Ndeshihafela Hangula

Zweifel Pomy-Chips AG

Student in Environmental Health Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology
August 01 - October 31, 2017

Im Moment nur in Englisch verfügbar.

Working at Zweifel – a unique opportunity

My internship at Zweifel was a life-changing and eye-opening opportunity. It enabled me to gain real-world experience and important Food Safety expertise as well as practical experience of laboratory work. Working in the Quality Assurance laboratory exposed me to various ways of ensuring that the quality of food is not compromised and that the food is fit for human consumption. I am certainly well informed about Food Hygiene and I understand a wider perspective of Food Safety. I will be able to apply the massive knowledge that I have acquired to the improvement of food industries in Namibia. I have also learned some computer skills such as Microsoft Outlook and Excel. The internship has also helped me to improve my communication skills. As a bonus, I have learnt a bit of German. This opportunity has had a great influence on my career development. It has made me more enthusiastic about food safety and has opened my eyes about the many working and study opportunities concerning Food Safety and Food Technology. Finally, it has enabled me to network and start planning the next steps to take in my career path.

Working in Switzerland with people of a different culture was an opportunity to get immersed on a deeper level in another culture. I was exposed to the Swiss people’s ways of doing things, their habits, attitudes and, most importantly, their lifestyles. It was really experiencing to see how other people work. It also helped to look at things from a different perspective. This has also taught me how to work with different people and how to be professional. Swiss people say thanks for every little thing. Every now and then you hear them saying, “Danke vielmal”. This is one of the good habits that I am taking home. It enhances a positive working environment. “Switzerland is a working land”, said one of my colleagues in response to my astonishment as I saw how committed all people were to their work. I have emulated the good example.

A dream team

With my mentors

Working in the Quality Assurance and Development department was a great experience. I had the best team ever! Their patience and openness created an enjoyable working environment for me, which I highly appreciate. They have been supportive, understanding and always approachable so I could simply ask anyone for help. The fact that they had full confidence in me helped me accomplish challenging but manageable responsibilities. I felt really part of the team. I felt good every time I was left all alone in the laboratory and had to control all products like any other employee. This meant to me that I could be a reliable employee. To me this was also a win-win situation as the company also had a lot to benefit from my presence.

My Swiss host family

I had a loving, supportive and of course a fun family, the Blumenthals.  Marco Blumenthal, my host father, is also the head of the Quality Assurance and Development department in which I did my internship. I had an opportunity to learn more about food safety from him even outside the company. My family really made me feel at home in my host country. They did everything possible to make sure that I was comfortable and that I was having fun. They did numerous activities with me, which I really enjoyed. The adventure started on my first weekend in Switzerland when we went to Zermatt, one of the most touristic places in Switzerland where I saw the precious Matterhorn, the very famous mountain In Switzerland. This was a great experience and a very warm welcome from my family.

Hiking with my host parents

My Swiss family

My family exposed me to countless Swiss traditions and cultures. Their openness encouraged cultural exchange between us. I got used to all of them just the first week. It felt like we had known each other for years. They also ensured that I made the most out of my stay in Switzerland. I enjoyed every meal they prepared, especially the typical Swiss food like raclette. We had fun, learned from each other and made unforgettable memories. I enjoyed spending time with the kids. They had a lot to show me which I really enjoyed as well. They are cheerful and so adorable. My family was simply amazing. I did not feel like a guest at all but rather part of the family as I was part in their everyday life and I enjoyed every single moment with them. I am extremely grateful for everything they did for me and I will surely miss them.

Highlights and challenges in Switzerland

I highly appreciate the proper planning and organisation of the whole internship. Everything went exceptionally well. The internship did not only benefit me academically but socially as well. I had great travelling opportunities. The convenient transport system encouraged me to travel almost every weekend especially the numerous trains that are very comfortable and always on time, the stream that never fails flowing water. The language difference was a challenge because I could not communicate with everyone in English. All necessary documents were also in German. However, with the help of my colleagues, I always found a way. In fact, this was a good opportunity for me to learn how to overcome challenges. Beside language, I did not experience major difficulties caused by different cultural backgrounds. An interesting and open attitude of the people has helped.

Posing with my host family

With the B360 expert Thomas at Lake Geneva

My future plans

I will complete my studies next year. From there I would like to work for about 2 years and at the same time, I will be looking for the ideal University where I will further my studies. My internship at Zweifel made me realise where my interest really lies and that is Food Technology. Once I get funding I will pursue my Master’s degree in Food Technology. With the contacts that I have made while doing my internship, I trust that I will be able to get support and recommendations about the best University to further my studies, be it in Switzerland or in Europe at large.

Personal message

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the B360 team firstly for the opportunity to do my internship in Switzerland and for always being there to ensure that everything went as planned. I am also extremely grateful to Mr Blumenthal, the Manager of the Quality Assurance and Development Department at Zweifel-Pomy Chips AG, for giving me the opportunity to do the internship within the company as well as to the whole team for being supportive and patient with me. I have learnt a lot from them. I am also thankful to all B360 experts that made our my stay in Switzerland memorable. Danke vielmal Thomas Lüthi, Amanda Blair, Joel Wildfire und Andreas Kilchör.
I highly appreciate the time they took to show us around. I also thank everyone that made an impact in my life during the internship. I had the best time of my life in Switzerland.

In front of the Eiffel tower in Paris

With my fellow interns