My name is Laura Kortenbruck. I’m 23 years old and in the second year of my dual work-study programme at Hamburg Süd. I’m currently in the process of writing my bachelor’s thesis.
After finishing high school, why did you opt for the dual work-study programme at Hamburg Süd?
After graduating from high school in Germany, I wanted to study, but I also wanted to be able to solidify and directly apply the theoretical knowledge in practice. The dual work-study curriculum at the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA) combines practice-oriented studies with training at a partner company at the same time. I was immediately excited about that. As an international container shipping company, Hamburg Süd attracted my attention because it continuously trains its staff and gives the apprentices lots of insights into various departments.
Has the programme lived up to your expectations? What do you especially like about it?
I have found all the departments that I’ve rotated through so far interesting and educational. I especially liked the Corporate Communications and Business Finance Partnering departments, where I was able to contribute my own ideas and process tasks independently.
Can you give us a few examples of what you’ve learned over the last year?
This year, I attended the “Project Management” module at the HSBA. That provided a very good theoretical foundation on the topic. During the subsequent project, which we worked on in teams, I was able to directly apply the things I had learned. We developed a concept for a master’s degree programme in cooperation with companies. During the process, I discovered that theory and practice often don’t go hand in hand. I really enjoy working as part of a team, but it’s also demanding and time-consuming.
Has there been a moment or experience in which you went beyond what you thought you could do?
That was without a doubt during my semester abroad in Mexico. For five months, I lived in a country in which I didn’t speak the language at the beginning and where many people don’t speak English. During my stay, in addition to significantly improving my Spanish, I also learned how to integrate into another culture. This also involved staying calm and exercising patience, such as when “mañana” (meaning “tomorrow”) doesn’t really mean tomorrow but can also mean in three weeks’ time. As a result of these experiences, I now feel confident that I could live and work in another culture. Being open to the world and curious about other countries and cultures are essential traits for working in an international company like Hamburg Süd.
Do you have any tips for students who are interested in, but might still be uncertain about this kind of training?
Hamburg Süd offers a range of internships that provide good initial insight into working life. You can get information at various career fairs, such as the Hanseatische Lehrstellenbörse. There are always apprentices and trainers from Hamburg Süd at our trade fair booth who can answer any questions you might have in person.