Nikolas’ internship recount

the student from Germany talks about his time at NILAM

My name is Nikolas Sonnenkalb, I live in Paderborn and am studying for a masters degree in “Interdisciplinary Media Studies” at the University of Bielefeld. I did my undergraduate studies in “Multimedia Production” at the University of Applied Sciences in Kiel – on the subjects taught there I was able to build up well in Bielefeld. The curriculum of this course of studies includes an internship with a minimum duration of six weeks, which I was offered to pass at the organisation NILAM. I came to know about this organisation through the Career Service of the University of Bielefeld. A list of companies can be found there which, among other things, provide internship opportunities.

Since my CV has so far been influenced by advertising, design, media and technology, I was struck by the internship offer titled “Intern video technology and media design”. A closer look at the job description further increased my interest, since the tasks also listed “postproduction of source videos, design of print materials and digital advertising elements, image selection and retouching”. Thanks to my school education in design at the technical college, my vocational training as an advertising technician and my bachelor’s degree in “Multimedia Production”, I was able to make these areas my own for years. Even in my private life I am dedicated to these topics, so that I am now well equipped as far as hardware and software and the knowledge about them are concerned, in order to be able to create corresponding contents.

Nikolas Sonnenkalb from Paderborn

Against this background, I come to the expectations that NILAM places on his future interns in this capacity and which characterised my work. Here, the identification with topics such as sustainability and nature conservation can be mentioned, which also have been accompanying me for some time, as well as a passion for communication design and the associated experience with the Adobe Creative Suite.

Since the internship search in the media-producing field in Paderborn was a bit tough, the term “home office” made me sit up and take notice. Also for the reason that I am very interested in this kind of workplace and I have not been able to gain any significant experience in terms of home office, this internship has tickled my curiosity even more. I immediately wrote an email to the NILAM organisation expressing my interest in the internship and asking how the assignment would be arranged in the home office.

microphone und headphones (home office Nikolas)

Very swiftly I received an answer that this was possible, provided that the technical conditions are met. Connected with this, I was offered the opportunity to clarify details during a Skype conversation. Not much later, we spoke via Skype and agreed on the framework for a cooperation. It was agreed to a two-month collaboration, so I can also participate in extensive projects and still pursue my part-time job one day a week, which ensures my livelihood. Such a quick, uncomplicated and friendly first contact was not always granted to me, thus after the Skype interview I could look forward to two months internship at NILAM. A few days later it started!

The first day was mainly to get familiar with the organisational structures of NILAM, for which I was given access to the different accounts. So I had a look at the extensive database and read into the areas of action of NILAM. The following days were about working on the individual elements of the logo.

screenshots of NILAM’s logo

infographic agriculture

The refreshing thing about working at Nilam was that there were many tasks we worked on “parallel”. By that I mean that there was a change between the individual construction sites, so that for a time distance was taken from a project in order to devote oneself later to it from a new perspective. This approach has given rise to new views during the work process. Not only new otlooks on the processes were nurtures, but also the active protection from a certain software fatigue. For example, if you were tired of Adobe Illustrator after a few days, you did not have to wait long for a new job that you could edit with Adobe Premiere, or more text and image research was demanded. This procedure always gave me a pleasant change and many of the skills that I had learned in the course of my studies could be accessed equally over the two months.

Computer (home office Nikolas)

Adobe Premiere

As part of my internship at NILAM, I was able to acquire further knowledge in addition to the skills already learned. For example. the creation of various infographics made prior research work necessary, for example on methods of organic farming, in order to fill the graphic to be created with textual content. When I dealt with the video editing of interviews and other small sequences, which also had to be subtitled, I was able to recap the guidelines for subtitling and lower thirds and thus refresh my knowledge from the studies.

During the working day, I was always in active contact with the supervisor so that feedback and other arrangements could be made promptly. The communication was via email, WhatsApp, Skype and comments via GDrive, as the internship supervisor currently lives in India and is involved locally. With this IP-based communication, the distance from Paderborn to Madurai was not a hurdle and teamwork could be done on a daily basis, almost like sitting in an office room next door.

workplace (home office Nikolas)

audio interface (home office Nikolas)

The internship at NILAM was a great pleasure for me and provided deep insights into the culture of India, as well as the problems and opportunities of the country, which are e.g. connected with the local agriculture. Also, I am pleased to have made the experience of home office work and using my skills from the studies meaningful. With this in mind, I would highly recommend an internship at NILAM to anyone who enjoys creative activities and image processing, cultural exchanges, and is interested in sustainability and nature conservation.