A portuguese Student at voestalpine Steel Division 4 minutes spent reading
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A portuguese Student at voestalpine Steel Division

Christopher Eberl
Holds editorial responsibility for career topics and for the apprentice website. His stories offer insights into the world of work at voestalpine.

voestalpine Steel Division welcomed this year Matilde, a student from Portugal, who did a practical training for one month. Read here about her experiences in Austria and of course voestalpine Steel Division.

My name is Matilde, I am 21 years old and I come from Lisbon, Portugal. I finished my Bachelor in Industrial Engineering and Management at Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon) this year and will start my Master’s in October. I had the great opportunity to do an internship abroad this summer and I was very lucky to get a place at voestalpine Stahl in Linz and to live in Austria for a little more than one month.

A portuguese Student at voestalpine Steel DivisionI arrived in Linz almost four weeks ago and I can already say that I am going to remember this as one of the best months of my life and as an incredible experience on both professional and personal levels. Starting with the internship, I love every part of it. In the past weeks, I was not only provided with plenty of information and knowledge by experienced people, but I also contributed to voestalpine by doing some tasks. I started by getting an overview of voestalpine Group in the first week and went on exciting field trips – to the steel plant, the casting and hot rolling mills – in the wide area where voestalpine industry runs its operation in Linz. Since then, I have been hopping from one department to another in order to be immersed in different environments and to get to know as many processes and business practices as possible. I have been in 3 out of 4 purchasing department sections and in the communication department, too. I have used my Portuguese language knowledge as an advantage for voestalpine by doing research for new suppliers in Brazil, and I am currently doing some translations for the voestalpine website, corporate blog and Wikipedia page, since there are a lot of Brazilian workers in the voestalpine Group.
The workers I have met and worked with at voestalpine are all very nice and from the very beginning, they made me feel like I belonged to them. Since I do not speak German, they all made an effort to talk in English all the time so that I understood everything. Two weeks ago, a whole department with over 20 people had a meeting in English just because of me. And it is not only the people from voestalpine who are nice and attentive; it is a common and traditional custom in Linz.
Besides the great people I have met here, one of the things I will also miss after starting working in Portugal is the daily schedule in Austria. The working day starts about 2 hours earlier than in Portugal and therefore also ends earlier in the afternoon. I appreciate it very much, because after work you still have time to enjoy the sun, to hang out with friends or to go for a run, and you still make it home during the day and go to bed early feeling like you had a really full day. Apart from work: this city and this country are better than I ever imagined, regarding the amount of interesting places and activities you can do in your leisure time. Starting with Linz, I think it is a really beautiful city. I like its ‘industrial city disguised by culture’ atmosphere. I visited all of its main attractions, was fortunate to be here during ‘Höhenrausch 3 – The Art of Towers’, and I may be able to attend the Holi Open Air Festival of Colors. Austria is a marvelous country in every aspect: the landscape is just amazing with all the mountains, extensive green fields and the cutest houses embellished with colorful flowers. I have been exploring Upper Austria during the weekends, visiting the lakes on hot summer days ─ a really nice, beautiful experience so different from the sandy beaches and cold agitated sea I am used to back home; I also went trekking and climbing in Gosau and Ramsau on the Dachstein and tried rafting in the Salzach. I had some of the best days of my life and enjoyed the most breathtaking views.

A portuguese Student at voestalpine Steel DivisionFor me, experiencing a different culture, stepping out of the box and questioning your beliefs are the main goals of visiting a foreign country ─ either in the holidays or, as in this case, as part of a professional experience. Having done this, I believe I am leaving Austria with a bagful of new acquirements and broadened horizons ─ a great and invigorating contribution to my continuous journey towards becoming a better human being and, more importantly, a more evolved world citizen.

Christopher Eberl

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