as the CEO of the Otto Group or the managing director of all the world’s Goethe Institutes.

With the Federal President of Germany, Mr. Steinmeier and his wife, Mrs. Büdenbender

“All passengers on board – boarding completed” and “Welcome Mr. Steinmeier and Mrs. Büdenbender, delegation and all fellow passengers, we wish you a pleasant flight to Boston, next stop: Iceland Rekjavik” – this was kind of how you were welcomed on the plane.

As we took off at 17:00 in Berlin I was pushed into the comfortable leather chairs of the spacious plane.

After the refueling stop and about 8 hours flighttime, we were greeted by a “Sea of Lights – Boston” and a column of vehicles, with black tinted windows and a large police presence which escorted us to the hotel.

Landing in Boston

Arrival and night at the 5 star InterContinental Hotel were really very pleasant and impressive.

The next day was marked by a number of appointments, where I had the honor to participate. The first day began with a discussion about “Populism & Polarisation – Challenges on both sides of the Atlantic” and a subsequentvisit to the residence of Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus.

In front of the residence of Walter Gropius

In the evening, the “Germany Year” was concluded and the “Goethe Institute Boston” was reopened. Furthermore the President has given a very good speech about the transatlantic relations between Germany and the USA, the long history that connects the two countries and that, despite all the daily “tweets and tirades”, he illustrated that he sees more unifying than separating things, so based on the motto ” wunderbar together”. 

He ended his speech by saying: “So: If we still believe in the great task of democracy, we should still believe in this transatlantic partnership.” – “I do.”  (“Frank-Walter Steinmeier”)

In the Boston Symphony Orchestra

The day ended with a visit at the “Boston Symphony Orchestra” with the “Leipziger Gewandhausorchester”.

The next day didn’t leave a gap in the calendar either, it began at “Harvard Law School”, with a discussion about “ethics in digitization”, which the Federal President had also conducted for the most part, which I really had been excited about.

The next item on the agenda also was a personal highlight, when I ate lunch with Mrs. Büdenbender and the initiators of the local group “Youth Lead the Change”.

The “YLC” initiative gives young adults between the age of 12 and 22 the decision-making power of what is done with $1 million a year in the municipal budget. 

This allows them to finance projects such as the renovation of playgrounds or the installation of solar cells on public buildings.

This was especially interesting for me because, because we had a subsequentconversation with Mrs. Büdenbender and her advisor to maybe initiate such a project in Germany.

After a company visit of the company “Merck Millipore” we were escorted back to the airport, from which we took off in the late afternoon. After a relaxed flight and another refueling stop in Iceland, we landed at 6:40 a.m., in Berlin, which looked still asleep in the darkness of the beginning day.  

Sometimes the journey apparently seemed like a dream, felt so long and yet so short, very far away and yet so close, so unrealistic and yet so real.

There is so much I take with me from this journey, let it be it the moments, the contacts or the impressions, from a world that had been unknown to me – til then.

A big thank you to the Joachim Herz Foundation, especially to Cornélie & Yulia!

Furthermore, to the Federal Presidential Office, my training company, Krones AG, as well as my vocational school in Bad Aibling.

Greetings, Martin 🙂

Exploring Boston

PS: Some dates I shortened a little or I even left some, otherwise it would have been too much😉

Last but not least..

It’s hard to believe, but now 10 incredible weeks have passed and we are home again, we had wonderful memories in our luggage and made many wonderful acquaintances. Savannah became for many of us a second home. The host companies are also significantly involved in this. I completed my internship at Coastal Logistics Group (CLG), which is a logistics services provider specializing in warehousing, project freight management, packaging, paper logistics and customized solutions. Already on my first day I was warmly welcomed in the company and the respective departments. I then started in sales and had the opportunity to independently create offers and actively contact customers. In my first week I also had the opportunity to accompany the General Manager to Charleston to inspect the office there. During my internship I was often allowed to go to Charleston and had the opportunity to compare the individual warehouses, which are a total of six. In my second week I was employed in customer service and had the opportunity to accept and organize orders on my own, which corresponds to the operational side. Thanks to my experience in rail logistics, I was able to quickly develop an understanding of how the individual transport chains work and where CLG is used. After the college week, which definitely strengthened my understanding of logistics management, I returned to customer service.

During this time I also had the opportunity to take over the billing processes for a major customer on my own and to take over the inventory for that customer. The mixture of office and warehouse was unknown to me for the time being, but I had a lot of fun, so I had the opportunity to accept the goods directly and have them distributed in the warehouse according to plan. After feeling secure in the role of customer service representative, I had the opportunity to take over the entire vacation replacement for a colleague for the rest of my time, which was incredible fun and gave me more confidence in this role. Colleagues became friends, which definitely made saying goodbye more difficult

Not only did I enjoy (even with tears) the farewell of my colleagues very much, but also that of my host family, which is now a second family for Louisa and me. Together we experienced so much and had a lot of fun. Our first trip went to the mountains to North Carolina, where we watched a football game, totally American! After further trips to Florida our host family celebrated an early Thanksgiving with the extended family in honor of us, so that we also had the complete American experience. A day full of food and fun with the family will definitely remain unforgettable for us. Not only that but also the American Halloween is incredibly exciting: costume competitions in the office, tons of sweets and unusual decorations made the whole of October exciting. On the 1st of November all started with Christmas fever, everywhere played Christmas music and the suitable decoration let you almost forget Fall/October completely.

Besides work, we also tried to do some things during the week, besides some sports events, Antonia and I spontaneously went to Hilton Head Island several times. Hilton Head Island is one hour away from Savannah and a kind of Sylt of South Carolina, where the rich and beautiful meet and two German interns mingled. Beautiful sunsets and fun dinners made this place unforgettable for us.

In my last week I had the chance to visit for the last time in Charleston, where also a Thanksgiving lunch took place. I was allowed to handle the 2 hour drive with the jeep of my boss, who sat relatively relaxed in the passenger seat.

On my last day, at the request of management, I gave a presentation about my internship, my German training company and my experiences and differences to Germany. My initial nervousness was totally unjustified because the management team was completely satisfied and quote “impressed by me”! Which makes me extremely proud when you consider that, with almost two years of professional experience, I definitely have more experience than some here do: high regards for the German dual education system. After my presentation I went straight to my desk again. A short time later while making a stop in the warehouse, I got the call that I should come quickly back to the office: All my colleagues stood in the conference room with a cake and a small present and wanted to say goodbye to me!

Saturday at 08:00 o’clock in the morning we were directly dropped off at the airport, where our flight to Atlanta left at 10:00 o’clock. After a tearful and emotional farewell we are finally got through the security check. The three following flights went by very fast, so that we were able to hug our parents in Hamburg at 11:00AM on Sunday. After the traditional German meal of my mother it was nice time to spend time with my family and friends and to acclimate until Wednesday before going back to work at my German company. Many thanks to the Joachim Herz Foundation and a big thank you to Iris Schultz, who made this adventure possible for us. Serena

Hilton Head Island (after work of course)
Last minutes at home before the departure to Atlanta

PS: There is nothing to feel from the jetlag.

My Internship at John S. James

Our big adventure is already coming to an end and I cannot believe how fast time flew by. We have learnt a lot, had new experiences and met wonderful people. We will take back a lot to Germany, not only knowledge but also new clothes… it turned out that you can shop here even better than everybody said, especially in the Tanger Outlet in Pooler were we stopped by more than one time.

In our free time we explored the environment and bought some souvenirs. At work meanwhile, we learnt a lot new stuff.

I had my internship at John S. James Co., a forwarding agency and customs broker. I visited three different departments, Account Executive, Imports and Exports. The Account Executive Department is the middle part between the rates and the Sales Department and communicates with customers, solves problems and sends rate offers to customers. It was super interesting for me to be in this department, I learnt incredibly much and had very interesting conversations with my supervisor. In addition to that, I had my own project which was called ramp project. I created a huge excel sheet where all rail ramps of the US were listed and I contacted different steam ship lines to find out which rail ramp terminal they call on in which city. For example, Chicago has 13 different terminals, so it makes a differences in the rate for the on-carriage where the container is unloaded from the rail. Because of this project I improved my English, I discussed possible solutions with my supervisor and I got a better overview of the various States in the US.

My second department was Imports and I learnt here how to create ISF filings. This was interesting to see because we had it in school in Germany so I could connect my knowledge. ISF means Importer Security Filing and it is a document which is transmitted automatically to customs. In this document details like consignee, shipper, goods content, weight etc. are disclosed and filed.

I also learnt a lot about foreign trade zones because some employees manage them for a huge automobile manufacturer. A foreign trade zone is an area in the US where big companies are allowed to get parts in without customs clearance when they manufacture them in the foreign trade zone and bring them out again. I did not know this method, so it was really interesting for me to see. Another colleague showed me how to write the bills for a different big automobile manufacturer and I assisted him with this.

In between there were interesting events like the monthly customs broker meetings or the visit at a consolidating truck company. In addition to that I drove with my supervisor from the Account Executive department to the Charleston office and I got to know the other colleagues there.

My last department was Export and I did similar things here as I do in Germany, like writing bills of ladings or process billing. 

In my host family I felt very comfortable from the beginning. My host parents integrated me directly and the children felt like little siblings to me. We went together on trips, celebrated Halloween and decorated for Christmas. We were also in the mountains in Georgia on the weekend where we hiked and saw waterfalls. 

Luckily my host mum cooked very healthy all day but that is mostly not the case here and I appreciated it a lot.

Besides local trips, I visited Miami, New York and North Carolina and every area was completely different and I saw a lot. You are also able to do a lot in the surrounding areas of Savannah and the low country, we visited some beaches like Jekyll Island, Hilton Head and St. Simon’s. All these beaches are just one hour with the car from Savannah. 

I noticed that I am really flexible in Germany with the public transportation, especially in the bigger cities. In the US it is not so easy to move without a car except in the big cities like New York. I drove 45 minutes to work with my host mom every day by car so it was complicated to do something after work on my own. When there was something after work I wanted to do we took both cars to work, which is really weird for me in Germany because I normally just travel by train there. 

As you can see there are many differences that I had to overcome, like the food or the car dependence, but regardless I soon felt very comfortable and would stay longer if I could. It is clear for me that I will come back next year to visit my host family. 

In general, it was a great internship where I learnt a lot and met nice people! I also learnt a lot about myself, even if I never thought that this “self-finding abroad” is true.

I can just recommend to do this if you have the possibility!

Dornier MedTech USA, Kennesaw

Kidney stones, lasers and shock waves

Meanwhile it can be said that I have found my way into American life very well and that I continue to enjoy my Internship at Dornier MedTech.

This week I was able to attend the Town Hall Meeting and listen to interesting presentations from the different departments. Afterwards, individual employees were honored for their outstanding performance throughout the year. A practice that I wasn’t familiar with and that speaks for a very good American corporate culture.

My own cubicle

One of my initial tasks was the general improvement of the workflow in the warehouse using Lean methods. The warehouse stores everything from spare parts for Dornier products to finished machines for medical applications. For problems with kidney stones, Dornier offers technically interesting solutions, in which either the kidney stones are shot with a laser or are destroyed completely externally by shock waves.

A Dornier Delta III lithotripter

A challenge for the Dornier logistics team and warehouse is to cope with growing production and stock and to make full use of the available capacities.

In other words. we need more space. In order to create more space, we considered dividing the warehouse into storage zones according to item size and consolidate the items as much as possible. In this way we have already succeeded in opening up 15% of the storage area used. It is then planned to replace the empty shelving racks with larger pallet racks.

I hope that we will be able to make a lot more progress with this project in my short remaining time.

contemplating on how to move forward
progress through consolidation

I have also gained valuable experience in handling databases and various software. These include the ERP software Cloudsuite Industrial and Microsoft Power BI.

In the incoming goods receiving process I saw possibilities for improvement and was commissioned to present the current process in a flowchart and compare it with the suggested improvement. We hope that this will save us up to 30% time when receiving in goods.

See Rock City

This weekend was especially exciting for me when I went to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I had told my host family that Hamburg and its surroundings are rather flat and that is why i would like to see mountains and the countryside here.

Ruby Falls and Rock City Garden on Lookout Mountain come especially in mind for that.

Ruby Falls is a cave system with an underground waterfall located at the end. First we with an elevator about 1100 feet under the earth’s surface and after about half an hour of cave exploring we finally arrived at the waterfall. The waterfall was named after the wife of its discoverer – Ruby

host father Mike and me in front of Ruby Falls

Afterwards we continued on Lookout Mountain to Rock City from where you can see seven surrounding states. These two attractions were known by the numerous barn advertisements along the roads of Interstate 75 near Chattanooga. Nowadays these have been replaced by billboards.

Barn with “See Rock City” advertisement
Mike and me in front of “Lovers Leap”

I had a wonderful time and would like to thank my host family in particular, who do everything they can to ensure that I have an unforgettable experience here in The USA.

I hope that everything keeps going so well until the end and that I can take even more great experiences home with me.

Many greetings and see you soon,


My internship – same company – different country

Now the longest time of my internship is over and the departure is getting closer and closer. I have the luck to do my internship at Expeditors International, because I also do my apprenticeship there – only in Hamburg. The company was founded in 1979 in Seattle and operates worldwide.

Since the beginning, I have been able to gather so much experience, both privately and professionally. My company takes a lot of time to show me how logistics works and is managed in America. For example, I received my own project and was generally allowed to work independently.

My view from the office

Many people from my company have never heard of our training system and were very interested in it. The people here are all much more open-minded than in Germany. So I often went to lunch with my colleagues and had interesting conversations. I was also involved in team events, such as an escape room event.

On Halloween the whole team dressed up in the company and a costume competition took place. It was quite interesting to spend Halloween here and get to know their traditions.

Marco, Me, Samantha, KC, Cobey, Stephanie, Nicollette, Calley

In the week from 07.10. to 11.10. , the whole trainee group was at Georgia Tech University. This was also very informative and instructive. Our teacher G’Sean made the lessons very interesting. On the last day we were all able to leave the course with our certificates. This expanded our theoretical knowledge before we worked in the companies again afterwards.

In my spare time, I do a lot of things in this area. For example, I was at the Pirate Fest on Tybee-Island or the Fort Pulaski National Park. Otherwise I experience many typical American activities, such as football games. I am especially looking forward to the upcoming trip to Orlando to Universal Studios and Disneyland.

I am very happy and grateful to be able to experience this adventure and I will never forget this time. Many thanks to the Joachim Herz Foundation, which made this possible at all!

I’m looking forward to the last three weeks here in Savannah and am curious to see what else I can experience.

Many greetings from the sunny Savannah,


Time is running …. Unfortunately!

After five successful weeks in America there isn’t anything to complain about for me!
I enjoy every day and try to gain as many experiences as possible in my office but also in my free time.

Fortunately I am allowed to work at Hapag-Lloyd USA because they take care of me and my progress very well.
After a very warm welcome, I started in the Sales Steering Team and I was quickly integrated into the daily working routine.

After completing some online courses, which gave me a good overview about the company and the shipping business, I am working with forecasts from major customers, looking if there is enough space on the vessels for their shipment with Hapag-Lloyds own software, having customer conversations and being a part of important meetings.

I’m busy around the clock, but not overwhelmed. I really enjoy every moment and have lots of fun while working and with my nice colleagues from Hapag-Lloyd. 

Stuart Sandlin, Vice Prestident Hapag-Lloyd USA LCC., and me

I am also very satisfied with my host family. They have two little children. Nevertheless, they take good care of me. I even got a car from them, which is necessary, because public transportation in Kennesaw is limited.

Most evenings during the week I go to the gym of the Kennesaw State University, where I am able to establish some contacts. Trips and other leisure activities I do with other internationals exchange students and Americans that I got to know over time.

The time in Savannah was also very good. The class at the Georgia Institute of Technology about Supply Chain Management was informative and the knowledge I gained will help me in my future career as well. The city of Savannah provided a lot of opportunities for sightseeing and the port tour was providing me with a great insight of their operations and how it compares to the port of Hamburg.

I am very excited about the next following weeks!


Hard to believe but half of the time is already over and we gathered so many impressions!

The week of college at Georgia Tech was very interesting: we got to know many new topics and processes which could be very helpful in our future. Even if it was hard sometimes to understand everything we had a lot of fun because of interactive methods which brightened up the week.

Moreover I am at Norton Lilly International for my internship since already 3 weeks. The shipping company in a small office with only 9 employees had a very warm welcome for me, it rules a very nice and funny working atmosphere.

During the first days they showed me all systems and I gained my own accesses so I can work with those by my own in the next weeks. As I helped explaining shipping terms to another new colleague in the accounting department in the first week, I finally got my own tasks in the second week: I prepared the files for the vessels, created new port calls in the system and edited custom documents.

The highlights of the week are always again the visits of the vessels. 3 times I went to the port, through a different and also a little more strict gate control to the vessels. On board we made the incoming or outgoing clearance for the vessels, exchanged documents and answered last questions about the port stay or the next voyage (funfact: one of the captains was German).

Next to all this work we enjoy the beautiful weather, make trips to the nice beaches and to the great cities, watch football games and lots of more. To summarize it: we try to gain a lot of new experiences and to discover and get to know the life of America.

Let’s have 5 more interesting weeks!