An acount from Maple Grove
Muriel is currently doing an internship at ZEISS as part of her degree and is spending a semester abroad at Industrial Metrology in Minneapolis, USA. She’ll be keeping you up to date during her time there.
Hi, my name is Muriel and I began my studies at ZEISS in October 2015 in the field of Marketing, Media and Communications. As part of my degree, I got the chance to complete a semester abroad in Maple Grove, near Minneapolis, from October through December 2017. Over the next few weeks I’ll be providing you with regular updates about my work and of course about my experiences and impressions here in the US. I can’t wait for all the new and exciting experiences that are in store for me!
Before I could begin my journey, there were a few things I had to do, but ZEISS was a great help. My job, accommodation and flight were all taken care of for me. All I had to do was get a visa and make sure I had international health insurance.
On 30 September, the adventure began! Early that morning, I boarded a flight with my fellow student Alena from Stuttgart and we traveled to Minneapolis via Amsterdam. Once we landed in the US, we were picked up by another intern and taken to our new home in Plymouth. We’re staying with a very nice host family just a mile away from the ZEISS site in Maple Grove. Our hosts James and Amy were very open and welcoming from the word go, which made our first few days much easier.
The area is very nice, it’s exactly how you’d imagine a small town in America. Everything is much bigger than it is in Germany: from the streets, which are almost always wide and have multiple lanes, to the cars that would be hard pushed to find a parking space in Germany. There are a lot of restaurants, bars and stores here, and they’re usually all in one place, which is super handy! The houses we’re staying at are also a lot bigger than we’re used to. But at the same time, you still feel like you’re away from it all – it’s very different from city life, that’s for sure. Every house has a yard, and there’s even a lake behind our house – that’s pretty much the norm here in Minnesota (the land of 10,000 lakes).
After a free day to beat the jetlag and have a meal to get to know the other intern, we headed to work on Monday. The office is a bit different here than it is back in Germany: it’s big but is spread across just one floor. Half the space is dedicated to Production, where the coordinate measuring machines are assembled. The rest of the building is taken up by offices, or open-plan offices, which is normal here. Each area is separated by low walls, or “cubes.” Here in the department, there are so many of us that our team has a large cube for itself. I work in Marketing and will be assisting my new colleagues, as well as looking after a project in collaboration with our colleagues in Germany.
In my next report, I’ll be telling you more about my work here, and of course about what we do when we’re not at the office.
See you soon!