My co-participant, Travis Thompson, recently blogged about an unexpected interest he received recently from BMW about possibly offering him an internship. Problem is, the internship would be in Munich and Travis has already been placed in the state of Hessen, a several-hour train ride away. Currently Travis is e-mailing the American coordinator to see if it might be possible to change his placement. This is unlikely due to the fact that CBYX imposed a deadline of May 1 for any participant to submit a written job offer from a German employer in order to allow enough time to find housing near the job. I can empathize with Travis because I went through a similar situation a month and a half ago. While I was in Romania, I received an e-mail from someone at Roche asking me if I was interested in a job at their facility in Mannheim. I replied in the affirmative, but informed them that I might not be able to accept because at the time I did not know where I would be placed in Germany (turns out now that I'm placed on the other side of the country). I e-mailed the CBYX coordinator about it, and he told me that I could send him a job offer but it was probably too late to do anything about it.
Travis' and my predicament slightly frustrates me for several reasons:
- Considering applicants are only informed of their acceptance around the first of March, it is difficult to provide a detailed written job offer by May 1, especially when cold-calling is the starting point.
- Even when interest in offering a job is expressed (such as with Travis and me), it is difficult to get a written job offer when you tell them your acceptance would be contingent on your placement. Roche was initially enthusiastic, but that sentiment died quite quickly when I explained my predicament.
- Securing an internship is the most difficult aspect of the trip for most people; thus, when participants seem to have a good chance of securing a meaningful internship more flexibility could be exercised, especially given that the internship doesn't even begin until February of next year.
I'm sure there are good reasons for the deadline and constraints on CBYX that I am not aware of, and we were told at the interview that the focus of the program was not on finding a great internship with which to pad one's résumé. Nonetheless, having a golden opportunity slip through your fingers is frustrating.