Lot Hangula Shikesho
Bank Julius Baer
Student in Economics
Namibia University of Science and Technology
August 01 - October 31, 2017
My working experience
It has been a long journey to Switzerland since the first day I saw flyers on the university campus. There have been mixed feelings involved but finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel. When I finally knew that I was going to Bank Julius Baer, I was overwhelmed about the news, more so because this was going to be a lifetime changing opportunity. I knew that this internship would provide steps closer to materializing my dreams. Therefore, I was looking forward to new challenges I would encounter and the adventurous experience that would be life lasting.
Bank Julius Baer Academy team is far better than any other team I ever worked with. At the beginning, I struggled to get into the team’s chemistry, but I had to pick up pace fast and find the rhyme to be on the same page as the team. Working with everyone made me realize how essential it is to have team work, cooperation, passion and a will to work and deliver quality services for our clients. I had a lot of opportunities to work on different things during the internship, among those are quality assurance, creating reports and my key contribution was on financial management. Overall, it was not only about sitting in front of a computer for hours, but another aspect of professionalism acquired via the internship at Julius Baer is having learnt how to be extra careful with business documents. Furthermore, key management skills were gained courtesy of a life learning opportunity on the agile course completed during the internship. I would love to thank my team for blocking up their time to show me guidance, for their patience and unconditional support during my stay at the Bank. The investment you had all put in me will forever be appreciated and put into practice.
My Swiss hosts
We received a warm welcome from the B360 team at the airport. I was fortunate that my first host family (Markus & Jasmine) stayed closer to the airport and they came to pick me up. I was puzzled about the side the car was driven, at one moment I thought we would crash. We visited several places together, such as the Rheinfall, which was extraordinary. Thanks to Jasmine and Markus, my fear of being in the forest is gone. Living with them was absolutely fantastic.
Days flew so fast and before I knew it, I was with the Fischer family. Though things in Switzerland were totally different from what we have back home, I felt at home every single day. They made me understand why Switzerland is known as the Heaven on earth. I had a sublime time with the family. We did a lot of activities together, such as mountain hiking, rope climbing was one of the highlights as well. I was fortunate to meet other members of the family and we had a great time all together. Other than that I was taken to a beautiful castle and to more other places. I saw the International Space Station which is rare in Africa. Watching and playing football with the boys was magical and every moment was appreciated. Aside from activities with my family I did explore several cities in the country. I got to experience the Street Parade in Zürich, festivals in Zug and in Baden, which will only occur after 10 years. All in all, my stay with both families was brilliant. Thank you for everything.
Highlights and challenges in Switzerland
The challenges faced during my stay in Switzerland were having to integrate into their way of living. At work the biggest problem I had was on Excel, but I will leave Switzerland with a smile on my face knowing that the challenges have been overcome. The greatest highlight of my stay in Switzerland is that I learnt a lot of things at home and at the office as well. Among those are cooperation, commitment to our tasks, working in a team, playing new games and many more. I enjoyed the visits to different areas of the country and their culture. I will never forget that I celebrated my birthday in Switzerland. Another highlight is the leadership skills acquired during the internship.
My future plans
Back home, the country is experiencing a bit of recession and the job market is tight. Therefore, my future plans are to invent a service business. Aside from that, the current short-term future plan is to graduate and of course to get a job especially now that I’m full charged with the experience from Julius Baer.
To those that will be coming here in the future: please don’t limit yourself. Try out as much as you can. Live for the moment in a wise way. I would like to thank my host families, B360 and Bank Julius Baer for your devoted time and giving me this priceless opportunity. Thank you so much, the investment you have made in me will be life lasting and I will use it to make an impact in Namibia.