A rather special kind of filler – or: I’m going offline then.

I sit there quite still, and wait for the right moment. It’s cramped, I can hardly move. Everything around me glitters and gleams. I’m dazzled by all the gold. I’m waiting – and waiting – and waiting. No, I’m not about to rob a bank. I’m waiting for my colleague to open the locker’s door at last! Because for quite some time now I’ve been sitting in there, swathed in a golden-coloured blanket. How did I allowed myself to get into that position, although all I had set out to do was to go on an internship in Krones’ Corporate Communications Department? I’ll tell you about that later on … But one thing should by now be beyond any doubt: my internship was quite definitely not a boring desk job!

Beer bottling stuff

“Ah, they’re the ones with the beer bottling staff, aren’t they?” is what I hear quite often when I tell someone I’m doing an internship at Krones. “Exactly” is what I used to say at first. Now, after six months as an intern, my head is spinning with what at first were such cryptic-sounding machine designations and disparate filler variants – for PET and glass bottles, cans, juices, wines, water, sauces, beer, soft drinks, foods. A veritable knowledge-filler, this kind of internship. I’m also well-informed about craft beer, hop-growing, and sustainable brewing technology, thanks to various blog posts – not forgetting my newly acquired knowledge of crocheting.

Virtual vistas

Social Media KronesBut stop, I was talking about my work at and away from my desk. Let’s start with the former: as soon as I boot up my Mac in the morning, my workplace expands into virtual vistas. I juggle between Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Xing, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and WordPress. I like, I pin, I post, I repost, I hashtag, I share, I tag, and I blog. And then I start all over again. Like-hearts and like-thumbs are my constant companions throughout the day. And the pling of the tweet deck, signalling the arrival of a new tweet on Twitter, is the soundtrack that keeps me entertained while I perform one of my favourite tasks. And what is that? Researching, interviewing. Typing, deleting, restoring, deleting, changing and arranging letters, words and sentences. Or to put it more succinctly: writing. Krones’ Executive Board Chairman Volker Kronseder, a beer sommelier, the company doctor or crochet-crazed colleagues – everyone I interviewed had something exciting to tell me.

Between plings and hashtags

And what about when my ears are buzzing from the incessant plings and the words and the hashtags start to blur and flicker under my bleary gaze? Then for me, as an absolute technophobe (just ask various deceased electrical appliances whose life expectancy suffered a dramatic decline as soon as I acquired them), it was totally fascinating to turn my back on my desk now and then, and in the production halls listen to the product specialists explaining things to the trainees. Or to track the gradual creation of an empty-bottle inspector over there.

Interview with Mr KronsederNot, of course, that I just sneaked off surreptitiously. No, this was quite officially part of my project, assigned on the very first week of my internship: in text, video and sound I recorded the adventures of eight trainees, who had been chosen to look over the shoulders of the professionals who were organising the BrauBeviale 2014. And for me, too, there was quite a bit to organise: like the joint meetings with the trainees and the product specialists, who explained the exhibits at the fair to us, or the interviews with the members of the Executive Board. By the way: it wasn’t only the company that I was touring extensively. My internship also included a research trip to a brewery in Austria, my visit to the BrauBeviale in Nuremberg, and a guided tour of the Nittenau plant of Krones’ Evoguard subsidiary. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the fair, I learned how stressful communication is for the stand team involved – and why all the hard work and expenditure is nonetheless worthwhile. And when it comes to some rewarding communication: topics like communication controlling, KPIs and monitoring were all on the agenda during my internship.

The thing with the locker

Social Media Intern KronesThat’s enough of that. What exactly was I doing in the locker of my colleague Eva? Well, when I think about it properly … In order to give my successor some exciting moments in front of the monitoring tool and rising interaction rates, now that I’ve reported almost everything about all the (locker) doors my internship opened up for me, I shall content myself with the following piece of advice: lose yourself in the virtual vistas of the Krones YouTube channel and see for yourself what other (Christmastime) tasks an internship in Corporate Communications has in store for you. One thing, though, is certain: you won’t be bored!

Filled with new knowledge by Krones, enriched by interesting encounters, and fascinating experiences, I’m now going offline. For a short time at least. After all, you know, I have to stay networked with all my nice colleagues – and perhaps also arrange for an occasional pling to brighten up their working day.