Not a typical intern report: 

Lessons learned!

Read about how our employees experience working at the #AllianzGDF. This time from the perspective of one of our interns: Tatjana, a student from Boston. Take a look behind the scenes and get some real-life insights.

At the Allianz Global Digital Factory, we build engaging customer experiences to digitize and strengthen customer ties. And as a global player we are always on the run searching for new talents, ambitious and excited about digitization. 

Tatjana is one of them. During the last months, she did an internship with us to get to known to how we work and we are pleased to share her view on how she experienced her time with us. 

About Tatjana:

  • Age: 21
  • Profession: Bachelor Student
  • Linkedin Profile
  • Position in the GDF: Intern in the Product Design & Optimization Team
  • Tasks in the GDF: Support UX/UI, Marketing, Analytics
So, let's see how Tatjana experienced her time with us: 

Let me start with some context. My name is Tatiana Traulsen, I am 21 years old and in the last year of my bachelors at Babson College in Boston studying business management with a concentration in marketing.  

Digitalization is attractive, it’s “trending”, it’s the years-long overused buzzword. But let’s be real here, as much as it becomes a burden to hear it on repeat, it really is simply referring to an accurate description of today’s business landscape. And as a marketing-student, understanding the business landscape is step 1.  

Mid-March, as I was on the phone with my soon-to-be colleagues discussing the internship, I heard the too-often repeated buzzwords (Agile, UX, apps, customer journeys, ideation), and thought to myself “This is the perfect fit, I can finally get a better understanding of what lies behind all this buzz.” End of May I began my internship in the Product Design and Optimization Team.  

Fortunately for me, the GDF doesn’t just speak those buzzwords, they walk the talk. 

As I reflect, the GDF was the right place to come to. As someone who only envisioned herself in tangible product industries, I was challenged to not only become familiar with the insurance industry, but also to understand a familiar but previously-unknown digital landscape. I don’t mean the one I use on the daily basis, I mean the behind the curtains landscape, the "why it works" when I use it landscape, the process behind every button, the team effort necessary to turn something from a simple idea, to a not so simply implemented and successful digital asset.  

*Note to “millennials”: we don’t understand digitalization as much as we think we do. Get learning.  

Before the end of my internship and my return to Boston for my last semester, I wanted to share with you more about my experience here. Tasks I took on ranged from performance monitoring and designing visual communication material, to creating a sales-deck. I won’t bore you with a beautifully written and detailed list of tasks that I took under my umbrella as an intern.  Instead, here’s a list of some of the many important lessons I learned thanks to my time at the GDF.  

  • It’s time for marketers to learn technical basics. A small IT infrastructure and coding knowledge can bring marketers an underestimated competitive advantage. The digital marketing expertise of search engine crawling, UX importance or appropriately implemented analytics requires much more than just marketing theory. 

  • Keep it simple and be attentive to detail. Because consumers only demand easy and familiar. Do not let the big picture, or “big new feature” cloud the small but vital functional details that won’t be overlooked by consumers.  

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Whether you have 10 or 100 colleagues, someone is likely to have started working on something you need. Why double up the work? Don’t be afraid to ask around. Willingly share helpful resources the way the GDFs Digital Asset Library (*link to blogpost abt DAL*) shares digital in-house solutions for reusability.  

  • Don’t forget about marketing. Sounds obvious... but is often forgotten. What’s the purpose of developing a great digital asset if no one knows about it? 

  • Don’t fear sharing your opinion, especially as an intern. “Cluelessness” makes you valuable, because if you as an employee don’t understand something, how will the customer? 

  • Never refuse a task because “you don’t have the skillsets for that”. Nobody comes equipped with all the skillsets, there’s always room for growth, and much more than you can imagine. So, don’t say no because you don’t know, instead, be proud to say you will learn how to. Challenge yourself because the best way to learn is by doing.  

  • Buzzwords are buzzwords for a reason. But don’t be the one who uses the buzzwords, be the one who understand and explains them.  

  • No matter how big a company is, there is no excuse for digital disruption. Everyone should proactively embrace change. 

And many more I'd like to add... (but hey, this is a blog post, so "let’s keep it short and concise”) 

Finally, thank you to everyone at the GDF who mentored me and made my internship such a great experience that has undoubtedly taught me a huge deal about digitalization in the service industry and the skillsets I didn’t know I needed. The GDF is truly a place that will make you feel welcome, valuable and appreciated, even when you’re “just an intern”.  

Dear Tatjana, it has been a pleasure having you with us! You have been a wonderful addition to our team and a great support for the GDF. Thank you very much for your great work and all the best for your future!
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