Hana Salihodzic studied IT in Salzburg and is currently taking a Master’s degree in Media Informatics in Vienna. As part of the High Potential Programme at TU Wien, the Technical University of Vienna, she completed a two-month internship at Porsche Informatik – and instantly won over our colleagues with her openness, eagerness to learn and straightforward manner. Here Michaela Alker interviews her “best intern in the world”.
Michaela: Hana, why did you apply for an internship at Porsche Informatik?
Hana: The Porsche Informatik job description covered precisely the subject matter of interest to me. I wanted to gain experience in the field of “user experience”, because this was a perfect match for my field of study. At the job interview, I quickly realised that I wanted to work at Porsche Informatik – if I got the OK from them.
I spent my previous internships at Red Bull and Servus TV and now I wanted to see something different, gather new experiences and find out how other large corporations tick and operate.
How did you like the interview?
It was very pleasant, friendly and open. I particularly liked the fact that we were immediately on first name terms, and I was told that everyone addresses each other informally at Porsche Informatik, even the directors. I found that great. I felt a sense of warmth, friendliness and strong motivation in the interview and it was fun as well. Everything was explained to me, I felt comfortable right away and knew immediately: If I get an offer, the decision will be very easy for me! 🙂
Thank you very much for the compliment! The interview was also very enjoyable for my colleagues and me. You made a very likeable impression, and I immediately felt that you were the right person for the post.
To be honest, you came to us during a period of upheaval, full of new challenges. Phase 2 of our Digital Workplace project had just started and we all had to first get our bearings and adapt to the new way of working together. The MoC (Management of Change) Team that you belonged to here had also only just been established. How did it feel to you?
(laughs) From the very beginning, it was fascinating and well-organised. I was amazed at the scale of the project: In the final conversion phase, over 30,000 users in 27 countries will be working on the new Digital Workplace!
I found it particularly cool that, from day one, I was part of the team and fully integrated with my own area of responsibility. As an intern, you are normally given tasks that nobody else wants to take on. But here my remit was to support the project from a communication perspective. This was a big challenge, but just the job for me, to be given so much responsibility. It was also awesome that I could make suggestions that were then implemented.
Something else I noticed in this project: Never before had I seen employees being offered so much support and assistance when converting to new systems. It was tremendous how everyone in the teams endeavoured to ensure that everything fitted the bill for users and worked well. That was simply astounding.
What were your first general impressions of Porsche Informatik?
As I said before, being on first name terms with everyone was really pleasant. Being there for each other, even when everyone is under enormous stress and pressure. All my colleagues were always friendly and helpful – I was never rebuffed or brushed off. I just received excellent support. I never had the feeling that I was a burden. Quite the contrary, I was fully involved and challenged in the positive sense. In addition, I had the opportunity to contribute in many areas of the project.
It was also awesome to collaborate directly with external companies and agencies – that was a thrilling experience. And the lunch menus were so tasty!
Is there anything that you liked in particular?
The friendly interaction with my “superior” was really great. I felt very well cared for – excellent teamwork I would say!
Thank you very much, Hana. I’ll “pass that on”. 😉
Did you experience anything that you didn’t like or wasn’t so positive?
No. Despite really intensive consideration, I can’t think of anything negative at all!
Thank you, that’s good to know and will definitely motivate other interns as well.
Would you recommend an internship at Porsche Informatik to other students?
Yes, definitely! In the IT field, I think it’s really important to get to see things from the users’ perspective as well. To learn how to give them good support, how to deal with them and how to keep them satisfied. If you don’t have any customer contact then you can’t understand the customer’s needs. Knowing how to deal with users is important for the acceptance of a new development. Evaluating design decisions with user groups is therefore vital for the success of a good project or product. Only if you have seen the user’s side can you really develop something purposefully. A great deal can be learned in this field at Porsche Informatik.
I can only agree with you on that. The customer perspective, understanding the customers is unbelievably important for successful projects.
To what extent can you use the experience gained at Porsche Informatik in your studies?
The different options that we offered the users, and also how to communicate with customers in general, how to reach out to the users correctly in order to develop systems that are a perfect fit for the users and with which they are also happy to work – all these things I learned about here in project teamwork.
In my case, it was a new IT portal for the Digital Workplace that I was working on. The IT portal was established to make the many new pieces of information available quickly and easily to users. One of my contributions was to prepare several user guidelines for this.
Is there anything else that you would like to say to us at Porsche Informatik?
Thank you for the instructive, fun and interesting time! Thank you for the experience that I gained. It was great that I could play a part in such a large project.