It will be his first internship, but it’s one most second-year students can only dream of. Nils Kornder, a German bachelor’s student of International Business, won the MLP Join the Best competition and will fly to Shanghai this June, for a 2.5 month internship at the Jilin Investment Group.
Together with Fuchs&Klemm (a high-potential knowledge network), every year MLP (a large German financial services company) organises the Join the Best competition for German students. The first round is held in different German cities and, this winter – for the first time – also in Maastricht. A couple of thousand students were vying to get to the next round: an intensive Assessment Centre for two days in Heidelberg. Among the 300 who succeeded were nine UM students. Now, the 16 best have been given the opportunity to go abroad for an all-expenses-paid internship.
“Join the Best provides opportunities which are not available otherwise”, explains Kornder (21). “I don’t have the network. I haven’t even done an internship before and so it’s very difficult to get a chance at bigger companies.”
The two days in Heidelberg where “the most fantastic days I’ve ever had. I got to know really interesting and cool people from all over Germany. The 300 students were divided into groups; a KPMG group, Price Waterhouse group, etc. It depended on your preferences. I was put in the 16th group: the MLP world group, which was specially for students who didn’t fit in the company groups but were too good to be sent home. Fuchs&Klemm did our assessment.”
Kornder presented himself in two minutes, took a knowledge test, and had to work in a group. On the second day – when only nine participants were left – there was an open interview with “really nice questions. They asked the girls ‘which one of these guys would you marry?’ Others had to answer the question: Who would you take a trip with for a couple of weeks?”
At the end of the day it was Kornder who won the scholarship from his group. His communications skills, his teamwork, his curiosity and his personality were the deciding factors. “They’re paying for my trip to Shanghai, the accommodation, pocket money, insurance.” Why Shanghai? “I’ve already been to Thailand and want to see China. And since I’m into finance and numbers [he’s a quantitative methods tutor –ed.] Jilin Investment Group is a good choice.”
He’s happy with his scholarship but “equally valuable is Fuchs&Klemm’s network. I’ve now got my foot in the door and that will give me a lot of opportunities in the future”.